Sorry, I’m late getting this out. Club day was a bit ago now, but life happens and there’s no time like the present! You get to look forward to this week of catch up that will contain many interesting adventures.
Japanese colleges and universities take their clubs very seriously, maybe even more than classes. Classes here meet once a week, and clubs, usually 2 or 3 times a week. But I will talk more about the differences between American universities and Japanese universities in a future post. I’m still not sure if I’m going to sign up for a club. It seems like it’s expected but I don’t want to overwhelm myself. I should probably spend nights studying so I can travel. Nonetheless, the performances were amazing.
The first performance I saw was an Aikido demonstration. It was pretty cool, but most of it happened on the ground and I’m not athletic enough for summersaults. I didn’t stay for too long because I wanted to look around. There were a lot of people handing out flyers advertising their club. From what I could see, these people were very active with the other students, but probably because I’m a foreigner they shied away from me more, and I have to admit in that crowd I didn’t mind it so much. It was very crowded. The event reminded me a bit of street festival in America, without of all the food trucks.
During this event, I also learn that the culture in Japan around being filmed or photographed is different than in America, so I did my best to be respectful. As a result, I didn’t get a lot of picture or videos of none performance based clubs. Luckily, the ballroom club and most performance clubs were ok with photos and videos. The ballroom club was amazing, and I was tempted to cave in a join. They were all so nice, but I realized I would have to spend money on costumes and give up two nights a week to practice. While I’m sure the club would be rewarding, my goal here is to travel and experience, I need my nights for study and routine, plus, how seriously they take their clubs is intimidating anyway. I suspect it would be a lot of work, regardless. I got permission to use their videos in my vlog. They did use copyrighted music in their performances though so it might end up being more of montages. They were amazing, it was like going to a live street version of ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’. But the crazy over the top performances didn’t stop there! There was a belly dancing club, that went more theatrical than the slow style of belly dancing. They costumes were wicked and they had a lot of cool moves.
I’m not sure any American University or school cares as much about anything (other than money, maybe) as much as the Japanese schools take pride in their clubs. It makes a lot of sense though. Most of these girls have committed themselves to getting a job after graduation and the way they talk about it, it doesn’t seem that they look forward to it at all but feel they have no choice. I think clubs, for a lot of them, are they’re last chance to do what they love and if they’re lucky, maybe they’ll get picked up and get to do dance instead of a desk job. But that’s just me speculating.
Another performance I saw surprised me a lot! The Samba club went all out vegas. Japan is very open about a lot of its sexuality but I never expected to see full on festival style Samba, it was very cool though! Very energetic and eye-catching. They go all out, in costume and everything. It was quite the experience. If this is what school clubs are like, I can only imagine what a parade or festival is like. Definitely on my bucket list and I will be sure to document it for you guys.
Thank you for reading! As always, I love to engage with you guys,
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