It's university festival time once again - the one period in the year when Japanese university campuses shed their ingrained indolence and begin to resemble their more lively counterparts overseas.
Students from the various university clubs set up dodgy food stalls to raise funds for the coming year. Music and drama societies stage live performances; student photography and art is hung on corridor walls.
Undergrads put together a festival magazine listing the weekend's events and a feature of all the campus festivals is the brightly painted signs each society produces to advertise its existence.
Partying continues after dark as club members head off for liquid refreshment nearby. There can also be the odd "Townie" v "Student" punch-up as the festivals tend to attract local yobs lured by all the new noises, bright lights and young women.
Public universities stage the best festivals with Kyoto and Tokyo Universities (the Oxford and Cambridge of Japan) putting on the top shows. Some universities such as Kyoto's Ritsumeikan invite the big names in J-pop to headline their music gigs. Keio University in Tokyo also pulls in the crowds.
Japanese University Graduation Festivals
Japanese Higher Education As Myth
by Brian J. McVeigh
East Gate Book (June, 2002)
Japanese Higher Education As Myth - Amazon US
Sunday, November 06, 2005
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