#195 Sports Day

Sports day in Japan is the highlight of most kids school lives.

It’s called a taikusai or undoukai which means sports/exercise festival

sportsrace

The dusty track fields take the place of the lush grassy space you might imagine.

The events range from races and the typical three-legged variety:

threeleg

To events like whole class tug-o-wars and jump rope:
tugowar

Also, the boys gymnastics is a quite solemn but impressive affair:
tower

Totally contrasted by the girls dance event:
sportsdance

Elementary school sports days include more crazy events: like multiple kids strapping into the same strips of wood and trying to walk together without falling over or 40 kids trying to throw balls into the same basket on a stick.

elementaryundoukai

The high school sports days still have a few wacky events… but it’s more about the preparation and athleticism.

Overall, Japanese sports days are definitely the inspiration for Mario Party mini-games

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