The Journal of Japanese Studies
Bukatsudo (extracurricular school clubs) are a longstanding feature of Japanese secondary education. These “communities of practice” employ a model of learning akin to apprenticeship, stressing imitation and repetition while socializing students into values and behavior demanded in adult society, notably in terms of a hierarchy of seniors (senpai) and juniors (kohai). In sports clubs, values associated with “spiritual education” (seishin kyoiku) are often prominent. Club participation promotes school order, aided by ritual, routine, and the often intense emotional attachment and group spirit engendered in club activities. Understanding bukatsudo illuminates the nature of order, selfhood, human development, and learning in Japan.
30, Number 2 (Summer