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English teacher in Japan highlights school rules that would ‘send Americans into a coma’

TikTok user Hito Bito, shoe storage
via Hito Bito

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    An English teacher living in Japan highlighted how Japanese schools have a very different approach to education compared to American high schools.

    American TikTok creator Hito Bito (@hito.bito) provides a glimpse of the rules that Japanese school kids must follow in a video posted on Jan. 24 titled “Things about my school in Japan that could send Americans into a coma.”

    @hito.bito Had a stroke when the school lunch was this good #japantravel #japanlife #gingerinjapan #japaneseculture ♬ Sakura Kiss (From “Ouran High School Host Club”) – AmaLee

    According to the TikToker, it is mandatory in Japanese schools to change from outdoor to indoor shoes as soon as students enter the school.

    “We all have to change from outdoor to indoor shoes as soon as we enter the school,” she notes. “And no, I’ve never seen any love notes or confessions in the shoe cubbies.”

    She also shares that schools prioritize cleanliness and responsibility because “kids clean the school from top to bottom every single day.”

    Japanese students are also responsible for serving themselves lunch and cleaning their trays, emphasizing self-sufficiency and independence.

    She also points out that there is a lack of heating or cooling in the hallways, which is why she is forced to “walk around in a coat.”

    Hito Bito considers the schools’ dress code “the most coma-inducing part” of the rules, as “girls either have to wear their hair above their shoulders or in a low pony. Definitely no dyed hair, so no anime protagonists.”

    Piercings and makeup are also prohibited, although Hito Bito admits that she does not follow these rules.

    The video, which has been viewed nearly 15 million times as of this writing, generated thousands of comments from users who are fascinated by the rules. 

    “I love that they clean the school,” one user wrote. “It gives kids a sense of community while encouraging them not to leave a mess for someone else.”

    “If only my school was this clean,” another chimed in. “I’m constantly slipping bc the floors are full of water from the melted snow.”

    “I honestly wanna go to a school in Japan, it seems so much better than schools in America, for multiple reasons,” said a user.

    “I love your content!” a commenter shared. “I went to primary school in Japan and this made me so nostalgic.”

    Hito Bito’s regular series, “A day in the life of an English teacher in Japan,” is among the channel’s more popular posts, with each installment having gained millions of views.

    Her TikTok channel, which has over 453,000 followers as of this writing, has so far generated over 17.2 million likes from its videos in total. 

    @hito.bito Main characters are made on days like these #japanlife #teachinjapan #japantravel ♬ Tank! – Cowboy Bebop Opening Theme – Coded Channel

    @hito.bito I promise I know Japanese I’m just a baby and like picture books #japanlife #teachinjapan #gingerinjapan ♬ 部屋の窓辺 – Lamp

    Rules implemented in Japanese schools have made headlines in the past for being very strict. 

    In 2017, an 18-year-old Japanese woman filed a lawsuit against the Osaka prefecture government after a school forced her to dye her naturally brown hair black. 

    Meanwhile, a private high school faced backlash in 2019 after students were forced to kneel and bow to their teacher during an assembly.

    A Japanese school also sparked outrage in 2018 for creating behavioral guidelines that many deemed to be too difficult for even adults to follow.

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