Kaisei High School, located in Tokyo’s Nishi Nippori neighborhood, is a very respected academic institute. Its major claim to fame is that for 39 years and counting it has sent more students to the University of Tokyo, Japan’s most prestigious university, than any other high school in the country.
As such, Kaisei’s entrance exam is no joke, and sure enough, a recent investigation discovered that the entrance exam for one student at the school had actually been taken by someone else. OK, so some underqualified kid hired a ringer to take the test for him right? Nope, so put on your thinking cap as we go through the bizarre chain of events.
Kaisei held its entrance exam back on Feb 10, and one applicant, who we’ll call A-kun, showed up to take the test. A few days later Kaisei informed him that he’d passed, and on Feb 16 he attended an orientation session where he completed the paperwork to officially enroll in the school. On both days he had to show a photo ID to confirm his identity.
In an ordinary school year, an entrance ceremony would have been held in April to welcome new students to the school, and regular classes would have begun. However, with coronavirus infection numbers spiking from late February, the entrance ceremony (which student’s parents often attend) was cancelled, and classes for A-kun and his classmates began online. Kaisei resumed on-campus classes in late June, and the school year’s first semester wrapped up in late July.
Around this time, Kaisei’s administrators noticed something unusual: they still hadn’t received a copy of A-kun’s academic record from the junior high school he’d attended. Initially, they’d chalked this up do to a paperwork delay caused by the coronavirus situation, since the pandemic has been especially disruptive for schools. Still, half a year seems like plenty of time for someone to email a PDF or drop a hard copy in the mail, so Kaisei contacted A-kun’s junior high school…only to be told that they had indeed sent his records, but to a different high school where A-kun was attending classes.
In other words, A-kun didn’t have someone else take his entrance exam for him, but instead took the entrance exam, passed, and then had another boy, who we’ll call B-kun, attend his classes, both online and in-person, for an entire semester.
There’re all sorts of head-scratchers here. First, since B-kun was assuming A-kun’s identity, it wasn’t as though he was going to get a diploma he could use from Kaisei; Kaisei’s records would never have shown a student with B-kun’s name. And A-kun, despite being duplicitous enough to hatch the scheme, chose not to bask in the free time from a complete lack of academic responsibilities, but to diligently attend classes at a different high school, also under his real name. It’s not like he was planning to kick back for the next few years while B-kun was working towards a Kaisei diploma he could later pocket.
The mechanics of the plan are also a puzzler. Though almost all people in Japan attend high school, education is only compulsory until the end of junior high. That means B-kun not being enrolled, under his name, at any school wouldn’t have set off any alarms. Likewise, with A-kun being officially enrolled at Kaisei, ostensibly his parents were sending tuition payments the school’s way, thus avoiding any economic red flags.
Again, though, education in Japan is only mandatory through junior high. That means that students have to pay tuition for high schools, even public ones (similar to how even public universities charge tuition). That means that A-kun would have had to make sure that whatever school he was actually attending his classes at was also getting paid, unless a patient attitude similar to the one Kaisei displayed regarding his junior high records allowed him to fly under the tuition radar.
The big question, of course, is “Why?” The simplest possible explanation would seem to be that A-kun just really didn’t want to attend Kaisei, perhaps because of its rigorous curriculum, or maybe the fact that it’s an all-boys school, and that his taking the entrance exam was something he did in order to meet his parents’ expectations. If so, having someone else pretend to be him at Kaisei would get his parents off his back, and attending a high school he actually wanted to go to would allow him to still get a high school-level education which he could put to use in future academic or professional endeavors, regardless of whether or not he was ever planning to put “graduate of Kaisei High School” on his college or work applications.
Now that their secret is out, A-kun has been expelled from Kaisei, a school he never attended any classes at, and B-kun has been barred from entering the campus grounds, also a strange proclamation to have to specifically make for someone who isn’t enrolled at the school. As both are minors, several specific pieces of information, such as how the two knew each other, have not been publicly revealed, but speculation is likely to continue in anime, manga, and light novels drawing inspiration from the trope-friendly incident.
Source: The Sankei News via Yahoo! Japan News via Otakomu
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