There were two large pictures of Arashi and Hey Say Jump in old Japanese fashion kimonos and chonmage hair styles hanging from the ceiling. Sho's and Jun's looked kind of hilarious. Jun had a hawk sitting on his arm which played into the opening video.
The running course wasn't in a circle, but swerved around. Directly in front of us, there was a rice patty filled with water and half planted with even rows of rice.
In the opening VTR:
An old man was introduced as a master of lacquer bowl designs. One of them was the school logo.
Ohno - Pulling a rickshaw in Kyoto and saying hello to a passing geisha. She opened her paper umbrella and he did his cute surprised face at the waku waku logo on it. The members did their spinning transformation scene and poses after.
Sho - Sitting seiza in a kimono, he was cutting off flowers in his flower arrangement, but when he looked at the floor, they'd fallen in the shape of the logo.
Jun - All in black, he let a hawk land on his arm and sending it away to pick up a scroll with the logo on it.
Nino - In a kimono, playing shogi. Turning over one of the pieces, it had the logo on it.
Aiba - Working in a sushi restaurant, he cut a large sushi roll to reveal the logo design inside written in seaweed.
The backstage camera showed the teachers in a huddle. Shouting "Waku Waku Gakkou", they came out.
N: Let's get excited! (waku waku)
They introduced the seasons by sounds. First was birds chirping for spring.
O: When you think of spring, what comes to mind first?
Without waiting for an answer from anyone, he said, "That's right. Entrance ceremonies."
Laughing, Sho told us they wanted to introduce the 9 new students.
Waving to the crowd, Hey Say Jump came out wearing brown uniforms.
O: When we call your name, dash over to the class.
Each member ran over when called, some with perfect form and some a little awkward.
As is customary, Sho interrupted Jun's explanation speech for Waku Waku.
Sho told us to sit down and two seconds after, Ohno asked, "Have you sat down already?" His bossiness was adorable. We listened to a longer sound clip of birds chirping and frogs croaking.
Nino's lesson was first and he demanded that all the students hurry and sit down quickly.
N: Let's go on a field trip!
A: So suddenly?! Where are we going?
N: (ignores) Don't forget your backpacks. Get in line. You two at the back (Sho and Ohno), you're the principal and vice principal, aren't you?
Sho and Ohno waved back at him.
Nino directed them to a spot and they spread out plastic sheets.
N: Okay, you can take out your bentous.
Jun opened his bag and shouted, "Sensei! I forgot my lunch box!"
S: Ah! I have one!
J: I've got a drink.
A: I've got rice balls.
They sat down facing the audience to enjoy a meal of rice balls.
N: Matsumoto! Why are you making a mess of your rice ball?!
J: I was curious what was inside.
To show the importance of growing rice and the long process, Nino called for helpers to plant rice into a water-filled rice patty by the stage.
N: Yaotome, Yabu, Yamada, and the "jii-chan sitting next to Yamada" (a cutely smiling Ohno).
Yamada helped the "old man" up and Nino yelled at Ohno to leave his rice ball behind. The four of them went to suit up in waterproof work overalls during the rice-planting-explanation video of all 70 steps.
The best part was Nino's funny voice-over of the rice character (Mai mai jii chan who said mai at the end of every sentence) and everyone making fun of him for it. Nino pretended he wasn't doing the voice. Jun made an attempt at it, but Nino retorted that it sounded like Bobby instead.
Yamada and Ohno were slow getting ready because they were talking and the four helpers watched the VTR when finished.
Yamada: It's the first time Ohno-san and I have done this.
N: Really? Not even on any of your filming locations?
O: I tried to remember if I had, but I'm pretty sure I've never done it before.
The four helpers raced for three minutes to see who could plant the most rice in the neatest rows.
N: Korobanai de kudasai ne. (Be careful not to trip, literally, but Koro-sensei often says words with "koro" in them and Nino said it in his voice).
All were about even and pretty neat. They were out of breath from rushing and Ohno complained his back hurt from bending and his hand hurt because the tray was heavy.
N: It looks like Yabu planted the most. Yamada's... Ah.... I don't want to touch on it.
The lines had gotten pretty crooked.
Nino explained how last names often came from the character for rice field, like in the helpers names.
Jun's summer lesson was about festivals. All the members changed into yukata during the VTR about dyeing fabrics. Daiki had even gone to interview the lacquer designer from the beginning.
Jun introduced the history of Obon while the staff set up lanterns all around the stage. They did a quiz for the origin of the dance.
Chinen: It was to welcome our ancestors coming back and so they wouldn't get lost.
J: Wrong. Aiba?
A: Oh! Me?! Uh... It was a chance for boys and girls to meet.
J: No. Yaotome?
Y: To escape the summer heat?
J: Wrong! The answer is it was to see our ancestors off.
After showing us unique versions of Obon dances, he announced we would dance an original version of "Happiness". We practiced the running steps and the "fox hand" moves and then performed it with a festival version of "Happiness"! Nakajima was on the taiko drum to keep the beat for us. Jun pointed out that Nino had started using cool, sharp dance moves towards the end, making Nino demonstrate it for us again.
The autumn lesson was of tea ceremonies with Ohno. The VTR of the ceremony featured an awesome pouty face Ohno too.
He questioned the tea master in a soft voice after they were done about why they did things certain ways and went right into training. You can talk to the tea master while he's preparing the tea, but it's easy to get nervous and watch silently. They were quiet tonight since Ohno requested it and it was the first time, but in later shows, they'll probably start teasing Ohno.
Ohno wanted us all to participate, but it would be impossible to prepare that much tea, so we all had to do it "air". Sho narrated while Aiba quietly came into the makeshift tea room, complete with a hanging scroll that said "main character" on it.
Ohno was dressed in a crisp kimono and started the ceremony. It was deathly quiet as we watched a serious Ohno until the tea was handed to Aiba. He lifted the cup, paused, moved it away to shift his mic to the side, took a sip, made a surprised face at the taste and finished it of with a loud suck, as he was directed, and said a casual, "it was good ". Then, we had our turn to "air" drink.
Ohno asked Aiba why he thought the scroll read "shujinkou".
A: Just maybe, probably, it's that drama. The one that Ohno has been watching and asking me incessantly who the criminal is. Maybe... because I'm the main character.
Ohno explained the origins of the word "shujinkou" and how it's used to call your true self inside of yourself. Which meant we had to call our true selves too.
Jun commented that the outfit suited Ohno and as soon as he came out in it, there was a certain nervousness in the air that kept everyone silent.
It was revealed that Ohno drew the scroll. It was written very nicely. Sho praised him by calling out "Freestyle!"
In a normal tea ceremony, it wouldn't be strange for it to last up to an hour. There is more talking and serving of sweets too. Ohno only performed a third of the ceremony.
Ohno dashed off stage to changed as "snow" (bubbles) fell down for Aiba's winter lesson. The VTR was making mochi for the new years. All members put on red and blue happi (Aiba only was in green). The professional mochi makers came to help with the high speed version. Taking turns, Keito cried funnily every time he swung the mallet, Sho practiced a high pitched voice only to forget it when it was his turn, and Aiba's powerful swings were last.
They got to eat the fresh mochi with toppings of their choice. Sho held up his plate to the camera and gave us a squinty smile. Jun and Nakajima stretched it out as far as it would go.
Connected with the New Years theme, they read letters fans wrote about things they want to forget that happened. Yaotome would ring a large bell on set with a solemn expression every time Aiba finished.
The first letter was an elementary school who had brought an Ohno Waku Waku clear file to school only to be teased about it. (We all ah~~~~ed in sympathy) She declared she wanted to forget that and this year she would bring the new Ohno clear file boldly to class.
Next was a story about a student on a train who had been sitting with their friends on a train when an old man came by. They stood up to offer them their seat, saying, "Ojii-chan, you can sit here." The "old man" replied that they were an "old woman".
Another student had a habit of breaking glass during science class and even when they promised that they wouldn't break any more, they did.
A: Ah, here's one from a boy... There's no name. Nanashi-san, then. (The nickname for the criminal in Aiba's drama, "no name")
J: By the way, who's really the criminal?
Aiba wouldn't tell him. The boy was on the baseball team, but right when he thought he might get to play, he got a bloody nose and the player he was changed out for ending up doing really well in his place.
The others were mixing up toothpaste, having a high fever before going on a trip, and dreaming about an alarm on a train and yelling out.
Takaki was chosen to reveal his letter. On the day that he was moving out of his old apartment, he lifted a box that was too heavy and broke a hole in the wall when it fell. He had to pay for it too.
Nino's was his worry about his lack of interest in many things.
N: I don't know what to do about the part of myself that isn't interested in stuff.
A: That's... kind of a scary worry. Are you alright? What about your games?
N: Yeah, but then there's fashion... and things that become popular...
A: Oh! Your fashion today was terrible! You wore slippers! Slippers to Osaka!
N: It was because it was a pain. I know I'm an adult, but when I'm not interested in something, I just don't want to move.
After teasing Nino about never going shopping and getting all his clothes from friends because he won't go shopping, they dumped the letters into a pit.
Nino pulled out one last letter. The writer had almost been late for a choir competition like Sho had almost been late for the concert in Fukuoka, which made him the same level of awesomeness as Sho. They burned the letters with a cry of "Fire!" from Ohno.
We did a countdown to bring in the new year. Sho's theme was the fierce race at a temple to decide who the lucky man of the year will be. The winner from this year was brought as a guest. Which meant it was race time!
S: Go line up.
N: Is it really okay if we win this?
S: Yes. Show off your Johnny's spirit.
Sho explained that the first place winner would have to hug him and the second and third place winners would hug inflatable dolls. Daiki was picked as the fastest member of HS Jump and Aiba for Arashi.
The fake temple doors opened and the guest and Aiba were out of it first. The guest pulled away. Aiba and Inoo were close behind for a while. Then at the very back, Ohno, Nino, and Jun were jogging at a leisurely pace and waving to the fans. The guest was first, Inoo was second, Aiba was third. Sho congratulated everyone for finishing, only to see that the lazy trio wasn't done yet. Ohno threw up his arms crossing the goal.
A: I just don't have the stamina anymore. If only I was ten years younger.
Nakajima lost both his shoes back towards the beginning and had to go get them.
Daiki commented if they had sneakers instead they might have had a chance.
The second part of the corner was inspecting past secret talks. They listened to their younger selves chat from the 2002 "a day in our life" talk, trying to decide how often to put out new singles.
N: Well... I think the content of that was pretty good quality...
Jun said they'd accomplished their goal for 2002. 3 singles.
Grimacing, Sho said it was quiz time and asked how many singles they'd put out that year. Jun promptly listened them out by title.
Next, they introduced their goals 10 years from now.
Daiki was picked.
D: In 10 years, but I'll be 34.
O: Eh? Here, here, 34! (He threw his hand up high)
D: I hope HS Jump will be like Arashi and get to perform at the new Kokuritsu.
I: Inoo! It's Inoo! I'll be 34 too.
O: Over here!
I: When I look at Ohno, it feels like ten years is going to be a long time. In ten years, I hope the fans will still be with us. Personally, I want to be in charge of a program called "Inoo-san".
Nino sank his face into his hands.
S: Ohno, how do you feel about that comment?
O: It was very rude.
I: I'm so sorry!!
S: Nino, what do you think of that program idea?
N: It'll be... too hard for him to accomplish. With that cute face and all.
I: I'm actually a serious, good kid!
For graduation, sakura petals fell down from above. We thanked our teachers for their lessons and each member said their impressions of the first night.
Yamada: I was glad to hear that even the national idols Arashi had a time when they were that easygoing.
We sang the school theme "Furusato". I loved that Ohno and Yamada sang the first line together! The HS Jump members joined in with Arashi for each part. Then, they moved to the big carts and waved goodbye to everyone.
Leaving the dome, Aiba was the last one to close the door. He made us kyaaa when he opened it once again to peak out.
The last VTR showed clips from today's lessons as well as makings for the opening video. It finished at 8:00.
I won't be joining any other lessons until Tokyo. Until then!