It was “Health & Sports Day” (体育の日 Taiiku no hi) in Japan.
The second Monday in October marks Health & Sports Day (体育の日- Taiiku no Hi) in Japan. It’s been going on since 1966 to commemorate the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Taiku no Hi means Sports Days (Undoh-kai 運動会) at schools throughout Japan.
These photos are from October 15, 1990 (the second Monday in October), from Asaki* Middle School’s Sports Day. It was cloudy and muggy that day. The photo above shows the principal being saluted by the boys as they marched by during the opening ceremony. Asaki Middle School’s girls were integral to Sports Day, too. The photo below shows the commencement of a synchronized calisthenics display.
*My year in Asaki, teaching at Asaki Middle School, is covered in the eight chapters of Part 2 of my Ebook, Dancing Over Kyoto. I’ve slightly changed the town name.