Around the world, students in elementary and secondary schools eagerly await the coming of summer holidays, and Japan’s children are no exception. Many such schools in Japan have rather short summer vacations, which usually last for some 40 days from late July through the end of August. In some parts of northern Japan, where the summers are short can end in mid-Augusts, in order to make time for longer winter vacations. Since the school year in Japanese educational institutions ends in March, many students receive a great deal of homework during the summer holidays. Particularly voluminous assignments are given to elementary school children. Tasks include working on arithmetic exercises, keeping a diary every day, working on a handicraft, writing a book report, and investigating a chosen subject, such as observation of insects. Students are penalized if they do not complete their work by the time school resumes in the fall. Often, students leave their assignments unattended until late August, when their parents are suddenly called upon to help them out. Local community libraries are frequently crowded with children at this time of year, working busily to make their deadlines.
Updated: 25 June, 2019