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Ask Udder Smith: Sports Day Blues

September 13, 2010

Dear Udder:

I am a new ALT in Japan, and my school is now preparing for “undokai,” or Sports Day.  All the teachers are expected to stay until late at night to prepare, and my supervisor even suggested I help with the relay.  I have never played a competitive sport in my life!  Please help.  How can I tell my supervisor “No” in a nice way?

Not Sporty in Shizuoka

Dear Sport-challenged:

No worries — Japanese Sports Days are not about competition or winning and losing as much as team work, preparation, and the lunchboxes each mother must bring for the family!  Since you do not have to worry about the lunch box, concentrate on being a good team member and helping out as much as you can.

Here is an article from last year’s Japan Times, to help you understand Sports Day in Japan.  Good luck!



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