Monday, February 05, 2007

Bowing to the pressure

Yesterday we started the preparations for my daughter's big first day at school. She won't start until the middle of April, but apparently it is very important to begin all your preparations very early.... just in case all the best colours etc. are sold out! Unfortunately I have no idea about what is "compulsory" at school and what has become standard due to marketing etc. so I have the feeling my daughter may have a few anxious moments when she arrives at school and realises that some of her things are a little different to the other children.
There seem to be two big items that are not compulsory, but have become the standard. The first is a desk... we will use a second hand one passed down from a cousin (please don't tell anyone!) and the second is a school bag. Now I agree that a school bag is necessary to carry your books etc., but we have so many bags in this house that I was hoping we could just use one of them.... apparently not! In Japan although it is not compulsory, basically all the students have the same bag. There are now many colours, brands etc. but as the man in the shop told us yesterday, they are all exactly the same size. One of the reasons I have been stalling in buying one is the price. They seem to START at about 30,000 yen (approx. 365 NZ dollars) and go right up to over 80,000 yen (approx. 970 NZ dollars). They are all about 1kg without any books in them so they are not exactly light either. Anyway, I gave in yesterday and decided it was not worth putting my daughter through the trauma of having a bag which is different from anyone else... a pink backpack that cost 36,000's hoping it lasts her the full 6 years at primary school!
By the way - the picture is not of my daughter... I forgot to take a photo before she left for kindy today so it is just a random one from someone else's blog... thank you google images!

1 comment:

  1. Mickey10:46 PM

    Hi, Jo.
    My school bag couldn't use the full 6 years at primary school.
    Because I was grown well, the bag became very small.
    It is said that Japanese school bag began to what the Prime minister of the Meiji period specially ordered and gifted for Royal family in entrance to elementary school.
    Why we need it? Oops! sh...