Jul 18, 2011

Interesting Japanese culture of cheerleading

Last Saturday was my school's baseball match, together with all the teachers and Year 1 students, we went to the local baseball stadium to support our baseball team. It was a really interesting experience! 大开眼界!

1. Going Botak
The entire baseball team, including those on the benches (especially Year 1s who are not included in the competitions yet), had a haircut. Everyone went botak! This probably signify unity and determination to win the match.

2. Cheerleaders
Usually in our terms, cheerleaders are usually girls, but in Japanese schools, they are usually 3 guys. They will wear their formal school wear (complete with jackets) and have this long strip of cloth tied across their forehead. They will lead the school in their cheers from a platfrom in front.

3. Band
Yes, the entire band is down too! So besides cheering with our voices, we cheer with music. ♪♫♩♬  

3. A Splashing Good Time!
My students have been practising hard for the cheerleading. We had sessions after school nearly every day. Very serious stuff. During the actual match, when tension is up, at the highest points, boys will pour and splash pails of water at other schoolmates. Gosh! How I wish I was nearer, it will be so refreshing after 3 hours under the blazing hot sun!

4. 礼仪
Even during games, the Japanese are very polite and considerate. We take turns to cheer. So my school will cheer first, and the opposition school will listen; then we switch our turns.

What's more interesting: We even cheer for the opposition team. After that, the opposition team will bow to us as a form of thank you. And the vice versa happens too.

A very gentlemanly cheering process indeed!

Very very different from what I remember at the annual Track and Field meets. I remember that we often returned with no voices on the next day. Everyone was cheering for their own teams, it was very loud and noisy. :P

And all ends well, with our victory! :D On to the next match!