Snowy Day

fujisawashi, shirahata


     I remember the days of my childhood, they are very peaceful and full of happiness. This  is one of those days that have been kept inside a room of my heart, when I was in grade 3 of ooshimizu primaary school, shirahatashi, kanagawaken, japan.



“Kids, wake up! Look look! Look outside!” yelled mom while waking me and and my siblings up. I lazily opened the curtain and shifted the window. It was still dark hence I didn’t see anything particular through the little gap between the windows. But after I shifted the window a little more, the gap widened and I could see my yard being completely wrapped in white. Snow had come down! I was paralized by the dazzling veiw of heartwarming white all over my sight. I ran outside and grabbed a handful of snow from the ground in the yard. It was obviously cold and dwindled not long after that. It has been probably three years since the last time I saw snow.

Just like the other mornings of weekdays, I prayed Subh, brushed my teeth and had breakfast with my family, and then  head to school with my green school hat and school bag on, not to forget scarf and gloves to protect my body from cold. I had been going to school by walking because my school’s only one kilometre ahead from home. As I walked, my heart was pumping rapidly due to the excitement I got inside myself. All I could see was white on top of everything I pass while walking. I had fun creating footsteps on it and I was blessed enough to see a paused droplets from an attic caused by the extreme cold, it was pretty cool.

When I had arrived at school, the field yard, parking lot and the school building were all white beautifully. I switched my shoes into uwabaki[1] and head to class directly. Thankfully it was much warmer than outside. My friends and classmates were talking about the snow while peaking from the window.

Not long after that, the bell rang and hirakisensei, my favorite homeroom teacher came inside. She’s the best teacher of our class as she has always thought about her students—well almost all primary school teachers in Japan are professional like that though—and she liked to play a lot with us which had made us enjoyed those school days.

As she came in, the class leader led the greeting to hirakisensei and the atmosphere was about to start the class but then she brought the topic of the snow.

“It’s so good the snow fell, don’t you think?” said hirakisensei.

“Yes! Everything is white, sensei!” “It is so cool!” answered the children cheerfully.

My friends were all excited, and so was I.

“Hmm, yukiasobi demo shiyou ka? (shall we go play with snow?)offered hirakisensei with her typical grin.

I and my friends in the class were very excited. Together with hirakisensei, we went out of the class, changed uwabaki into our sneakers, some put on their scarfs and gloves and then stepped onto the white field. We all looked so happy being together in the middle of the cold snow. A kid by a kid started to grab a fist of snow and play with it by crumbling the snow. A friend of mine threw a handful of snow to his friend, then the attacked friend throw back another one, and so we started playing yukigassen[2]. Yuuka-chan, Mai-chan, Shouta, Genya, Akira, Seishirou, Sora, Miho-chan, and together with other my classmates and hirakisensei, I had a really great fun playing snow with them. After playing yukigassen, we made a yukidaruma[3] too, small versions and a big one but their faces were not so clear because we didn’t find a thing to be its nose nor a bucket for its hat.

Soon, I noticed it wasn’t only my class that were skipping class and play at the field. My teachers and friends spent that morning outside the class, playing yukiasobi together. The snow-time took approximately one hour from our lesson time but nobody seemed to regret it, eveyone had enjoyed it a lot including teachers, because they knew for kids at that age require play times besides sitting inside the class in order to develop our creativity, come to think about it, the play time provided by the school is almost fifty-fifty to study time. Perhaps this method used to me and my firneds is one of the way of  how Japan raises their children into high educated and capable grown-ups.


大清水小学校 official website


After the play, we flicked snows on our body shortly at the enntrance, changed into uwabaki, and head into the class. At the class, we took off our gloves and scarfs and get our body warmed.

Aaa, tanoshikatta nee! (Ah, it was so much fun!)” satisfied us.

Even at the class, we were all still full of satisfaction. Then I studied as usual with my friends. At the noon, we had lunch and clean the class then continue studying until 2.00 PM and then I went back home. Still, the road to home was covered up by white but not as white as the morning, perhaps because people had walked on it, while the air was a little bit warmer than the morning of that day. I love that day until now, I still remember the innocent white of the snow falling from sky like a sweet gift given from the owner of the sky. If I could rewind time I’d like to experience that day once more, spending time with family, hirakisensei, those unforgettable childhood friends of mine under the white world of shirahatashi, kanagawa-ken, Japan. I would be keeping those every single feelings I got on that day inside my heart from now on either, if God wills. Those are too precious to be forgotten.

[1] Uwabaki: A pair of  indoor shoes in Japanese public school. Students cannot use shoes other than uwabaki inside the buuilding school.
[2] Yukigassen: Japanese term for a snow ball war game where two sides throw snowballs to each other. The snow ball itself is made by crumbling snow and round it into a handful-sized ball.
[3] Yukidaruma: Human-like doll made of snow. Usually the eyes are from seeds, the nose is from carrot of anything long, and its hands and mouth are from twigs or branches from a tree and a small bucket for its hat.

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