Busy is as Culture Does

Culture Day is one of the holidays in Japan where no one actually gets to rest.

Like all holidays in Japan, it is tied to the birth of an Emperor, in this case the Emperor Meiji who modernized Japan and crushed a rebellion of samurai by mistakenly having Ken Watanabe killed instead of Tom Cruise.

Overtime, Culture Day became, or at least Culture Day weekend, became the time when most schools host an annual Culture Festival/School open house in which 1) Everyone shows off the crappy art they’ve produced over the year; 2) someone gives a speech (someone always has to give a speech) and 3) the crappy boys rock band apparently issued to every school (because every school I’ve worked at has one) plays and everyone feels embarrassed for them and especially for their parents.

Teachers typically have a lot of extra work preparing for Culture Day as it’s one of the few days attended by large groups of parents. Therefore, since, well, crap rolls down hill, this means the students have a lot more work as they practice and prepare for the festival.

Even if you’re not part of the Culture Festival, you may still be busy. Many sports clubs have their annual tournaments on Culture Day, including my karate style. In fact, when we meet for our semi-annual tournament, there are usually three other tournaments, including Kendo and Judo and another karate style taking place in the other arenas as well as a Japanese archery tournament in the archery range. (Someday, i want to see a pervert try to grope someone while that crowd is waiting around for the arenas to open.)

This, of course, means extra practice and sacrificing a day off. One year, I took part in four different events in our style’s tournament (kata, fighting, bo kata and defense against groups) and by the end of the day I was so tired that actually going to work suddenly didn’t seem so bad.

That’s pretty tired.

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