Kyoto University Bound!
Recently I received news that Hiroaki, my student attending Bunri High School in Tokushima passed Kyoto University’s entrance examination! Kyoto University is the second oldest university in Japan and is ranked among the top 25 universities in the world and is considered the Yale of Japan, it follows only Tokyo University as the most prestigious university in the country. Tokyo and Kyoto University were once imperial universities, which trained Japan’s leaders before the war. The competition to enter the top public universities in Japan is cut-throat, tests results mean everything. Students applying to national public universities take two entrance examinations, first a nationally administered standardized achievement test and then an examination administered by the university that the student hopes to enter – not easy. Some national public schools have so many applicants that they use the first test as a screening device for qualification to take their own admissions test. Such intense competition means that many bright students fail for admission to the college of their choice. An unsuccessful student can either accept admission elsewhere, forego a college education, or wait until the following spring to take the test again. A large number of students choose the last option. These students are called ronin, meaning a masterless samurai – then spend an entire year, and sometimes longer, cramming for another shot at their dream university. A painstaking, life holding decision in which every day is in preparation for another chance to start their lives.
me & Hiroaki