For the average Japanese person, the most difficult thing they’ll do in their lives is juken, taking an entrance exam for university and/or high school, which generally requires a full year of intense studying until midnight every night at a special “cram school.” (High school is not compulsory in Japan, and functions as a miniature version of the university system, with lots of competition to get into the best high schools.) When my son did his high school juken studies, my whole family rearranged our lives to support him, foregoing all leisure activities and not even going to see the newest Harry Potter movie when it was released. Naturally it’d be crazy to balance a love relationship while studying for the hardest test of one’s life, and it’s common practice to freeze any relationships you might be involved in before starting your year of study, or break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend to clear away any distractions. Many anime series, including Love Hina, Kimagure Orange Road, KimiNozo, Amagami SS+ and Kiss x Sis, make use of the pressure of studying for an entrance exam to heighten the drama of a love story, showing the sweet pain of two people trying to resolve their feelings for each other despite knowing that not focusing on their all-important entrance exam could impact their lives forever. February is “juken season,” and right now tens of thousands of Japanese students are taking their entrance exams, no doubt with Japanese Kit Kats in their pockets, which are thought to bring good luck.
Taking a university exam is very important to Japanese people.