It’s a performance that’s almost too cool for school!

When it comes to sports, especially Sports Day and club activities, you’ll find that the Japanese education system is a little more demanding about how much time and practice students and teachers are required to put in. Sports Day practice often lasts months, and many junior high and high school students are expected to attend practice for their sports club of choice at least three hours a day, even on weekends and during holidays.

This enthusiasm even carries over to normal P.E. curriculum, like the yearly school jump-rope program. But recently one group of sixth graders went above and beyond with their dedication to the sport, receiving international praise after they made headlines as far away as the UK.


These students are part of Shizuoka Prefecture’s Fuji Jump Rope Association, and although the program they’re participating in is sponsored by the Fuji City Board of Education, all of the participants come from different schools around the city.

This bunch of kids worked especially hard on this year’s routine, knowing that it’ll likely be their last together. From April they’ll be first year junior high students, meaning they probably won’t have any time to keep seeing each other once junior high school club activities begin eating into the time they might have reserved for other clubs like jumping rope.

Perhaps your average Japanese sixth grade classes would have trouble matching the flawless performance above, but similar drills like these are just par for the course during jump rope program season. Even if it may seem silly at first to put so much effort into something so mundane, here in Japan sports play a huge role in social conditioning, helping students build good teamwork skills, and establishing sempai/kohai (upper/lower classman) relationship patterns that will make up a large part of their interactions as adults with fellow co-workers.

Whether you agree all of that practice was worth it or you’re someone who believes kids should spend more time just being kids, you have to admit the end result is amazing indeed! Of course, I might be a little biased since I live near Fuji City and several years ago actually taught at some of the schools these students are from…

Source: Facebook/Fuji Jump Rope Association via Yurukyaru
Feature/top image: Facebook/Fuji Jump Rope Association