In Japan, student examinations for University places are well under way. The students have been?
In Japan, student examinations for University places are well under way. The students have been asking for divine help in passing the fiercely competitive entrance examinations. Students pack the many Shinto Shrines throughout the country in the hope that they will receive "divine favour".
The visitors who seek aid form the gods to overcome what is popularly known as the "Entrance Examination Hell", not only include high school students, but primary school and even pre-kindergarten children.
The Kamiedo Tenjin in Tokyo, enshrining the "god of learning", expects to draw more than 70,000 visitors this year. A big increase over previous years.
Japan National Railway's responded to the students needs by offering a cut-rate return fare to the popular Temman-Gu shrine in the southern island of Kyushu.
Japan's Education Ministry has estimated that about 1,300,000 youths will graduate from high school this year. Roughly half-a-million of these will try to go on to college and University, which have a maximum capacity of 353,000 at present.
SYNOPSIS: In Japan holy shrines have had an unusually large number of visitors during the past few months. Students concerned about their performance in University entrance examinations, have been praying for divine help.
Students have been packing Japan's many Shinto Shrines in the hope that they will receive "divine favour" and pass their examinations. The young people believe that by visiting the shrines they will overcome what they call the "Entrance Examination Hell".
The students have a great deal of public sympathy. The University entrance exams are fiercely competitive. Japan national Railways responded to their needs by offering a cut-rate return fare to a popular shrine located several hundred miles form Tokyo.
Japan's Education Ministry has estimated that about one million, three hundred thousand youths will graduate from High-School this year. Roughly half of these will attempt to go on to college and University.
At present Japan's colleges and Universities have a maximum capacity of less than for hundred thousand. Competition for these places doesn't only start in high school, but in primary school and even pre-school kindergarten.