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Anthony Starts First Grade
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Family Portrait on the day Anthony starts first grade Photo by Fumie's Mom -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Eiko Matsunaka, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Family Portrait
on the day Anthony starts first grade
Photo by Fumie's Mom

Anthony officially started first grade today. Today was just the entrance ceremony; tomorrow, he starts class.

Before heading off, we asked Fumie's mom to take a picture of us in front of the cherry blossoms next to our building.

Eager to Get Going -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Eiko Matsunaka, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Eager to Get Going
A Bit Bright looking directly into the sun Photo by Satori-chan's Daddy -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
A Bit Bright
looking directly into the sun
Photo by Satori-chan's Daddy

The sign says “Doshisha Elementary School — Entrance Ceremony”. This was at the front gate of the school, which was a common spot to take pictures. The layout of things placed the sun directly into your eyes, so the results were pretty bad all around.

Once inside, the Anthony switched to his inside shoes (and we switched to slippers that we'd brought), and a “big kid” (a fifth-grader) lead Anthony off to show him his classroom....

Fifth-Grade Helper leading Anthony off to show him his classroom -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 66 mm — 1/320 sec, f/5, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Fifth-Grade Helper
leading Anthony off to show him his classroom

The parents waited in the auditorium...

Parents Waiting For Kids To Enter -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Parents Waiting For Kids To Enter

By the way, the symbol for the school (the three triangles) was adopted in 1893, 68 years before a similar symbol was adopted by the United States to mark civil defense fallout shelters, and I'm sure that the similarity is unintentional.

Anyway, I didn't take any pictures during the ceremony and speeches and such, but afterwords everyone lined up for classroom pictures. The 90 kids of this year's first-grade class are divided into three classrooms, so I could snap a shot while the kids and parents of one of the other classrooms were setting up for a class picture....

Preparing for a Class Picture That's a Nikon D700 at left, and a Canon SLR with an attached vertical grip at right -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Preparing for a Class Picture
That's a Nikon D700 at left, and a Canon SLR with an attached vertical grip at right

After the ceremony and photos, the kids returned to their classroom where the teacher explained some things, eventually being joined by the parents trying to squeeze into the doorway to see their kid sitting at a school desk for the first time.

The kids got books, notebooks, badges, this, that, and the other... tons of stuff that was probably information overload. After it was over and Anthony was getting ready to go, he was checking out a name tag...

Checking Stuff Out -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Checking Stuff Out
Anthony's Shoe Spot H1-18 -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Anthony's Shoe Spot
H1-18
Post-Ceremony Play they're still just six years old, of course -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 40 mm — 1/2500 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Post-Ceremony Play
they're still just six years old, of course
Minor Adjustments -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm — 1/2000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Minor Adjustments
Cherry Blossoms and Starting School go hand-in-hand in Japanese culture -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60 mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cherry Blossoms and Starting School
go hand-in-hand in Japanese culture
Mommy and Daddy Photo by Anthony Friedl -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Anthony Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mommy and Daddy
Photo by Anthony Friedl
New First Grader -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 52 mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
New First Grader
Like Out of a Catalog -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm — 1/3200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Like Out of a Catalog
Like Reality -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Like Reality
Heading Home not too old to still want to hold Mommy's hand -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/800 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Home
not too old to still want to hold Mommy's hand
View From Anthony's Return Bus Stop currently flowing a river of cherry-blossom petals -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/1600 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View From Anthony's Return Bus Stop
currently flowing a river of cherry-blossom petals
Finally Home well, just about -- Doshisha Elementary School -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/500 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally Home
well, just about

Comments so far....

Congratulations! We have a 4-month old so first grade still seems impossibly far away for her, but you must be very proud. I’m jealous that you get all the sakura as backdrop for pictures, here in SoCal there aren’t nearly as many…

— comment by brian on April 10th, 2009 at 12:08am JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

Best wishes to Anthony for first grade. Everything is so neat and clean and so organized. It must make the whole school experience so pleasent. I like the school uniforms and wish we had that in US schools. I love the view from school bus stop. It must be really cool to be living in the middle of such natural beauty.

Thanks for the kind words, but one point of clarification: other than the shoes, the school has no uniform. Fumie bought that suit for his recent kindergarten graduation and for this ceremony. —Jeffrey

— comment by Sonal, MN on April 10th, 2009 at 12:56am JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

This is a fun post. I loved the family photo at the top, and of course the “reality” shot of Anthony. Congrats on starting first grade, big guy. And Jeff, btw, nice suit! – Mikey (from Southern California “The OC”)

— comment by Michael on April 10th, 2009 at 1:34am JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

The photos are very nicely taken …. :) Keep up the good work !

— comment by SieChoo on April 10th, 2009 at 1:46am JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

Congrats Anthony on your first day at school. I am seeing a photo of all 3 of you in formals for the first time. It looks very good, especially with the cherry blossom background.

At a first glance I thought 入学式 [nyugakushiki] is probably not “entrance ceremony”. Then when I looked up in the Japanese dictionary, I found out that it was in fact “entrance ceremony”. I searched the web and understandably most of the websites with “entrance ceremony” were Japanese :)

— comment by britto on April 10th, 2009 at 9:34am JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

Great shots – what a big boy, Anthony!

I really like the photo Anthony took of Mommy & Daddy. Fumie looks lovely (as always – how does she manage to not age?!). You look pleasant enough, for a brother, I guess. But you can see your eyes measuring the distance between your camera and the hard pavement. And your fingers seem to be ever so slightly twitching; ready to lunge to the rescue should slippage occur.

— comment by Marcina, USA on April 10th, 2009 at 11:59am JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

Congratulations, Anthony! I’m sure you’ll like your new school ( and its awesome playground!).

— comment by nils on April 11th, 2009 at 8:33am JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

Congratulations! I remember last year when my daughter started first grade. These memories will always be with us. Now you get to look forward to PTA and field days. I don’t know how much other places in Japan deal with PTA but it’s a pretty big thing here in Amami. Sometimes it’s fun, but other times I absolutely dread it.

— comment by Earnest Barr from Amami on April 11th, 2009 at 5:50pm JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

How long have you lived in Japan now? The answer is probably posted somewhere, but I was just wondering.

— comment by Jinko on April 14th, 2009 at 12:24am JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

Neat, beautiful emotional pictures, like a movie secuence. A 5 years old boy journey to a new phase of life. As a mom myself, I love the picture of Fumie and Anthony Heading Home. I wonder if she feels the sadness that comes when you realize that your little baby is gone.

Gris. Arlington, TX

— comment by Griselda Nishikatsu on May 4th, 2009 at 1:17am JST (4 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink
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