The fiscal year and the academic year begin in April in Japan, just as the cherry blossoms are fading and the leaves are appearing on the trees. It’s a busy time for everyone, but particularly for those of us involved in education. It leaves little time for writing.
When I came to Japan, starting the new academic year in April felt strange to me. Being from the UK, I always associated September with new beginnings – new shoes, new uniform, new textbooks, new pencil case, walking to school a year older as the leaves turn brown and start to fall.
Even though I’ve been in Japan for 21 years, I still feel like there is a kind of renewal when September comes around. The autumn breeze carries the scent of new beginnings, and I feel invigorated. I don’t feel that in April. I just feel sleepy and stressed at this time of the year! Fortunately, we have Golden Week (a week of consecutive holidays) coming up at the end of April and the beginning of May. I hope to get some writing in then, in between going to the gym (which I haven’t been to for 3 days!) and having a good rest.