Another fall, another undoukai…

While I did go to several undoukais (sports festivals) last year, I wasn’t able to go to my Wednesday school’s one due to being in Tokyo for TGS.  Luckily they did it the week before TGS this year so I was able to go.  It happened on the day after the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri so we were all worried if it was going to get cancelled due to the downpour we got the night before.

Luckily it was a nice, sunny day and all of the rain dried up in the field.  I brought my camera with me to take photos of the event.  Unlike most undoukais, because my Wednesday school and my junior high (which is where most kids go after they graduate) are so tiny, they simply combine the festivals into one.  Kids are divided into two teams: the red team and the white team.  Each team gets points for each event and each grade has at least one sports event.  There are also dances that all grades have.

The best event to watch was one that involved two kids carrying a third on their shoulders and they try to take the caps off other groups:

Onward to battle...

Onward to battle…

The fights were pretty intense!

The fights were pretty intense!

If you aren't too careful, your cap can get grabbed from behind!

If you aren’t too careful, your cap can get grabbed from behind!

The white team was really far ahead until there was only two groups of the red team left.  At this point, it becomes a one-on-one duel .  Ryuusei, the major player of the red team, managed to beat each group one by one.  He was unstoppable, it was insane!

This literally happened 5 or 6 times in a row.

This literally happened 5 or 6 times in a row.

It finally came down to one member from each team dueling each other:  Hiro was the captain of the white team.  It was a long fight…:

Ryuusei cracking his knuckles in preparation for his fight with Hiro.

Ryuusei cracking his knuckles in preparation for his fight with Hiro.

…but Hiro managed to win:

Ryuusei's winning streak comes to an end!

Ryuusei’s winning streak comes to an end!

Hiro, the only group left in Red managed to beat everyone until it finally came to Red’s captain, Koryou.  This match decided who was going to win it all!:

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Two captains square off.

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It was an intense fight but…

...Hiro managed to steal the win, making White Team the winner!

…Hiro managed to steal the win, making White Team the winner!

I also saw a few of my old staff that transferred out come visit.  It was a lot of fun to see them again.  I even participated in this bizarre dance that they had all the kids and staff do.

In the end, it was a close fight, but the winners were….:

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White Team wins this year’s undoukai!

After that was the enkai.  Last year’s enkai was hilariously crazy but this year was a bit more calm.  I was okay with that.  I ended up talking to Chidaka-sensei, the fourth grade teacher and a new staff member, for the majority of the party.  It was great because I managed to speak to her mostly in Japanese for around an hour and a half…I’m getting there!  She likes to travel a lot so she was giving me a lot of advice on where to go.  Out of all the new staff, she’s probably my favorite.  Maybe sometime, I’ll talk about teaching her class on here.

As expected, there was a nijikai (after party).  We went to karaoke where things got a little crazy.  The highlights were Mr. Takahashi singing a commercial song, my vice principal singing Fist of the North Star’s theme song (You wa SHOCK!), and the shy gym teacher requesting me to sing Danger Zone and the Armageddon theme song.  He was so polite about it too; bowing each time I finished and telling me a little quip on how he wore a badass jacket like Tom Cruise back in his school days.

People started passing out from drinking too much.  We even had other teacher sing right in their ears to mess with them:

The undoukai wasn’t as legendary as last year’s but it was still a lot of fun.  It was somewhat bittersweet too because it was my 6th graders last one as elementary kids.  Next time I’ll (hopefully) see them in it, they’ll be junior high students.  They’re growing up so fast..!

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