By Kharan Pierce
At the beginning of each class session, the students in Japanese Plus mimic traditional Japanese schools by performing a series of actions, triggered by command words, that show respect for the teacher and the rest of the class. Our sensei selects a student at the beginning of class to be the class leader. This student will stand to indicate they’re ready to lead the commands. They then say “kiritsu” which calls for the rest of the class to stand. Then, they say “kyotsuke” which calls for the class to stand with good posture facing the teacher. They then say “rei” which calls for the class to bow and greet the teacher by saying either good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, in which the teacher responds accordingly. Finally, the leader says “chakuseki,” which calls for the class to sit down and prepare for the lesson.
By doing this before every class, it is sort of a call for focus and a shift from our days at school into the program.