Getting into a good college and acing your tests may seem like a stressful part of life as a high school student but children and teenagers in Japan are on another level of stress when it comes to studying and taking exams. There are many anime that focus on the nerdy student in class that is always studying and has the can-do attitude about anything related to school. This really is not that far from the truth though, studying in Japan is truly a part of their culture that is integral to their success as a nation. While it may seem like overkill to us in America, it is important to take a closer look into what this looks like in real life and how it influences Japan as a nation. Study culture in Japan is seen in many anime, a newer and more notable one being Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai.
Study Culture in Japan
Stress is started early with students in Japan. Rather than focusing on just getting into a good college, they must pass entrance exams into junior high school and high school as well. Many parents enroll their children into cram schools that they go to after their day classes to get ahead of the other students and ensure their future. These cram schools, or jukus, are becoming more popular every year and start at ages as young as 2 or 3 years old. Jukus essentially propel its students forward by encouraging success but critics argue that it takes away part of their childhood because they have no time for anything other than studying. Japanese society builds itself up on the idea of a successful individual working to make the country a better place and make a good life for themselves and parents focus on this from an early age. Study culture in Japan truly takes up the majority of their child’s time by exerting pressure for the children to achieve the best by knowing the most. This controversial trend is prevalent throughout Japan and making its way to the rest of the world in its media.
Study Culture in Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai
Japanese study culture may seem amusing to us. Anime makes it seem as though there are only a few students in each class who adhere to this culture in order to make the contrast seem much more apparent than it actually is. Study culture is dramatized in Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai due to the students that Nariuuki Yuiga tutors being geniuses in only one subject while being hopeless in others. He pushes the study culture that he has grown up around onto these other students that certain subjects just come naturally to. The girls react in such a way that we find comical because study culture seems so foreign to them but so natural to Yuiga. This is exhibited when Uruka has difficulty with her studying and although she knows that studying is a necessity, she must find a different place where her emotions cannot get in the way of her schoolwork. Here we can see another difficulty that study culture gives not only to Yuiga and his schoolmates but in students as a whole in Japan. This gives us outsiders a look into what study culture is and how it differs from what we know in our own education system.
Study culture is an interesting look into a part of Japanese society that people generally don’t think about. It allows for us to see schools and even family structure in a different light than we ever thought possible. By learning about these aspects of their culture we can further understand what life is like in Japan and gives us a real world look away from the anime that we so greedily devour.
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