My son begins elementary school

Hello Hugo

I believe, although I do not know, that you started school at some point this month as this was the April following your 6th birthday.  I therefore thought that I would offer you a few words about the years ahead of you in school, college and university if you decide to study that far.

Education is important – especially it has to be said in Japan – as it is likely to determine to a great extent the course of your life.  So always study hard, listen to, learn from and respect your teachers and push yourself as much as you can at school.  Do not be lazy.  Make the most of the opportunities that are available to you inside and outside the classroom.  When I was at school I was involved in theatrical activities and, when I was older, politics and debating which was a good preparation for working in the law – even though none of that was on the curriculum.  I am sure that you will have a natural aptitude for English and I know that some Japanese schools hire western English teachers so, if that is the case at whichever school you are enrolled at, I hope that you will be fortunate enough to have someone from England and see something of your English background.

I wanted to send you something to mark both the start of this stage of your life and something that would be useful to you.  I wasn’t sure what specific books or equipment you would need, so I bought you a Japanese school bag instead – the Japanese word is Randoseru (ランドセル); see the photograph below.   I remember seeing school children carry these bags around in Japan.  It always surprised me the way in which the children there would have identical or very similar bags as that would not be fashionable in the UK.  As it was only available for purchase in Japan itself, I ordered it via Amazon Marketplace, had it mailed to the UK so I could see it and then mailed it to you in Japan.  I sent it over in early February 2015 in the hope that this would be sufficiently early that no one else would buy you the same thing in anticipation of you starting at elementary school.

Good luck at school and I hope you enjoy it.

School bag (April 2015)

 Post receipt 7 Feb 2015 


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