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Source code for linking to yamasa.org

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Each of the April banners were contributed by Roger Fung, a student in the AIJP from Hong Kong.

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New School Year
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Midori no Hi
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New School Year
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Midori no Hi
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Ieyasu Parade
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Ieyasu Parade
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Start of the School Year

New School Year
The Japanese school year starts in April, unlike most Western countries. The first terms ends at around the 20th of June, then the summer holidays begin.

Most people think Spring is the ideal time to start things anew. Children also get excited and are full of expectations when the new school year approaches. Early April is also the time when cherry blossoms (sakura) are in full bloom. Thus people like to associate beautiful sakura with entrance ceremonies and the start of a career.


Yamasa begins each term with a "Nyuugakushiki" - an entrance ceremony to welcome new students, introduce faculty, and help students adjust to their new life in Japan.

A nyuugakushiki is one of the key moments for Japanese students too as the school year commences, and the ceremonies (usually a lot more formal than ours!) held across the country from kindergarten to university level usually make the TV news. Put simply - its a big thing. Enjoy.

"Greenery Day"

Greenery Day
Greenery Day - "Midori no hi" - is celebrated on the 29th of April and it marks the start of 'Golden Week'. This day is set aside for nature appreciation.

Until 1988, this day was celebrated as the birthday of Emperor Showa. Because of the Emperor's love of nature, even after his passing away in January 1989, it was decided that this holiday should still be celebrated as 'Greenery Day'.

On this day, commemorative plantings of trees are held around the country, as are many events that bring people closer to nature.

O Hanami

O Hanami
Cherry-blossom viewing (O Hanami) began in ancient times when aristocrats wrote poetry and sang under the blooming trees. It has been the theme of numerous literary works, dances, and paintings.

The Japanese like cherry blossoms because the shape are colour of the petals reflect people's ideal notions of purity and simplicity. They are also touched by the fragility and the short-life of the blossoms.

Ieyasu Parade

O Hanami
One of Okazaki's claims to fame is that it is the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu - Japan's greatest shogun. Okazaki castle is surrounded by sakura cherry blossom trees which also line the riverbanks of the Oto and Iga rivers which converge at the castle. This is the destination the Ieyasu Parade which is held (usually) on the 1st Sunday in April and is one of the more popular festivals in Okazaki.

The Tokugawa family crest (which can be seen throughout Okazaki and on any of the major Tokugawa monuments such as Nijo Castle in Kyoto or Takisanji Toshogu) consists of three Aoi (Hollyhock) leaves. The Aoi leaves are one of the most distinctive symbols in Japan and the major reason we named our new extension center Aoi Hall.

C O M M U N I T Y   M E M B E R S

Hattori Foundation (est.1919) - The Yamasa Institute
1-2-1 Hanehigashi-machi, Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, JAPAN 444-0832
Tel: +81 (0)564 55 8111 Fax: +81 (0)564 55 8113 Email: Inquiries

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