Friday, July 9, 2010

Koukou Soutai

Wow this happened sooooooo long ago but I haven't posted anything in so long. So koukou soutai, or just soutai, is this HUGE tournament for all of the high schools. Every sport plays against the other teams in the area. We actually get off of school an hour early JUST so that clubs can have more time to practice. It lasts for around 2-3 days and one of those days was Friday so we had no school. Even if you aren't on a team it is mandatory to show up at the sport of your choice. There were schools assigned to each sport throughout the entire prefecture... at our school everyone came to play volleyball but kyuudou, the club I'm in went to the nearby city. It was a really long weekend. Every day I had to be at the bus station by 6:45 and we didn't leave the tournament place until 5:30 and since it's a 40 minute bus ride not including getting home I was getting home at 8:00 pm every day. On the Thursday before it began we were all subjected to a Japanese high school pep rally. Get all thoughts of cheerleaders out of your head. The students sit in ranks and the people of the sports teams march in when called. In the case of the baseball team, I literally mean march. Pretty much the baseball team is all of the good boys and schools are usually pretty proud of their team since baseball is so big here. When the baseball team walks in they have a straight backed, synchronized march, down to their arms swinging the exact same way, just like military. When they get to the front the captain bows to the person in rank next to him and hands him his hat and then goes up to give a speech. All of the other teams do it similarly with the speech but not so much in military style as the baseball team. In fact, next came the basketball team, which is known for having all the punks and they just sort of slouched in.

Now, for about 2 weeks before all of this happened, everyday origami paper was handed out to every single student and we literally folded paper cranes all through school. I kid you not, I laugh to think how typical that sounds but boys and girls alike folded paper cranes constantly, only stopping to take a quick note during class. I later found out that we were making them because they were to later be strung together into this huge charm...each team was presented one at the pep rally and they were brought along to the tournaments. This is the kyudou one:
It was pretty cool watching floods of high school students in kyudou uniforms walking down the busy street carrying bows, tatami mats, and straw butts used for targets.

This is where we sat all day long with all the other high schools... The shooting area was right outside so anyone who wasn't doing a job or shooting just sat around in here....
....and played cards (toranpu)

Me kyudou friends :3

These are the boys from my school shooting...The last one in was the captain (after Soutai is over all of the 3rd years have to retire from the's really sad without them.)

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