う:うんどうかい Undoukai

13 Sep

This Saturday my daughter is participating in her Japanese School’s annual Undoukai/ うんどうかい (Sports Day) for the first time. We are so excited! I am almost more excited than my kids… the last time I participated in an undoukai, I looked like this:

me and my mom, 1985-ish

Haha… I look so wanpaku/わんぱく.

An undoukai is like a mini-Olympics for kids. One of the events my daughter will be participating in with her preschool classmates is a bonodori /ぼんおどりdance. They will be dancing to the song “Mottainai Baasan/もったいないばあさん” which is based off of this book (I think it’s about a grandma who warns you to not be wasteful). Anyway, it is a CUTE little dance and easy to learn. You should try it!


They are going to be wearing jinbei’s /じんべい made out of garbage bags and duct tape. Can’t wait to see them! She’s also going to be participating in some races, ball-throwing, etc. I’m not an expert on undoukai so I’ll tell you more about it after this weekend. In the meanwhile, you can learn more about undoukai by following these links:

1. All about Undoukai from allabout.co.jp (in Japanese): Learn how to get the best pictures, making a special bento box for undoukai, see cool pictures of undoukai, etc.

2. Want to know what kind of music is played at a undoukai? This undoukai dance music CD from Amazon.com looks fun. You can listen to a sample of each of the songs.

3. Kotoba.littlestar.jp has some printable machigai-sagashi worksheets (find the mistakes).

And here is a video of what an undoukai looks like:


Have any of you ever participated in an undoukai? What is your favorite event?

8 Responses to “う:うんどうかい Undoukai”

  1. Asianmommy September 15, 2011 at 12:55 PM #

    Look at you! How cute!

  2. Kristii February 21, 2012 at 12:04 AM #

    Hi im 13 and i’ve been trying to learn japanese language /culture since i was 11 thank you very i’ve learned alot from your blog :D ( unfortunantly my mom has no clue what im saying and doesnt care so it makes it hard to learn

    • Hiragana Mama February 21, 2012 at 8:48 AM #

      Hi Kristii, I think it is wonderful you want to learn Japanese. Will your high school offer any Japanese programs? If your mother isn’t Japanese or doesn’t know Japanese, of course it will be hard for her to help you :) There are lots of great resources out there… good luck! Ganbattene.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. ら:ラジオたいそう « Hiragana Mama - September 19, 2011

    [...] daughter had her first undoukai last weekend and had a [...]

  2. Autumn:あき « Hiragana Mama - October 3, 2011

    [...] often means taking a special trip to observe the beautiful colored leaves(こうよう), undoukai (うんどうかい), honoring grandparents, fall food (mentioned above), red [...]

  3. Teruterubozu: Rain, Rain, Go Away! « Hiragana Mama - September 7, 2012

    [...] is Undoukai Day (similar to a Field Day) at my daughter’s Japanese School. Everyone has been practicing hard [...]

  4. もったいないばあさん “Mottainai Grandma” « Hiragana Mama - October 6, 2012

    [...] I first heard about the series last year when my daughter danced the Mottainai Baachan dance at her Undoukai (Field Day). Here’s what the dance looks like (you should learn it with your [...]

What do you think? どうおもう?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: