Asuka and Reina
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.
Two of my favorite 9th graders - Ruriko & Asuka. Asuka, on the right, was one of the students I coached last year, when she was an 8th grader, for a speech recitation contest. Her English is pretty good, especially compared to most of her classmates. So when I came around practice today to take some photos, she asked me in English, "Please join us." I thought I might get to hit a ball around a bit, but instead I did line sprints and criss-cross running - not my idea of a good time. :)
The amazing thing about almost all the clubs is that they all practice almost everyday unsupervised. No coach in sight. And they actually do practice - they don't just goof off like American kids would.