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It's Back to School Time!

Illustration for article titled Its Back to School Time!
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Growing up in Texas, I always looked forward to fall. September was back-to-school time. New pencils. New notebooks. New backpacks. But in Japan, back-to-school time isn't fall. It's spring.


With the cherry blossoms and flowers in bloom, there's rich association with new beginnings and the start of spring.

When kids are starting school for the first time, they get a variety of new tote bags—whether that is tote bags to carry library books, bags to carry cups, bags to carry bento boxes, or bags to carry shoes. It's really amazing how many little bags little kids carry. And for the past few weeks leading up to the start of school, my wife has been churning out new bag after new bag.


My youngest son, who is three, just started school this week. My older son is already in grade school, so this is all old hat for him. But it's exciting to see them both grow up and go off to school. Slightly, bittersweet, too. Because, like the bloom of cherry blossoms, childhood is far too short.

Postcard is a regular peek behind the Kotaku East curtain, whether that be game-related or, most likely, not.

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I remember this old manga where a family is so poor they can't afford to buy their daughter a new bag. It's bittersweet, but the manga show a side of Japan back after the war when everyone is struggling to stand back up after losing the war.