Difference of Real Japanese School and School in Anime

Japanese School

School life in anime looks really great.
It’s shinning.
Something happens everyday and everyone seems to having a great time.

But is that really true in real?

I write about the difference between real and anime of school from my own experience as Japanese.

Hanging out on the school roof is almost impossible

I often see students are talking or having lunch on the school roof in anime.

But it is impossible.

Firstly the door to the school roof is locked.
Actually I wanted to go to the school roof myself and tried to open the door but whether it is elementary school or high school it was always locked.
As you know it is dangerous if students could go to the school roof freely like that of anime.

But yes I understand that it is not only me but many others also wanted to enjoy the time on the school roof if possible.

It was my dream to have Yakisoba dog on the school roof. (Yakisoba is Japanese style pan fried noodle)

School Building and Class

For appearances of school building, inside class, hallway, gymnasium, etc. are exactly same as long as I see.

Of course there are little difference of its design or style depends on the school but you can see exact school building and room in anime if you come visit Japan. (You can’t go inside school or school yard)

The scene in class is also same.
Teachers teach each subjects before a black board and students listen calmly or sleeping, haha.

School Uniform

When I was a student there are not that much variation for school uniform.
It is still same that junior high school students wear blazer or sailor.
They are just plain color such as black or deep blue.

When you become a high school students it varies and you can have colorful variation depends on the school.
The variation is many and sometimes you can see almost same school uniform like you can see in anime.

There were also girls who choose the high school by the school uniform because Kawaii school uniform is very important factor for them.

But still I think some anime’s school uniform is colorful, stylish or cuter than real one,

Indoor Shoes is culture

All students change their shoes to indoor shoes when going inside the school.

Yes, as you know this is just Japanese culture.
We separate inside and outside.

Inside has to be kept clean that no one walks bare foot or in shoes for outside in school.

Means of Transportation to school

It is prohibited to ride on motorcycle or car as a means of transportation.
But only scooter might be permitted if you live far from school in local area.
Still it is rare case that most cases what students in high school use is train or bicycle.

For junior high school even bicycle has not been allowed.
We just walked to the school for about 15 minutes (the time depends on the place the student lives)
If you live far from school, bicycle might be allowed as an exception.
Only those who chose a private junior high school used train as it is far.

Lunch Time in class

For junior high school. school offers us lunch everyday at lunch time that we don’t need to bring lunch box.
We made a group of 4 or 5 people and had a lunch with teacher in classroom.
The menu changed everyday and variation was wide that I had not gotten tired of the food.
You can have a second helping if you want.

I always had a second helping and it was always boys to get a second helping.
Girls seemed to cared about gaining weight.

For high school, there is a kind of cafeteria.
People who didn’t bring lunch box had a lunch there.

Or there is also a school shop that you could by rice ball, bread, snack, etc. there.
Sometimes you need to hurry to the shop before lunch time as popular food is sold quickly.
You might have seen people in anime dash to a school shop, haha.

Those who got their lunch box had their lunch at a classroom.
No teacher anymore in the classroom at lunch time from high school.

Strict School Regulation

Japanese school regulation is actually strict.
Especially private school is strict compared to public school.

There was no one who had their hair colored at junior high school especially 20 years ago when I was a student.
More than 20 or 30 years ago, coloring hair such as red, blue, brown, etc. was rare thing in Japan.
Even keep one’s hair growing was not allowed if it is too long.

I also had a experience of pointing out by teacher that my hair was long even though it was not long at all.
So I’m sure that almost all the hair style in anime are not allowed in school or teachers get mad. ^ ^;

Nowadays changing hair color is usual thing but still most school doesn’t allow changing hair color.

For skirt of the girls, too.
Wearing too short skirt is not allowed especially for private school and preppy school.
Girls that wore short skirt had been pointed out by teacher in my high school.

For magazine or mobile phones, snacks are not allowed at most of the schools.
But few students ignore this and carry magazine, mobile, snacks, etc. to school.

I remember there were people that brought mobile phone to school and its wring tone went off suddenly in class.
Of course teacher noticed and got angry.
The teacheer confiscated the phone.

Magazine is also same ending as mobile phone if it is caught by the teacher.
Teacher returned the mobile phone with the promise of the student not to bring it to school ever again.

Part-time job is also not allowed at most of the high schools.
Junior high school is out of the question, you are not the age for working that all the school don’t allow.
For high school, few private school might allow to work as a part-time.
Actually even if the school doesn’t allow it some people work at supermarket, cafe, restaurant, etc.

As for me, I was in private high school that school regulation was strict and it doesn’t allow students to work as a part-time.
But I did part-time only in summer vacation at vegetable shop and warehouse.

I hoped no teacher catch me during working.

So there was some people worked as a part-time even though it was not allowed at school.

School Club

You need to belong to club whether it is a junior high school or a high school.

Only few school allowed the students to not join the club but it is rare case especially for junior high school.
But there was a secret tip for those who don’t want to join and leave school early without club.
There were few clubs that are not held much or it is only once a week or once a month even if it is held.
Those who don’t wanna spend their time for the club chose these kind of clubs.

As for me, I also don’t wanted to spend time for club in high school that I changed my club from soccer club to chemistry club.
And the chemistry club in the high school was the one it rarely being held that means I could go back directly home without spend time for club after school.

For club, what you can join is many from tennis, foot ball, baseball, music, art, etc. to niche club such as horse riding, boxing, golf.
The club you can join is depends on the school that you have popular club such as baseball, football, basketball, etc. almost everywhere but horse riding, boxing, etc. I introduced above are rare.
And club, especially outdoor sports club such as baseball, football, tennis, etc. are usually very intense.

After school you have to spend 2 or 3 hours in junior high school and when it comes to high school the time you get back home is 8 or 9 o’clock at night.

Addition to that, you have to go to club even weekend such as Saturday or Sunday or both.
Summer vacation or Winter vacation is no exception, you have to go join the club.

And most cases teachers of the outdoor sports clubs are always strict to us and they scold us. (But some are not that strict that depends on the person)
Certainly you can get strong mentality if you go through each 3 years in school.

As for me, I didn’t have that strong physicality and mentality or I wanted my private time rather than club in high school that I chose the chemical club and others called it go-home club. ^ ^;.

It might be sometimes tough things to join club but I think it becomes great memory and you can make great friends there.
And if you really like the sports, art, etc. club in school is worth joining.

Senpai and his order had big power

It might be just a year or two years senior to us in school but it becomes super big difference to us.
It is not same level at all that if we speak to them friendly without polite expression like we always do to the friends of the same age, Senpai would be get angry or I don’t know the one who did it.

We always have to use polite expression to Senpai and if they are Senpai in club their order was absolute that we can’t reject the order.

I tell you this from my experience or I don’t think this is not only me but many others who belonged to tough outdoor sports club such as football, baseball, etc. are same as mine.

I used to belong to football club even though it was just a several months in high school.

And the presence of Senpai was immense there.

The order had absolute power that no one could reject it.
It is OK if there is a good-reason for order but some of them used their power even for private things saying “hey you go get bread at school shop with this money for me”
The people who got order and obey it called “pashiri”

Pashiri is named from Japanese verb hashiru that means run.
So pashiri means those who run for them.

I also became pashiri several times and other members who belonged in football clubs, too as no one can reject Senpai’s order.

Don’t you think it is wrong and a kind of bully?

But it was just a custom existed in especially football club, baseball club, etc. since long time ago and the unreasonable custom handed down to generation to generation.

I always wondered why they hand down this silly custom when they themselves must have had same bad emotion to their Senpai.
They are pleased and glad to obey their Senpai’s order?
Or they forget the things they experienced from Senpai when they themselves became real Senpai?

I think this custom still exists and the big presence of Senpai is same everywhere.
But don’t misunderstand all the Senpai are like that as there are some great Senpai, too that you might see in anime.

Actually I also had a great Senpai who never talk big or order us anything rather gentle.
If all the Senpai were like that all the club must be very comfortable places.

When you got scolded by teacher

You might see some anime character get scolded and end up in standing outside class.
It’s the scene I often watched in real school especially in elementary school in about late 1980s or early 1990s.

Actually I was the one of them who got scolded and kept standing outside often.
I even got a slap in school.

I think now teachers don’t do it especially slapping the student as it becomes a big problem in Japan.
Educational scene changed a lot but more than 20 or 25 years ago, slapping noisy students or make them keep standing outside class was not unusual scene at all.

Every month someone got scolded and kept standing outside.
You might be think like this “That’s terrible teachers!!”.

But actually they were very kind teachers (the teachers as far as I met) and even when they scolded us I could feel they were scolding us to make us understand good thing and bad thing without private angry emotion. (Even though it was scary)

As I grew older after elementary school, I rarely came to scolded but at the same time I came to feel less interests of teachers in us that the teachers in elementary school’s once had in us whether we do good or bad.

What I still remember and feel like they were heartfelt teachers were those in elementary school or junior high school.
I’m not sure but one of the reasons was they became teachers in elementary school because they purely like child whether the child is noisy or naughty that they could established an emotional bond with us.

Too Strong Personality of Anime Characters

Some characters or many of them in Anime have very strong personality and do unimaginable thing.

It can’t happen in real school.

That kind of too strong personality or action surely set themselves off from the class.
There are, of course, students that have unique character but they know moderation and rule at the same time.

So that kind of too strong character and action can not exist in real school where real people come together and delicate human relationship made.


Few points are same as in anime but some others are not.
And I can’t see not all the students enjoy the real school like in anime.
It is the place for study in real that not like in anime that has many wonderful event happens everyday surrounded by great characters.

But still I think it was good I could go to school.

Especially I enjoyed a lot the days in elementary school.
Some people say junior high school or high school was great.
It depends on the person.

But most important thing is we can meet and make great friends in school.
It would be eternal treasure like family in your life and it’s common not only in Japan but everywhere, isn’t it.

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