In Japan, students generally attend high school from ages 15 to 18, during a total of three years. While attending is optional, a rough 92% of lower-secondary school graduates choose to enter upper-secondary school. Students usually wear uniforms every day to school. Every class has their own home room and home room teacher. Activities such as athletic festivals and cultural festivals are often incorporated in the students' education. The school year begins in the spring instead of in the fall like in many Western countries, and ends during late winter season. There are three main breaks in the school year: summer break, winter break and spring break. After the spring break, a new school year begins.
The high school theme is frequently used somehow in the works of Kiyohiko Azuma.
In Azumanga DaiohThe main characters of the manga and anime series Azumanga Daioh attend or work at an unnamed high school in Japan. They started in April 1999 and graduated in March 2002. The location of the school is unknown in the manga, though in the anime it is located in Tokyo. The name of the school is not revealed either. The school accepts both girl and boy students, but initially it was an all-girls' school.
TerritoryThe school houses several different home rooms where students go to class. Outside of the school, there is a pool for P.E. lessons and swim team practice, and changing rooms. There are also running tracks for students to use during P.E. and the annual sports festival.
A school cafeteria exists too, seemingly for all students to use regardless of grade. The students bring their own lunch, as shown when Chiyo expressed delight that she didn't have to eat the grade school cafeteria food anymore. However, they do not seem to usually make their lunch themselves, seeing as Chihiro was shocked that Chiyo took such responsibility on herself (or she may also have reacted that way simply because of Chiyo's age). Some food may be produced by the school, though, as a lunch lady once gave Chiyo extra food in an attempt to make her eat more.
PrincipalThe principal of Azumanga Daioh is a black-haired, middle-aged man who is not seen much around the school, except at the very end, when Chiyo receives an award for outstanding academic achievements. He gives a speech to the graduating students.
- Main article: Yukari Tanizaki
- Main article: Minamo Kurosawa
- Main article: Kimura
- Main article: Goto-sensei
Class 3 is the class that the main characters of the series are from. Their homeroom teacher is Yukari Tanizaki.
Class 2 is the class that Minamo Kurosawa is the homeroom teacher of during the main cast's second two years of high school. She is well-liked by her students and they give her birthday presents twice.
Their homeroom teacher is Kimura. His only named student is Kaorin, during her last year of high school. Yukari Tanizaki walked in their home room by mistake on her first day as the new teacher of Class 3 and embarrassed herself.
The teacher of this subject is Yukari, despite everything, she can speak the language fluently. According to Chiyo, her tests were "interesting".
While the main cast are never seen attending this class, they frequently have math homework, and tests. They also study math for the college entrance exams.
The teacher of this subject is Minamo. It involves gymnastics and sports as well as swimming at the school pool.
Kimura teaches this subject, but it is not known what the course incorporates, besides reading passages from books out loud.
In the anime, the students play instruments in this class, such as Osaka playing a flute insuccessfully since she had the hiccups.
There is also a computer class at the school. It is unknown exactly what the students get to do, besides using a computer, which was something entirely new to Chiyo-chan.
The school uniform worn by the main characters is a sailor fuku for the girls and a gakuran for the boys. The summer sailor fuku is blue in colour, and the winter uniform is light red (dark pink in the anime).
There is also a special P.E. uniform – a white T-shirt and gym shorts for the girls, white T-shirt and thigh-length shorts for the boys.
Cultural festivalFor their two first years, the students participate in the cultural festival. Every class makes up their own exhibition, available for all students to view on the day of the festival. Classic ideas include a haunted mansion or a coffeehouse, though the main characters from Azumanga Daioh only use the latter, combined with their initial idea of a stuffed animal exhibit.
The students take part in the athletic festival, or sports festival, during all three years of high school. All classes compete against each other, and it includes a large number of events.
Events in the sports festival
- Ball roll
- Ball toss
- Obstacle course
- Scavenger hunt
- Relay race
- Three-legged race
- Folk dance
- Bread-eating race
- Costume race
- Cavalry battle (anime only)
At the school, the students run a marathon once, with the last man standing serving as sole victor. How long the marathon is exactly is unknown, but it can be assumed that it's lengthy, since it even managed to wear Sakaki out.
In the main characters' third year of high school, they go on a school trip to Okinawa. Yukari Tanizaki, Minamo Kurosawa and Kimura's class participated. It is unspecified if the school trip is an annual event and if it only concerns seniors, or students from other grades as well.
Kaorin is a member of this club, and invited Sakaki to it, though she made the assumption that Sakaki wouldn't be interested even though she actually was. Kaorin says that they do research on stars, talk about outer space, and go stargazing. They also go on club trips at least twice over summer vacation, which is why Kaorin couldn't join the other girls when they went to Chiyo's summer house the two first times. It is unknown if there also was a club trip during Kaorin's third year of high school, and in that case, why she didn't go.
The school also has a swimming team, coached by Minamo Kurosawa. The team even has practice during summer vacation. Kagura is a very devoted member of this club and usually gets a tan during the summer due to her extensive training in the school's outdoor swimming pool. The swimming team had their own exhibition during the first cultural festival. Kagura also advertised for the swim team, recruiting new members, in her third year. Tomo offered to join, since she wanted to learn how to swim, but Kagura turned her down (to Tomo's surprise).
In Yotsuba&!There is a high school near the house of Yotsuba and Koiwai's in Yotsuba&!, the name of which is unknown.
Cultural festivalThere is also a cultural festival at the school, which Yotsuba visits. Much like in Azumanga Daioh, one class makes a haunted house and Fuuka's class makes a café. Other exhibits made by the school include a photography exhibition and crêpe, yakisoba and choco-banana selling booths. Since Yotsuba was really disappointed in the pound cake sold to her by Fuuka, Asagi commented that the only ones who had fun with a culture festival were the students themselves.
In WallabyThe two main characters of Wallaby attend yet another unnamed Japanese high school. They also show up at the cultural festival in Azumanga Daioh.
This was the class where Kokoro made the stuffed doll that is now Wallaby's current body.
The teacher of this subject is someone named Chiyama, whom Kokoro seems to despise.
- ↑ The name of Azumanga Daioh Chapter 1 shows that it takes place in April. At the high school in Azumanga Daioh, every school year ends in March, including the senior year when the students graduate.
- ↑ In Azumanga Daioh Chapter 16, the theme park Magical Land opens, and Koyomi Mizuhara's theme park guide is called Magical Land 2000. The chapter takes place in May during the girls' second year. If their second year was in 2000, it means their first year was in 1999.
- ↑ This is further supported by Azumanga Daioh Chapter 25, where Tomo Takino and Ayumu Kasuga try to figure out which Chinese zodiac animal that corresponds to the current year. They come to the conclusion that it is the year of the dragon. Since the chapter takes place during their second year, this happened in 2000, which was indeed the year of the dragon. And in Episode 8 (taking place in January during the girls' first year), Sakaki says that it is the year of the rabbit. The year of the rabbit began in February 1999 and ended in February 2000, so this is correct.
- ↑ See Azumanga Daioh Chapter 36.
- ↑ See Azumanga Daioh Chapter 1.
- ↑ See Azumanga Daioh Chapter 38.