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Japanese Elementary School Students Cleaning

Did you enjoy cleaning when you were a kid? Maybe not, but there are actually quite a few people in Japan who remember cleaning time in elementary school quite fondly.
This video, “Japanese Students Clean Classrooms To Learn Life Skills” was created by “AJ+”.

As you can see in the video, it is a natural thing for elementary school students in Japan to clean their classrooms themselves!
This is a custom that people overseas are surprised at. The reason being that, in many cases, schools overseas hire janitors for cleaning.
Let’s take a look at the introductory video of cleaning time for elementary school students. A nostalgic scene for Japanese people, and a maybe something new for those overseas.

At Elementary Schools in Japan, It's Normal for Students to Clean

The joy of schools in Japan, and probably most schools around the world, is lunch time! You can see this at 0:29 in the video!
When students in Japan finish eating, however, they clean up the used dishes by themselves after eating delicious meals. You can see cleaning time at 0:47, after lunch has ended.

In Japan, students clean starting from elementary school.
They clean classrooms and hallways all by themselves.
At schools overseas, usually janitors do the cleaning, but in Japan, as seen in the video, it's a a part of everyday life for students to clean their schools by themselves.

Children divide up their cleaning activities, diligently wiping down windows, mopping floors, sweeping, and getting rid of garbage.
In Japan, cleaning is essentially another part of studying, and this is happens everyday.

Japan's Cleaning Culture

At schools in Japan, students learn things that can be put to practical use. On such thing is cleaning.
Students learn how to use cleaning utensils at school so they can put it into practice at home and in the future.

Schools are not just a place to study, but also a place where students can bond and learn how to work as a team.
Elementary school students in Japan learn these things from their everyday cleaning routine as well.

Overseas Reactions

When foreigners watch this video, their reactions are noticeably different than those of the Japanese, to whom this is commonplace.
In overseas countries, most people think “cleaning = labor,” and therefore think that cleaning activities are jobs for workers.

There are also many people who understand the idea behind it, and the reason for keeping things clean.

What Do the Teachers Think?

In the video, you can also see an interview of an elementary school teacher at 0:59.
“Cleaning is something you have to be able to do for yourself later in life, so it's a custom that's likely to continue into the future,” she says.

Summary of Cleaning at Japan's Elementary Schools

Today we introduced a video about Japan’s everyday education.
Many people might be surprised by this. However, for the Japanese, this is just a part of everyday life.

So what do you think? Is it a good custom? And before answering, is your room clean?

Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 15, 2020
岩本 晃弘 (aki)
I'm a writer living in rural Japan who loves travel and food

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Cleaning Is a Part of Everyday Life at Schools in Japan. Let's Take a Look at the Commonplace Routine That Seems to Surprise Those Living Outside of Japan.
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