All middle school students are required to participate in after -school activity clubs at the school. They are free to select which clubs they wish to join, but participation is mandatory. The clubs, of course, are group activities, an important part of education in Japan. Many of the clubs focus on areas of traditional Japanese culture, such as tea ceremony or ikebana. This photo shows the wooden swords - kendo sticks - of students belonging to the club that learns and practices the traditional art of kendo.
This is the computer classroom in a middle school in Japan. The computers are used to complete assignments from other classes, as well as for instruction in computer class, per se, so that the students are learning to employ computers across the curriculum.
This is the teachers' room in a new middle school in Japan. Teachers in Japan do not have individual offices or spaces connected with their classrooms. Rather, all of the teachers on one floor of a school building have individual desks and class preparation space together in one large room, where they work after the school day and during free class periods during the day.
This section of the magazine rack in a new super-store features offerings for female adolescents. Interestingly, a number of the titles are in English, including magazines titled, Wink Up, Kitty Goods, and Ego system. The color schemes employed in the magazine covers are interesting, also, as reflections of colors seen elsewhere in contemporary Japanese culture.
This is a view of the interior of a new store in Japan. It is the type of store that would be referred to as a "super store" or "super center" in the U.S. I.e., it carries groceries, drug store items and sundries, stationary, books and magazines, household items, etc. The emergence of this style of retailing is relatively recent in Japan.