Hi it’s Ayumi!
What kind of life do junior high school students have today? Is it something we can imagine from our time?
I have a cute niece who is 14 years old and in the third year of junior high school. I was able to interview her, who is always having a good time, about her friendships, her favorite play, and so on.
Let’s take a peek at the life of Japanese junior high school students who are just in the middle of a teenager!
Japanese junior high school students
First, I will explain the Japanese school system. In Japan, 6years of elementary school, 3years of junior high school, 3years of high school, and 4years of university are common.
Elementary and junior high schools are compulsory education. The government and parents have to give them an education as stipulated in the constitution
Basically, when you turn 6 years old, you enter elementary school and education starts. Japanese junior high school students are 13 to 15 years old in general.
They like matching everything
So let’s see how they enjoy the life!
What to wear
It’s fun to have matching clothes or accessories etc. I also remember wearing a pair of shoes that matched my best friend a long time ago.
However, it seems that modern junior high school students should wear the same clothes from top to bottom.
When my niece showed me this picture, I asked “Oh, did you have a dance performance event?” But the answer is, “No, we just wore the same clothes and went out!”
Before the promised day, everyone discussed what kind of clothes they had and prepared. They found them cheaply at the online shop.
They wear matching clothes and gather at the meeting place. After taking a commemorative photo in the same pose, the play date of the day begins.
They go shopping at the mall, take photo booths(called “Purikura”), and enjoy sweets at the cafe.
What to order at cafe
At the cafe, we normally order what we like. The more people, the more variety menu, so that we can share a lot of tastes, right?
But these junior high schoolers are different… Everyone orders the same thing.
And of course, they wear the same clothes when they eat the same sweets. They really love to match everything.
After this cafe, they bought the same accessories, she said.
How to interact with SNS
Smartphones are also widely used by junior high school students. Even among junior high school students, the “LINE” app is the mainstream for contacting friends. Some children are using the message function of Instagram.
However, some children have not been allowed to use all SNS. The app tiktok, which is very popular with younger generations, is also a subject to be restricted. Many parents think carefully about SNS where they don’t know where and who to connect with. How to interact with SNS depends on each household.
My niece says that she is interested in Instagram and tiktok but is restricted by her parents.
Curfew is 5 o’clock
When they go out with their friends without the parents, it’s basically only during the daytime. Among many families, it is a rule for the junior high school children to return home by 5 pm.
Instead of dinner, they enjoy lunch and it’s popular to go to all-you-can-eat yakiniku(Korean B.B.Q) for lunch!
Today’s junior high school students, who are busy studying and having fun, tend to go to bed late like at midnight. Then, they get up at 6:30 in the morning and go to school. I’m a little worried about their sleep time.
It’s been a long time since Korean culture became popular in Japan, especially among the younger generation, but it’s still going on.
Food, cosmetic, actors and music etc.. They exchange new information each other.
Korean food such as Yangnyeom chicken and dance units such as BTS are hot words.
How was it? Is it similar in your time or in your country?
In this era, I feel that the ties between friends are very strong thanks to mobile phones. My niece said they have a lot of chat rooms on “LINE” and they’re always connected. Also, when they’re together, they take pictures with friends like all the time so that they can see and remember what they do together.
Let me know how it is like in your country!