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Is high school graduation in Japan like what we see in anime?

When the school year is over!

K-on!, Season 2, Episode 24 || Credits: K-On! IMDb

In Japan, the school year starts in April and ends in March. So plenty of Japanese students are going through this critical transition in their academic lives.

Before I moved to Japan, I wondered how close some anime scenes were to reality. For example, the graduation or school entrance ceremonies often include celebrations, romantic scenes under cherry blossoms, and everything else.

If you are like me and also feel curious about what Japanese schools are like, here's a short explanation for you!

Sotsugyoushiki: The Graduation Ceremony

Hori Celebrating her graduation
Horimiya, Season1, Episode 13 || Credits: Horimiya IMDb

At graduation ceremonies (Sotsugyoushiki), Japanese schools and universities award students a school certificate or diploma. They are held in large spaces and attended by the school principal and parents.

As we see in anime, Japanese schools can be rigorous, and since it is a formal event, all students wear their school uniforms with a flower on their chests.

Other formal attires are permitted when they don't have uniforms—in universities, for example. But we recently had an example of how creative students can be if allowed to dress however they want.

Yuzuru, Kanade, and Yuri during the graduation ceremony in Angel Beats!
Angel Beats, Season 1, Episode 13 || Credits Angel Beats! IMDb

Usually, students are called onto the stage individually to receive their diplomas, but in some schools, they receive their diplomas in class after the celebration.

At the end of the ceremony, students sing the Japanese national anthem, Kimigayo. Some other songs are permitted, too, like the traditional Hotaru no Hikari or Tabidachi no Hi Ni, used as the ending theme of the last episode of Nichijou.

Entrance Ceremonies take place a short time after graduation, around the time when Sakuras are blooming!

The Second Button

Keita Suminoe (in the middle) without any buttons left on his Blazer – graduation day
Kiss x Sis, Season 1, Episode 12 || Credits: Kiss x Sis IMDb

Some people say that soldiers would give the second button of their military uniforms to their loved ones during World War II because it was the closest to the heart.

Because of that, boys sometimes give the second button (or any other buttons left) on their school uniform to the person they love or are asked to give it to – Isn't that sweet?

The End and The New Beginning

Isn't it fantastic how accurate anime can be to real life?

Now when you see these events in your favorite show, you will know why they happen and what the characters are doing!

I'd love to know what important events in Japan you know! So join The Otaku Community and share what you know!

If you don't know any, which one would you like to learn more about? It's always a pleasure for me to talk about Japan and Anime!

Images from IMDb


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