Undokai is a nationwide Japanese school event that is also known as Sports Day or Sports Festival. I would venture a guess to say that every school in Japan has an undokai. And in fact, our Japanese school back home, Orange Coast Gakuen in Huntington Beach, had their own undokai too. At OIS, undokai was originally slated for Saturday, October 8, but fears of rain postponed it to Monday, October 10. This is noteworthy because October 10th is actually the national holiday known as Health and Sports Day. This date in history commemorates the opening ceremony for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the first time that Japan ever hosted the Olympics. Everyone has this day off! Except us because we had our undokai to attend.
While I was mining the internet I came across these thoughts by Rich at Tofugu.com:
“At the social level, undoukai creates a situation for students to work with and support peers other than their friends. Teams made up of homerooms, grades, or randomly chosen kids encourage students to work with and cheer for peers they might not otherwise interact with.
“To most students, undoukai is simply a fun escape from studying. But the event teaches them to cooperate while representing their homerooms, school, and community – whether they realize it or not. And although points are tallied and a winner is declared, at day’s end everyone is brought a little closer together as teams celebrate their hard fought efforts, win or lose.”
Amazing pool fun during undokai for the elementary school kids. Even some water polo!
Running around with legs connected. There’s an exact rhythm that you have to find or everyone falls down. Below, getting ready for dodge ball. Halyard didn’t pay attention and he got beaned first. Ouch!