Japan is a culture obsessed with benkyo (studying) as a tool for creating a fair, merit-based society that encourages had work and industriousness, and they have some interesting customs when it comes to instilling children with good study skills. The school year starts in April, and right now families with children who’ll be entering the first grade are buying special study desks where kids will sit and do their homework. Families also buy standard leather school backpacks called randoseru (from the Dutch ransel) which are designed to be sturdy enough to last through all six years of elementary school. These study aids are expensive, and not everyone has money to buy them. In a heartwarming story, an anonymous donor gave ten brand new school backpacks to a facility caring for orphaned children last Christmas, signing his name Naoto Date, the alter ago of the famous Tiger Mask from the 1970s pro wrestling anime. This opened the floodgates to many more anonymous donations being made to underprivileged orphans in Japan, so they might study hard and be successful in life.
A child’s study desk with randoseru backpack.