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Japanese Student Council: Differences between Anime and Real Life

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Japanese Student Council: Differences between Anime and Real Life

Originally published on Learn Japanese with Anime, posted here by flint about 4 weeks ago

#japanese culture#anime#school life
©赤坂アカ/集英社・かぐや様は告らせたい製作委員会

Introduction

You have a question about the anime scene set in a Japanese school. It’s a series of scenes about the student council. Is the Student Council election a popular vote? Do student council members always check the clothes of the students in front of the school gate? Is this the same as in real Japan?

Student council officers may be elected by the nature of popularity voting in some schools, but they are usually elected by institutionalized and fair procedures. Also, in actual high school, the student council members are doing very modest work. Therefore, some of the scenes you see in anime are the same as in real Japan.

In this article, I, a native Japanese, will explain the difference between the exaggerated production of the student council depicted in the anime and that of reality. I will explain while interweaving the scenes of the student council of anime. If you read this article, you will understand the difference between the actual situation of the student council in Japanese high school and anime.

1. Questions about the Student Council in Anime

First of all, I will clarify the questions of the Student Council in Japanese anime. You should always think like this. “Is the student council realistically depicted in anime?” Here are some common questions about the student council. The scenes you wondered should also be included here.

1.1. Is the Process of Structuring the Student Council the Same in Every School?

The fourth episode of “Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions -Heart Throb-” is an episode in which Nibutani Shinka runs for student president. This episode depicts the process from running for the Student Council to determining the outcome of the election. For example, nominations, speeches, and referrals from supporter representatives. You may have seen such a scene in other works. Your question is whether the selection method for student council members is the same as in anime, and whether the selection method is the same for all schools.

First, the person runs for student council president. Who is running for which position will be posted on the bulletin board. Here, it is shown that 2-4 class Shinka Nibutani (丹生谷 森夏) is running for student council president (生徒会長).

(C)虎虎/京都アニメーション/中二病でも製作委員会

Second, candidate Shinka (right) gathers nominees. Yuuta Togashi (left) is her friend, so she will effortlessly get one recommender.

(C)虎虎/京都アニメーション/中二病でも製作委員会

Third, candidates go to all grade classes to give a pre-speech before giving a live speech in front of all students.

(C)虎虎/京都アニメーション/中二病でも製作委員会

Fourth, the recommender gives a speech to support the candidate. In this scene, candidate Shinka (left) checks the manuscript of the cheering speech written by the recommender Sanae Dekomri (right). Everything seems to be going well so far.

(C)虎虎/京都アニメーション/中二病でも製作委員会

Fifth, the recommender gives a cheering speech as shown in the image below, and sixth, the candidate gives a candidacy speech. What? Does she have a sixth process? You can see why by watching this anime.

(C)虎虎/京都アニメーション/中二病でも製作委員会

Now, did the candidate Shinka win the student council president? I want you to enjoy the ending of the shock with this anime: “Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions -Heart Throb-“.

 

1.2. Does the Student Council do the Same Thing at All Schools??

In the first episode of “Seitokai Yakuindomo”, the student council president checks the disciplines in front of the school. They are also discussing the installation of a guide box at the Student council meeting. In addition, the student council president is dealing with the students’ worries. Your question is whether the actual student council is doing this kind of activity.

The images below show the main character, Tsuda Takatoshi, being warned that the student council president, Shino Amakusa, is not properly uniformed. He has a sloppy look with his tie loosened.

(C)氏家ト全・講談社/桜才学園生徒会室
(C)氏家ト全・講談社/桜才学園生徒会室
(C)氏家ト全・講談社/桜才学園生徒会室

Aria Shichijou, the secretary, is returning to the student council room with a guide box to confirm the students’ opinions. The guide box is a simple box that has only the function to post a written opinion.

(C)氏家ト全・講談社/桜才学園生徒会室

She thanked the student council president for her consultation. I don’t even know what she consulted, but it can be difficult to expect her to be a “normal” consultation.

(C)氏家ト全・講談社/桜才学園生徒会室

Shino, the student council president, has a slightly strange habit, but she seems to have completed her job as the student council president. Now, is there a student council that actually does activities like her?

 

1.3. Does the Disciplinary Committee actually Exist?

In the first episode of “citrus”, there is a scene where the disciplinary committee checks the students’ clothes and belongings. The heroine, who plays the leading role in the story, is told by the disciplinary committee that her hair color, possession of a mobile phone, accessories, etc. are all in violation of school rules. Your question is whether there is a disciplinary committee member who checks the discipline in a real Japanese school.

In the images below, the heroine Yuzu Aihara has been pointed out by the discipline committee for 10 violations of school rules. In this anime girls’ high school, hair dyeing and cell phone ownership, makeup, removing the first button, wearing non-school designated ribbons, blouses and accessories, wearing artificial nails, owning non-school designated bags, skirts Shortening the length is a violation of school rules.

©サブロウタ・一迅社/citrus製作委員会
©サブロウタ・一迅社/citrus製作委員会

Do disciplinary committee members like them actually exist in Japan?

 

1.4. Does the Student Council have the Authority to Make Decisions about School Rules and how to Run the School?

The tenth episode of “Masamune-kun’s Revenge” depicts a scene in which the student council rejects a play project at a school festival that a class applied for. It all started because the two classes applied for a play project with the same theme. At the discretion of the vice President of the student council, the early submission of the class was approved. Your question is whether the actual Japanese student council has the authority to determine the interests between classes.

©竹岡葉月・Tiv・一迅社/「政宗くんのリベンジ」製作委員会
©竹岡葉月・Tiv・一迅社/「政宗くんのリベンジ」製作委員会

She is the vice president of the student council, who presents the class “2-A” plan to the student councilmembers with a big smile. Do real-life student council members, like her, have the authority to make decisions and decision-making power?

 

1.5. Are the Members in the Student Council highly Respected by the Students?

The first episode of “Kaguya-sama: Love Is War” depicts a scene in which many students praise the student council president and vice president. The student council president’s grades are always top grade. The vice chairman also has excellent grades and can do martial arts. The students are very fond of the presidents.

©赤坂アカ/集英社・かぐや様は告らせたい製作委員会
©赤坂アカ/集英社・かぐや様は告らせたい製作委員会
©赤坂アカ/集英社・かぐや様は告らせたい製作委員会

Your question is whether in a real Japanese high school, only those who look, study, and play sports can join the student council, and whether the members of the student council are very respected by the students.

 

2. What you Need to Know First about the Student Council

2.1. Statistical Data about the Student Council

Before answering each question, there is something you need to know. That is, there are no official statistics on student councils in Japan. I wanted to answer your question based on objective data, but apparently this is difficult. This is because there are few surveys on student councils in Japan. This has been clarified by a survey by NPO Rights.

NPO “Rights”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.

Surprisingly, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan solicited a questionnaire about the student council from each school only once in 2004. Also, there are only two questions about the student council in this questionnaire. Moreover, this survey has not been conducted since 2004. In this way, in reality Japan, interest in student council activities is quite low.

In order not to answer your question in my personal opinion, I will ask your question based on as objective data as possible, such as blogs and interviews of those who were actually student council officers, school websites, etc.

 

2.2. What is the Student Council in Japan?

The Student Council is set up in a secondary education institution. And the student council is a huge autonomous organization to which all the students belong. Strictly speaking, the student council that is familiar with anime is called the executive department of the student council. The purpose of structuring the executive department of the student council is to improve and solve problems and issues that arise in school life. Student council activities are considered as one of the same “special activities” as club activities in Japan. Student council activities are just a part of education.

On the other hand, in Western countries, the Student Council should be in the same position as parents and teachers as a part of school management. Therefore, they are given certain rights. The Japanese student council depicted in the anime you are watching may be close to that of you.

 

2.3. What is “Meyasubako” a Guide Box?

You will be aware of the words that always appear in the anime that the student council appears in. It’s “Meyasubako”. “Meyasubako” is a box that holds paper on which students write their requests. Expressed in a Western style, it is a guide box.

© 宮原るり/芳文社・藤女生徒会
© 宮原るり/芳文社・藤女生徒会

In fact, “Meyasubako” has a very old history. “Meyasubako” first appeared in Japan in 1721. “Meyasubako” is a box set up by Yoshimune Tokugawa, the top Japanese (Shougun) at the time, for the purpose of writing the requests and dissatisfactions of the common people. This history is common sense in Japan because it is learned in school classes. Therefore, the name “Meyasubako” is a familiar word among students. What’s more, Yoshimune Tokugawa was a great Shogun to emulate. Therefore, the Student Council ideally promotes measures from the student’s perspective like him. That is why every school uses a system called “Meyasubako”. I would like all Japanese learners to know “Meyasubako”. “Meyasubako” is also installed in companies and city halls.

 

3. Answers to each Question about the Student Council

3.1. The Process of Structuring the Student Council is about the Same in Every School

Episodes 1-3 of “Bloom Into You” explain the student council’s election process in an easy-to-understand manner. First, in order for a candidate to run for election, a “recommendation manager” who jointly conducts election campaigns is required. The “recommendation manager” distributes villas and produces posters with the candidates, and gives a cheering speech at the Student Council’s witness speech. The Student Council’s witness speech is a major event in which the “recommendation manager” and the candidate give an election speech in front of all the students. The content of the speech differs between the “recommendation manager” and the candidate. The “Recommendation Officer” will promote the reasons for recommending the candidate and the future when the candidate becomes the student president. Candidates talk about why they ran and their slogan. Based on the content of this speech, all students will vote for the candidate who they think is most suitable for the school. This anime faithfully depicts the process of the Japanese Student Council election.

“Bloom into You”

“Bloom into You” is an anime about the love affairs of high school girls who are double heroines. There is no lie in this explanation (lol)

You must have had one question here. Why do you need a “recommendation manager” and isn’t the candidate alone enough? The answer is that the election process requires the role of “recommendation manager” to prevent a self-righteous person who would not be recommended by anyone if there are few candidates or one candidate to become the student president.

The third episode of “My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!” Is an episode in which Iroha Isshiki was nominated as a student presidential candidate. It wasn’t she ran for it, but someone made her a candidate for her. And the election rules for this anime school require 30 nominees for candidacy. In addition, if there is only one candidate, a confidence vote will be held. If she loses in her confidence vote, she proves unpopular with herself. This is because voting without a witness speech by the Student Council candidate is not an election but a credibility. For Iroha, who was tailored to her candidacy, it’s a very scary situation where her popularity is revealed in front of all her students. Such situations are rare in Japan, but they are extremely realistic as a psychological depiction of candidates in the election process.

©渡 航、小学館/やはりこの製作委員会はまちがっている。続
©渡 航、小学館/やはりこの製作委員会はまちがっている。続

Brown-haired Iroha Isshiki consults with an acquaintance that she has been espoused in the student council presidential election.

In this way, there may be cases where student council elections take on the nature of popularity voting even in actual Japanese schools. When you were a kid, you probably thought that the presidential election was not much different from the popularity vote. Children tend to choose representatives based on face, style, friendship, etc. rather than slogans. That’s why the student Council election is a preparation for when you grow up and go to the parliamentary elections. Student council activities are just a part of education.

“Student Council’s Discretion”

The election process for “Student Council’s Discretion” is a complete popularity poll. Student Council officers at this anime school are often selected by appearance. Of course, such an election process does not actually exist. The Student Council election is an educational activity that selects officers of the student council. Therefore, it is self-explanatory that the election process, which has become a popular vote, cannot be recognized as an educational activity.

 

3.1.2. Membership of the Student Council

The Student Council is generally structured as follows. Student council officers usually consist of 7-8 people. Student president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, etc. There are two main ways to decide on a student president. One is student elections and the other is teacher nominations. If there is an election, the candidate who could not become the student president becomes an officer of the student council. If there are few candidates, the teacher will appoint each position. If that is not enough, one person may hold multiple positions at the same time.

“Amagami SS” & “Amagami SS+ plus”

The first episode of “Amagami SS + plus” describes how to select student council officers. At this anime high school, those who run for the student president will address the policy policy and the appointment of the student council officers after taking office. Actually, this is a production peculiar to this animation, and in reality it is a rare case. This is because the Student Council is made up of only students who are close to the student council president, such as people in the same class as the student council president and people in the same club activities. With such a student council, it will be difficult to improve the school. Therefore, the method of selecting officers like “Amagami SS + plus” cannot be realistic.

The center of the three bulletins shows the student council vice president’s appointments that the student presidential candidate wants. As shown in the bulletin on the right, it is the same as the reality that the candidate for the student president is shown, but it is not the reality that the personnel case of the officer of the student council is shown.

(C)ENTERBRAIN, INC./アマガミSS製作委員会

Also, in the third episode of “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches”, it is said that the previous student council president appoints the next student council president at this school. It should be added that there are actually schools that adopt this system.

©吉河美希・講談社/2014「やまじょ」製作委員会

 

3.1.3. Structures that Report Directly to the Student Council

The student council has a direct structure. “Love, Election and Chocolate” is a student council election-themed work. Various organizations appear in this work. The self-government committee in “Love, Election and Chocolate” is the so-called student council. The school where this anime is set has a large number of students, and the self-government committee controls the school, so one organization alone cannot manage the entire school. Therefore, the self-government committee is mainly divided into three administrative departments. The three administrative departments are the security department, general affairs department, and finance department. The security department is a security organization that deals with issues such as discrimination against students. The general affairs department manages the purchase of goods, welfare programs, and club activities. As the name implies, the Finance Department manages budgets and manages assets.

“Love, Election & Chocolate”

“Love, Election & Chocolate” is an adult game released in 2010, and the anime was broadcast in 2012. Unfortunately (?), It’s a normal anime, not a Hentai anime.

However, in reality, Japanese schools do not have three administrative departments. The only organizations that report directly to the student council are permanent committees such as the Library Committee, Health Committee, and Disciplinary Committee. In addition, there are short-term committees such as the school festival executive committee and the athletic festival executive committee. The chairman and vice-chairman of each committee and the executive department of the student council are collectively called the student council headquarters. “Love, Election and Chocolate” is beautifully drawn and well directed, so you would have confused anime with real.

 

3.2. Student Council Activities are generally the Same at All Schools

3.2.1. Job Description as Each Officer

As you know, the student council president is the greatest student council officer. The job of the student council president is to gather the opinions of students and officers. The job of the clerk is to record the contents of the meeting on a board or notebook. Accounting work is budget management. General affairs work is a chore that other officers do not take charge of. Specific tasks include polishing slippers for school customers, checking the number of desks and chairs used at school festivals, and copying materials used at student meetings.

The most confusing thing for you is the job of the vice president. The work of the vice chairman is highlighted in the conversation in the first episode of “Love Live!”. Student Council Eli Ayase said, “Nozomi has a lot of words.” “That’s the job of the vice chairman,” said Nozomi, the vice chairman. This is the job of the vice president. The vice president prevents the student council president from running alone and helps the student council president always go the right way.

(C)2013 プロジェクトラブライブ!
(C)2013 プロジェクトラブライブ!

Although “Love Live!” Is not popular in Europe and the United States, this anime is suitable for learning the atmosphere of Japanese schools and Japanese. Black-haired Nozomi and blonde Ayase are a good combination of student council president and student council vice president.

 

3.2.2. Example of Student Council Activities

Next, the student council activities will be described. The activities of the student council vary slightly from school to school, but regular meetings are held at all schools. At regular meetings, we discuss the promises and slogans of running for the Student Council, and the measures to meet the needs of the students. The student council then reports to the student council Advisor’s teacher what was discussed at the regular meeting. The advisor’s teacher reports it to the vice-principal and it is deliberated by the school (teacher) council. Other student council activities include fundraising activities carried out at many schools. Fundraising activities are especially active in the event of a natural disaster.

Now, I will explain the student council activities depicted in the anime one by one. In the second episode of “Love Love!”, The student president approves permission to borrow the auditorium from the student, but this is not the case in reality. This kind of work is the role of the teacher. If the student council is involved in permitting to rent an auditorium, it is only about receiving documents from the students. In this sense, in episode 11 of “K-On!”, The student council president urges the light music club to submit an application for use of the auditorium at the school festival. This is real.

©かきふらい・芳文社/桜高軽音部
©かきふらい・芳文社/桜高軽音部

As you know, the student council in the anime has a lot of authority and a wide range of work. The first episode of “Maid Sama!” Depicts a scene where students who violate the discipline check are not allowed to enter school. In fact, this is not the job of the student council. In most schools, the discipline check is done by the disciplinary committee and the teacher. And they do not take steps to keep violators out of school.

©藤原ヒロ/白泉社・メイド様!プロジェクト
©藤原ヒロ/白泉社・メイド様!プロジェクト

So what are the school rules for? The answer is explained by the student council president in the first episode of “citrus” instead. “School rules are social studies that follow the rules set in school. Everyone is here with the same rules, so if you attend this school, follow the rules here.” The discipline check is just a part of education.

©サブロウタ・一迅社/citrus製作委員会
©サブロウタ・一迅社/citrus製作委員会

In the 11th episode of “K-On !!”, the student council has decided to install an Air Conditioner in the club room of the light music club. If the budget usage amount applied by each department is within the budget of the Student Council, the student council will judge the application contents with its own approval authority. This is because the student council has accounting members. This is the same as reality. The series of conversations of “K-On !!” is also real. An accounting member reports to the student council that “the student council’s budget for this year is tight.” The student council president instructed, “By forgoing the new copy machine in the student council room next year, transfer the budget for installing the Air Conditioner to the light music club.” This kind of management is the job of the student council.

©かきふらい・芳文社/桜高軽音部
©かきふらい・芳文社/桜高軽音部

In the second episode of “Asobi Asobase,” the student council president rejected the establishment of a club or club. In Japan, the student council president usually does not approve or reject the establishment of a new club. Schools and teachers make such decisions. The student council receives the desired documents from the students and the student council submits them to the teacher. This is the reality. Also, in episode 11, the student council has rejected the movie to be screened at the school festival. Again, this is not the authority of the student council.

“Asobi Asobase”

However, as you know, if the above application is so low that it is not necessary to ask the teacher’s judgment, it is possible that the student council will reject it. It is a so-called veto by document screening. The student council also has this degree of decision-making power. Therefore, the behavior of the student council of “Asobi Asobase” is in line with reality. This is because there is a problem with the behavior of the three protagonists of “Asobi Asobase”.

In the third episode of “Love Lab”, Maki collapses due to overwork. The work of the student council is very much a chore that is not depicted in the anime. Therefore, it is difficult to complete them alone like Maki. It can be said that it is a correct production as an expression of the workload of the student council. Similarly, in the third episode of “Love Lab,” the student council holds a chairman’s meeting. The student council is trying to publish a summary of the committee’s activity results, goals and challenges, and opinions from the guide box (Meyasubako), including the views of the members. This is pretty real.

© 宮原るり/芳文社・藤女生徒会
© 宮原るり/芳文社・藤女生徒会

The first episode of “Student Council’s Discretion” depicts a scene in which the student council president stamps a seal on the equipment purchase application for each club activity. As mentioned above, such approval work is actually done by the teacher.

(C)2009 葵せきな・狗神煌/富士見書房/碧陽学園生徒会

In episodes 1 and 2 of “Fate/stay night”, the student council president asks the main character, Shirou Emiya, to repair the goods. In his school, athletic clubs spend a lot of money, and cultural clubs don’t spend much (the same is true in reality). Therefore, if an item of cultural club activities is broken, it is repaired and used. In this way, it is very real that the work of the student council is sober about how to use a small budget well. It is also real that the student council president and advisor teacher of this work are serious persons.

(C)TYPE-MOON/Fate Project

3.2.3. Example1 of Actual High School Student Council Activities

Here, I would like to introduce the real student council activities that are being carried out at high schools that actually exist in Japan. Ohka Gakuen High school student council activity (桜花学園高等学校).

  • Introduction of club activities to new students
  • Leading work for off-campus cleaning activities
  • Behind-the-scenes work such as athletic festivals and chorus contests
  • Monthly student council Newspaper
  • Monthly eco activities (recycling PET bottle lids)
  • Monthly greeting campaign (Greetings at the main gate when attending school)

You can check the activities with images at the link below.

The student councilOhka Gakuen High school (桜花学園高等学校)

The link is in Japanese, so use the translation function of your browser.

Compared to the student council activities depicted in the anime, in reality it is a very modest activity. But don’t forget that some anime faithfully portray real-life activities. The actual activities of the student council are explained by Sayaka Saeki the vice president of the student council in episode 4 of “Bloom Into You”.

©2018 仲谷 鳰/KADOKAWA/やがて君になる製作委員会
©2018 仲谷 鳰/KADOKAWA/やがて君になる製作委員会

“Our role at the school festival is to coordinate the interests of our students so that they can enjoy themselves to the fullest. The job of the student council is to allocate places and times to each, and to assign jobs to committees.”

 

3.2.4. Example2 of Actual High School Student Council Activities

Here is an example of Kanto Daiichi High School (関東第一高等学校).

  • Preparation and management of each event
  • Collection and response of opinions posted in the guide box (Meyasubako)
  • Publication of student council Public Relations Magazine
  • Collection of PET bottle caps
  • Preparation and operation of the council committee

The student council at this school attaches great importance to the opinions of the guide box (Meyasubako). Therefore, they are carrying out activities to increase the amount of equipment in response to the requests “umbrella rental” and “purchasing assortment” posted in the guide box (Meyasubako).

The introduction page shows us the guide boxes used in reality.

The Kanto Daiichi High School (関東第一高等学校) student council

After all, the link destination is Japanese, but the atmosphere of the student council activity is understandable because there are a lot of images.

In addition, as part of the student council activities, some schools host events that invite hot entrepreneurs and investors to the school to give lectures, and hold business contests and lectures. Looking at it this way, you can see that the student council does not have the job of stamping documents. 

(c)2010 AUGUST/修智館学院生徒会
(c)2010 AUGUST/修智館学院生徒会

The scene of the mass paperwork depicted in episode 4 of “Fortune Arterial” is fantasy. Kuhei Hasekura is making the application, but the actual student council doesn’t need a lot of paperwork.

“Fortune Arterial”

What did you say! ?? You don’t know “Fortune Arterial”! ?? It is a 2010 honorable mention anime with wonderful OP animation and OP song. This has a high level of drawing quality that can not be thought of as a 2010 work. If you find the character design appealing, it’s worth watching!

 

3.3. The Student Council has no Authority to Make Decisions about School Rules or how the School Operates

The actual process is explained here. The student council hears requests from students and prepares a proposal that summarizes them in improvement plans. Based on this, the student council will consult with the student council’s advisor teacher. If the advisor’s teacher approves, the student council will propose a proposal to the vice-principal teacher. The vice-principal deliberates the proposal at the staff meeting. Ultimately, the staff meeting will decide whether or not to accept the project. The student council has the function of applying for a project, not the authority to decide on a project.

“Love Love!”

The fastest way to understand the student council is to understand the relationship between the school and the students. In episodes 1 and 4 of “Love Love!”, The student council president consults directly with the school president. It is rare for a school president to be in school, and the case where he consults with a student is not real. The reality is that the student council consults with the student council’s advisor, not the school president. The fourth episode of “Love Live!” Depicts a scene where the student council should not be involved in how the school operates. The school president rejected the student council’s request to work to prevent closed schools. Because the student council is a “student,” it shows that it is wrong for the student council to do anything for the school or for the school to use the student for the school. This is the same as the theory of reality.

“Seitokai no Ichizon Lv.2”

The anime “Seitokai no Ichizon Lv.2”, which depicts an unrealistic student council, also contains scenes that are faithful to reality. In episode 4, Kurimu Sakurano says he wants to collect a request questionnaire to the student council. She also claims that the student council can hear the students’ true intentions by going directly to collect the questionnaire. Since Japanese people do not say their true intentions, not many students write their true intentions in the questionnaire. She speculates that there should be a request to “change the school rules.” “Seitokai no Ichizon” is an interesting anime with excessive production, but it also depicts realistic student council activities like this.

 

3.4. Student Council Members are not always Respected by Students

In the first episode of “Engaged to the Unidentified”, the student council president, the heroine’s sister, is very popular with students at school. As she walks down her corridor, she is always called out and longed for. Before explaining the actual situation, I would like to introduce the origin of the student council.

Engaged to the Unidentified

3.4.1. The Origin of the Japanese Student Council

The current student council is based on the students self-governing organization that was established before World War II. After the war, students self-governing groups were formed at each school. The purpose is to permeate democracy. Around 1949, the students self-governing group nationwide was unified under the name of “Student Council” under the direction of the military administration.

 

3.4.2. Modern Student Council

After the war, student councils were formed in each school with the aim of permeating democracy, but at present, it has become a mere ghost in many schools. There are four reasons.

  • Decline in students’ awareness of student council activities themselves
  • Difficulty in reflecting student opinions to school
  • Lack of understanding of schools and teachers about the student council
  • Lack of empowerment for young people by local and local governments

As can be seen from this, student council activities have become a mere ghost, and most schools have not accumulated their know-how. Therefore, the student council at a school does only the work instructed by the teacher. The members of the student council are not always respected. In the first place, students often do not remember who is a member of the student council.

If there is a student council president who can plan and execute various events, that person may be respected by everyone and break through the current situation of the student council. Like the student council president Milly Ashford in “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2”. In episode 5, she planned a giant pizza making at the school festival and welcome party, and in episode 12 she held a cupit event at her own graduation. I would like to believe that a charming student council president like her is in real Japan, but people like her are rare among rares.

©SUNRISE/PROJECT GEASS Character Design ©2006-2008 CLAMP・ST
©SUNRISE/PROJECT GEASS Character Design ©2006-2008 CLAMP・ST

In fact, if the student council’s power reflects the student’s opinions, the students may be pleased. Excerpt from an interview with the person who actually served as the student council president. “If the student council does nothing, the term ends with just the chores requested by the teacher. Accepting school events such as athletic festivals and reading entrance ceremony greetings. We want to improve our lives. If you think about it, the student council has the power to change the school. Even if one student gives an opinion to the teacher, no change can be expected. However, the opinion of the student council cannot be ignored by the school side. The activity of the student council is to improve what is inconvenient to improve school life.”

“An interview with the person who actually served as the student council president”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.

This is the reality of the modern Japanese student council. “If the student council does nothing, the term ends with the chores requested by the teacher.” In reality, there are many student council like this. For this reason, as mentioned above, there are no statistics on the student council.

 

3.5. Student Councils are Not Violent and Domineering

I don’t think it is necessary to explain, but I will explain it with grounds. First, let’s take a look at the curriculum guidelines for high schools of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Here, the purpose of the student council activities is divided into four parts. One of them is “to understand and enhance each other by having students belong to a group”. student council activities aim to develop people who can spend time as members of the group. The violent and domineering student council destroys Japan’s educational philosophy.

In episode 7 of “Prison School,” there is a scene where the student council hits a boy’s face. In episode 12, there is a scene where the student council breaks the student’s clothes. It is not necessary to explain that it is an anime production (however, this anime is extremely interesting. It is a must-watch)

©平本アキラ・講談社/八光学園裏生徒会

Of course, there is no student council president who only listens to the opinions of female students, as in the third episode of “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches”. And there is no real threat like the student council president of “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches”.

“Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches”

On the other hand, in the second episode of “In Search of the Lost Future”, the student council is trying to get rid of troubles and investigate ghosts with the Astronomy Club. It is unclear why these are requested to the Astronomical Society, but this request method is real. The student council is “requesting” rather than forcing the astronomy club to move.

Ⓒアトリエハイキー/内浜学園天文学会

“In Search of the Lost Future” is a lesser-known anime, but it’s not bad. Personally, all the characters are cute, so I like this anime (although I wanted the production team to do their best in drawing quality).

 

4. About Japanese Groupism

What you don’t understand the most is Japanese groupism. Groupism is “a group-centered way of thinking that an individual has a psychological sense of unity with the group and prioritizes the goals and interests of the group over their own.” There is a description about this in the purpose of student council activities in the high school curriculum guidelines of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

  • Students understand each other and enhance each other by belonging to a group
  • Promote group activities and experiential activities while interacting with each other, individuals and individuals, individuals and groups, and groups interacting with each other.
  • Each student achieves holistic development
  • To improve the group to which the students belong

As mentioned above, the basis of Japanese school education is to develop human resources who can spend time as members of groups and society. Therefore, there is no student council or authority in Japan who is more powerful than a teacher. The reason is that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology stipulates.

“The high school curriculum guidelines of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.

5. The Gap between the Modern Japanese Student Council and the Anime Student Council

As mentioned above, the modern Japanese student council is not a group of people who can do anything like anime. The student council is just one of the school education. The student council is based on groupism. For this reason, it is very appropriate for a person who has earned the trust of others as seen in anime to become the student council president. However, it is difficult for a character who can do anything alone or a selfish young lady to become the student council president.

 

5.1. Causes of the Differences between Anime and Reality

Still, the student council president who can do anything in the anime is very attractive. As mentioned above, it is difficult for Japanese schools to reflect the opinions of students. That is why both creators and characters want to be free in the story. The student council, which is stronger than the teacher, solves the problems of the students. It wouldn’t be this cool.

Moreover, the Japanese are said to be groupism, which is scientifically wrong. Some people have done empirical research on Japanese psychology in psychology, linguistics, economics, pedagogy, etc. According to the results, the Japanese are not as groupism as the Westerners. The current state of affairs, which is widely believed that the Japanese are groupism, is created by a psychological bias that distorts the Japanese thinking. Stress is created because the Japanese live under the oppression that they should be groupism. So they may want to break the groupism stuff in the story. In particular, schools that are enthusiastic about groupism cause adolescents to feel suffocated and difficult to live. That’s why the high schools that appear in anime may be crazy.

“The empirical research on Japanese psychology in psychology, linguistics, economics, pedagogy”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.

In addition, many Japanese writers write stories with the feeling that “I wish I had such a life and society” because of her past oppressed experiences. The famous one is Momoko Sakura, the creator of “Chibi Maruko-chan”. Her grandfather was so strict that her work reflects her ideal grandfather. The fact that the student council drawn by Japanese anime is so strong can be said to be a slight rebellion against this kind of society.

 

Summary

Did you understand the difference between the student council in the anime and the student council in the actual school? Keep in mind that the actual student council has little power. If you ever come to a Japanese high school, don’t be surprised. The reason the student council has no power is that the student council activities are part of the education. Since Japanese education puts the first priority on instilling groupism in students, it is unavoidable that the student council has no power.

Also, keep in mind that student council elections are real, but not all schools. There was no election in the high school my friend attended. Moreover, the student council activity was not active at all. So my friends don’t even know what the student council was doing. Unfortunately, reality is boring. So if you had a longing for the Anime student council, you want to be a great person like them. It’s great to focus on others. To the shy Japanese, your actions will look very courageous.

If you want to know the difference between anime and reality about content other than the Student Council, the following articles will be very helpful.

 

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