Culture · Culture Shock · Friends · Japanese Pop Culture · Living in Japan · Pictures

Can I Have Your Profile?

from my elementary students

I am kind of surprised I have not written about these things yet. To put it simply, the above sheets of paper are very stylized address book pages. However, the paper asks you to write so much more than your address. I first encountered these when I lived with my host family. My host sister, who was 9-years-old at the time, had a book she referred to as her “profile.” One day, she asked me to write a “profile” for her to keep in her book. Recently, my elementary school 6th graders (the girls anyway) have passed me these sheets and asked me to fill them out. While I will not be giving them my address nor my phone number, I think it is kind of a cute way for them to remember me.

front side

This side pretty much asks the usual questions of name, address, email, likes, and dislikes. What you normally do not see in Western profiles is the area for blood type – Japan is slightly obsessed with them. There is also a little section for a “psychology test.” The question on this particular sheet is, “What animal do you come across while you are taking a walk?” Apparently, what animal you answer with will reveal something about your personality and how you think.

back side

The back side has areas to write about your dream for the future, your interests now, and a little questionnaire about your love life – which pretty much just entails “Do you like someone?!” Once again, there is a personality test. This time the questions is, “What accessory would you wear when you are going out with friends? A. necklace B. ring C. bracelet”.

These profiles are really popular among elementary school students – probably because most of them do not have cellphones. By the time kids enter Jr. high, they all have cellphones, making these profile books lose their appeal.

Personally, I think they are adorable and wish these had come to be when I was an elementary school student.


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