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The graduation season in Japan

Late March marks the beginning of the graduation season in Japan. Instead of starting a new school year in September as in many countries, the new school year in Japan starts in April, so many graduation ceremonies are held at the end of March. There are many reasons why it is April in Japan, but the main one is that it was standardized in April during the Meiji Era to coincide with the government’s fiscal year. Since the Japanese graduation season coincides with the cherry blossom season, you can get a lot of gorgeous commemorative photos!

The most common attire for graduation ceremonies is the school uniform for high school students and younger, but many girls wear hakama, the traditional Japanese dress. In recent years, many international students wear the traditional dress of their countries, and many university students and above wear graduation gowns. As you may have seen in Japanese TV dramas, at high school graduation ceremonies, girls sometimes receive buttons from their favorite boy’s uniforms as a souvenir. The number of uniform buttons is limited and there may be others who want them, so it is up to luck whether you get one or not!

Are there any interesting customs at graduation ceremonies in your country?