In addition to hay fever season in Japan, it’s also time to prepare for the start of the new school year, which begins in April. Education is taken very seriously here, and in the case of new first graders, families will go all-out to make sure the child gets off on the right foot. First, every student must have a desk to do his or her homework at, and there’s a huge industry of companies selling stylish and functional study desks for kids with features such as a plastic sheet with images from the latest popular anime series that can be removed later when the child is older. Another important choice is what kind of school backpack to buy. School backpacks are called randoseru, from the Dutch word ranzel, and they’re extremely well made hard leather backpacks designed to hold everything the student needs over six years of elementary school. Right now Japanese TV is being bombarded with commercials for these school backpacks and study desks, which can be quite expensive, no doubt because retailers know that well-off doting grandparents are usually the ones picking up the tab.
Poor Miku-chan forgot her school backpack was open before she bowed.