Information from an actual Japanese high school teacher

Last night, I had the pleasure of speaking to an actual Japanese high school teacher about high school life in Japan. I met him in a chatroom a year ago, but I never thought of asking him for details until last night. Here is some of the information that I gained from him. Please note that some of it may be exclusive to the particular Japanese high school that he works at.

First, I’ll start off with a time-table:

  • Students may arrive at school anytime from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM.
  • Homeroom lasts from 8:30 AM to 8:40 AM.
  • There is a ten-minute prep for the next class from 8:40 AM to 8:50 AM.
  • The first class lasts from 8:50 AM to 9:40 AM.
  • There is a ten-minute prep for the next class from 9:40 AM to 9:50 AM.
  • The second class lasts from 9:50 AM to 10:40 AM.
  • There is a ten-minute prep for the next class from 10:40 AM to 10:50 AM.
  • The third class lasts from 10:50 AM to 11:40 AM.
  • There is a ten-minute prep for the next class from 11:40 AM to 11:50 AM.
  • The fourth class lasts from 11:50 AM to 12:40 PM.
  • Lunchtime lasts from 12:40 PM to 1:15 PM.
  • There is a ten-minute prep for the next class from 1:15 PM to 1:25 PM.
  • The fifth class lasts from 1:25 PM to 2:15 PM.
  • There is a ten-minute prep for the next class from 2:15 PM to 2:25 PM.
  • The sixth class lasts from 2:25 PM to 3:15 PM.
  • Students clean up the school from 3:15 PM to 3:30 PM.
  • There is one final Homeroom class from 3:30 PM to 3:45 PM.
  • At this point, students are free to leave and go home, or stick around and do club activities.
  • During summer, the school closes at 6:00 PM. During winter, the school closes at 4:00 PM.

If we want to go full school simulation, then the game would follow a schedule exactly like this one.

In some Japanese high schools, the students stay in one classroom, and the teachers change classes. This would mean that the 10-minute gaps between classes are not playable sequences where you can walk around the school. This would mean that the only time you’re able to walk around the school is for 60 minutes before classes begin, 35 minutes during lunchtime, 15 minutes during clean-up time, and 135 minutes after school.

If we choose to set this game in a school where the students have to change classes during those 10-minute gaps, then there are potentially 6 more opportunities to walk around the school, but for much shorter periods of time.

Which would you prefer? Would you prefer ten or more opportunities to walk around the school throughout the day? Or would you prefer four chances to walk around the school? Do you think it would be best if the player is only allowed to walk around the school during club time, since that is the longest period of time that students can freely wander around the school?

I was also sure to ask him what is suspicious and what isn’t suspicious to see a student doing.

  • It’s not suspicious for a student to wander around the school at lunchtime.
  • It’s not suspicious for a student to wander around the school during clean-up time carrying around a trashcan (which may be used to transport a dangerous weapon that would otherwise raise suspicion).
  • It’s not suspicious for a student to wander around the school during club time even if they’re not in a club. Many students stick around at school to study, or do their homework.
  • Nobody would bat an eye if they saw a student carrying around a large case during club time (bokken case, guitar case, kyudo case). But if the student is sufficiently popular, then other students may know which club she belongs in and what kind of case she should / should not be carrying around. Other students from that club would also know who should and shouldn’t carry around a specific type of case.

Other details:

  • Students are expected to bring their own lunches to school. There are no cafeterias in Japanese high schools, although sometimes a local bakery will set up a stall somewhere in the school during lunch and sell various baked goods. Students can eat lunch anywhere they want as long as they are not obstructing anyone.
  • Japanese schools don’t have hall monitors.
  • Japanese schools don’t have janitors. The students are responsible for keeping the school clean. However, there is a groundskeeper, whose job is to take care of tasks that are too big for students, such as gardening work and performing repairs on the building.
  • Japanese schools are extremely strict on truancy and tardiness. Attendance is monitored very carefully, and any absence will be noted very quickly.
  • The entrance to a Japanese school has shoe lockers where students swap out their normal walking shoes for indoor shoes. Some Japanese schools also have small lockers for books outside of classrooms.
  • Even though it’s not common to see in anime, Japanese students in real life do wear back packs, although this may vary from school to school.

He also pointed out another important detail. These are middle-school outfits:


And these are high-school outfits:



So, what do you think this information should mean for the game? What time(s) of day do you think the gameplay should take place? Should the player be allowed to take every possible opportunity between classes to set up traps, steal things, conceal and move weaponry, and socially sabotage their classmates? Or should the player be given a small number of opportunities to move around for a long period of time, such as the lunch time-frame and the club activity time-frame?

41 thoughts on “Information from an actual Japanese high school teacher

  1. I think we should be able to do mission activities during the breaks between classes. I also think we should be able to “call in sick” a limited number of time and sneak into the school to try and do missions, but we’d have to be very stealth, because if we get caught we get detention and get a call home. Or we could use disguises as well to avoid being caught ditching class. If you miss a teacher’s class frequently he should begin being more alert and suspicious about you, which you can deal with by attempting to murder him during the breaks.

  2. it should be mostly up to the player how they choose to spend their time and what they do or don’t do with the time given to them.

  3. Increasing the time to do things would be very important, otherwise the player might feel too restricted, but breaking it up into small bits constantly might be a challenge for not only you , but also pressure the player to get things done, especially if the next class is far away, which usually does happen – sometimes your next class is clear across campus.

    That being said, yes, maybe the 10 minutes would be good. Thing is, how are you going to implement the in game time in this world?

    • 10 minutes (in real time) seems like the right amount of time for a level in, say, Hitman – and it’s enough time to perform a minor action like stealing something or hiding something. It’s potentially enough time to kill someone and flee the vicinity, but it doesn’t leave very much time for an elaborate setup or cleanup.

      A span of time like 60 minutes, 35 minutes, or 135 minutes would be boring as hell in real-time, especially if you’re waiting for someone to walk to a certain location. The clock would have to move at 10x speed (or I could just freeze the clock and not have any passage of time, like in Hitman).

      10 game minutes passing by at 10x speed is not enough time to get anything done. And it’s almost pointless to make 135 minutes pass in real time, since no player would take 135 continuous minutes to get something done in a stealth game.

      This is why I think it may be most beneficial to break up the game into two or three segments; Before School, Lunchtime, and After School. Each segment either passes by in real-time (with the in-game clock moving at a fast speed) or each segment does not actually have an in-game clock keeping track of time.

      Before School might be the appropriate time for stealing things, hiding weapons where you will need them later, setting up traps, putting love letters into someone’s locker, etc. Maybe Senpai and all of the targets arrive at school exactly when it starts, so you don’t actually get to kill anybody before school starts.

      Lunchtime would be the appropriate time to perform a roof-top kill, steal things from students, poison food, or spread rumors about a girl you’re trying to get rid of.

      After School, when club activities are happening, would be the best time for “themed” kills – killing the president of the Music Club with a guitar, killing the president of the Swimming Club by drowning her, killing the president of the Cooking Club with an explosion in the kitchen, etc.

      The most streamlined way to do it is that the player skips straight from their home to “After School” and has no real-time timer at all going on.

      What do you think?

      • Sorry, if i am accidentally double posting it.
        I think, that you can make two different modes. In first one you implement it in a way, that is easier for you to make, or the one, that you like more, and then add alternative one, when you are done making a functional game.

      • Reading this made me think of an option to get rid of a girl that has a crush on Senpai by giving her a fake love letter from Senpai, and also send another fake love letter from the girl you are trying to get rid of to some fucked up student that wants to get some action, and tell them both to go some place private like an abandoned factory, warehouse, or alley.

        Maybe the day after you sent the letters you read or hear about how the fucked up student raped/murdered the girl or that she was only raped and then committed suicide shortly after and then the fucked up student gets arrested so that you won’t be able to use this feature more than once.

      • Before School, Lunchtime, and After School sounds like a good idea but there could still be segments to do other things like in gym or art where perhaps a student sneaking around would be a little less suspicious and perfect times to accidentally hurt someone. I’d be cool if you had classes that offered opportunities to get someone hurt and it would fit into the game excellently.

      • I think having Before School, then ten minutes to go from Homeroom to class, then ten minutes to go from class to Lunch, then Lunch, then ten minutes from Lunch to class, then ten minutes from class to Club, then After Class would make the most sense. Also, if the player is in a club, why not have a section where the player is in the changing room or “after club” or something? It would make sense as a changing room is concealed from the outside world, a good place to do something you don’t want others to see.

        I think Before School should start like you said, with no one around. But as time goes on, a few people appear here and there, then a few more, then some more. That way, the more time the player wastes setting up elaborate things, the more likely they are to be caught, and the more stealthy they have to be.

        I would really dislike if you made it so time didn’t pass, that to me would feel very off in a game like this that is apparently going to have some simulation elements. Time passage is one of the most basic elements of simulation.

  4. I think the player should be given the freedom to use the time between classes as well as lunch and after school to do what they please. “What can I do now that I might not be able to do at lunch or after school?” That kind of thing. Essentially, keep it free roam until you have to go to classes. And, on a side note, maybe you can gain skills and up your stats in each class, dating sim style. Similar to Bully, I guess.

    • Seconded! The way Bully handled attending classes (and skill increases as well, though that’s a bit less important) would be, in my opinion, a really excellent fit for this. Attending classes increases your skill corresponding to whatever class it is and would also allow for potential encounters with senpai, but you could skip them to attempt to set traps in currently empty classrooms, steal things, follow senpai or the girls who try to get close to him to learn their schedules, maybe even devise a way to draw them out of their class to confront them, and so on. You’d have to be stealthy about it so as to not get caught if you chose to act during school hours, the advantage being that as long as you aren’t caught you can do pretty much whatever you like without arousing suspicion. Skipping class too often could attract the attention of teachers / raise suspicion, though.

  5. I think, that making all breaks playable is more logical, since there will be more opportunities to interact with your “love interest”, notice others interacting with him, and do other things, if you are quick enough.
    Also, i think, that you should be able to see the map, look around you, and plan your next moves during the class, and skip it to the action time, when you are ready.

  6. You need at least a passing of time. Can’t be infinite, otherwise you’d get everything done in a day pretty much. There needs to be at least a passage of time.

  7. I think you were right when you mentioned breaking it up into three distinct play periods. The before school, lunch, and after school sounds like the right approach to me. That said, if you were to devise a plan to get a girl to leave class for some reason during a class period and you also managed to be excused briefly, this would likely be the easiest time to kill and conceal the murder since it is very unlikely anybody will be near to witness it. During the breaks between classes, the school is likely to be heavily populated with students (or teachers) moving between classes.

    I like the idea that the time periods pass in an accelerated amount of time so that there is some pressure to complete your objective.

    Before school is probably the best time to setup your plan for the day. Lunch is probably best used to stalk Senpai and note down any bitches trying to get close. After school you’d probably need to keep an eye on Senpai while sneaking around and eliminating the competition.

  8. “Japanese schools don’t have hall monitors.” Interesting I thought the Japanese equivalent was ‘Public Morals’ or something. It may be a good idea to include some kind of ‘guard’ type characters for gameplay purposes. Also interesting that sailor uniforms are middle and blazers are highschool, again I’m not sure if this detail needs to be reflected in game. Maybe an option for players to select uniform/schools?

  9. I’ve seen Public Morals mentioned in several doujins and actual series. Might as well have them, to give you some sort of foil.

    You shouldn’t feel that invincible – you’ll need some authority doing a little breathing down your neck.

  10. I am absolutely delighted to see you putting so much research into the game. It’s one of the cases where the more realistic and thought-out the setting it is, the stronger the impact would be, especially if gruesome events take place sometime after a light-hearted tone has been set with comedic relief (like the nonchalant stealth animations mentioned before).
    Keep up the great work!

  11. I think the breaks should be the actual missions on the game, and the classes could be cutscenes to introduce the storyline for your objectives next break and so forth. You don’t really play the classes because that would probably be boring as fuck, but shit always happens during class, and after class you have to go take care of business.

  12. Is this gonna have NPC full-scale daily-life simulation like in Oblivion? Because I’d play the shit out of that. Even if you’re going episodic I’d fucking love to see a 2nd sandbox mode as an afterthought. Also, I like the idea of a prep-time, being able to scout out the area and place things you need before the mission starts, possibly with some risk of being spotted by people who know you shouldn’t be there. You also can’t forget the possibility of having field-trip levels, where you use your keen detective skills while sharing rooms/baths with other classmates to find out who has the hots for sempai-kun and systematically remove all of them.

  13. I think though, at the end this game is a Yandere school girl simulator, and not necessarily a Japanese Highschool simulator. I think you can take artistic license without having to be EXACT. Most anime cuts out boring scenes, or make their own rules for schools a lot of the time. I think you should be willing to be flexible in terms of time management. In the end, whatever you do should be focused on being fun, and non restrictive.

    Personally I’m more of a fan of the middle-schooler uniform as well for a game like this:
    ‘Yandere Kanojo’ uses it after all. That should be a sign 😛

  14. The multiple 10 minute breaks throughout the day is a really great idea. But you shouldn’t make going to classes and being on time mandatory. You could write it off as your parents are rich and influential, so you can skip class whenever you want to. This could make the school sim part a lot less restrictive.

  15. Quick question, Yandev. Since you’ve recently started playing Bully, what kind of gameplay mechanics from that game do you think you’d like to adopt into your game?

    • I finished Bully a few days ago. Great game.

      I don’t think there is anything I’m going to rip off wholesale from Bully, other than the omnipresent clock at the top-left corner if I decide to implement a timer displaying how much time is left until the next class begins.

      I really like how Bully gives you rewards for doing well in a class. I might want to put that same feature in Yandere Sim. For example…

      * Do well in Chemistry Class: Unlock the ability to create fire crackers, stink bombs, itching powder, etc. Create them at home or in the chemistry lab at school. If you get caught using one, your reputation at school drops harshly as you are viewed as a delinquent / prankster.

      * Do well in Social Studies Class: Convince other students to do what you want them to do easily, become popular easily, unlock the ability to apologize if you are spotted doing something weird to negate the penalty, and carry less of a penalty for getting caught doing suspicious things.

      * Do well in Photography Class: Unlock the ability to take out your camera / phone and take pictures without being noticed. Useful for taking pictures of Senpai / targets / important students without getting spotted or accused of being suspicious.

      * Do well in Biology Class: Gain knowledge of where to stab someone to instantly kill them, reduce number of stabs needed to kill someone and thus the amount of noise it makes and attention it attracts.

      * Do well in Gym: Increase your stamina, unlock the ability to run without making noise, unlock “stealth game” moves like rolling from cover to cover, or gain the ability to take down opponents bare-handed.

      All of these are just ideas, not necessarily something that will actually get implemented.

      • Those sound awesome, especially biology – being able to be more efficient at killing.

        Can I make a suggestion about a stealth move? A silent “Roadie Run”?

  16. Hey Yandev, I got some information that might be helpful to you. You see, I’ve been an exchange student in Japan for an year some time ago and I got to experience much of the culture as well as highschool life. I don’t know where your teacher friend teaches at, but I was at a highschool close to Tokyo and it differed sligthly from what he told you in the following points:
    -The school I studied at had a cafeteria where you could buy all sorts of delicious food, from Curry Rice and Miso Soup to Hamburgers and other kinds of sanwiches.
    -The school I was in had janitors, even though the students did most of the cleaning, they were there to make sure the hallways were always clean. There were no more than a handful of them. This was probably because the school was so very big.
    -In the 10 minute break between classes, the students could go wherever they wanted, usually going to their friend’s classrooms to chat for a while or the bathroom.
    -Our school had lockers outside of the classroom for books
    -I remember you mentioned burning the corpses with the incinerator. The incinerator is usually located outside the school, close to the field where the sport teams practice.
    -Remember that the school has events like the Sports Festival, Culture Festival as well as a School Trip (depending on your school year)
    -Remember that there are 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders in Japanese High Schools, they are divided, each into their respective floor. In my school’s case, 3rd graders were on floor 2, 2nd graders on floor 3 and so on. (Also keep in mind that the ground floor in japan is considered floor 1 and not 0).
    These are just a few of the things about Japanese Highschool that I can remember from the top of my head.

  17. I think the game should only give you the morning, lunch, cleaning, and club activity times to play around. I would suggest that during actual class time you have a few minutes to talk to class mates in your classroom and the option to sit in your chair to skip those few minutes. Then your class begeins with either an event happening during that class period or a short minigame that has an effect on how smart your character is. The same happens during the second class time with a different minigame. On a particular day of the week every week (e.g. Tuesday) you get gym class for the second in class time. Which will be a sports themed minigame and effect your fitness and popularity.

    Like someone suggested above, you could use sickdays to sneak around the school for the full time of the day. I think there shouldn’t be a limit on sickdays but if you miss too many days of school you get a reputation for being sick all the time or for being a delinquent depending on your personality. If you miss an absurd amount of days you become extremely suspicious and if you miss too many days you get arrested for truancy.

    I think that at the end of the school day you should be able to stay out until 12pm and after that you get a cutscene that sends you home. If you get caught at school past closing you get arrested and lose the game. If you just want to skip to the next day you can go to your bed in your house and do yandere things until bed time (quick cutscene of you admiring senpai then falling asleep).

    I think it would be good to switch to high-school outfits but you should have many opportunities to switch into your old outfit. For example for a play, or to look younger. If you wear it to school and are a wallflower people might mistake you for a lost kid, if you’re popular a few other students might copy you the next day, if you’re a delinquent people will think your just messing around and you can wear it any time.

  18. I also noticed the uniform issue as well. Since you’ve been committed to the seifukus and gakurans in your recent updates, have it take place in a middle school. Instead of a high school sophomore, Yandere-chan is a 7th grader and her senpai crush is in the 8th grade. I never been to Japanese high school but from my understandings as well, there are still some high schools that have students wear seifukus and gakurans, rather than those typical blazer and plaid uniforms that even some schools in the US & UK make students wear. However, the design of high school seifukus and gakurans are still completely different in terms of design & color. For instance if you were to watch the Japanese film “Crows Zero 2”, pay attention to the design and color of the students’ gakurans that attend the rival high school. All-in-all what that Japanese teacher you spoke with is correct, what you chose your student characters to wear are very typical for middle school students, and sometimes elementary school students in terms of the seifuku. I remember watching a small documentary on how the Japanese school system works, there was footage of pre-school students interacting. The girls also wore that typical red & blue seifuku but the boys were allowed to wear clothes from home. The reason for that IDK, but I hope you read this and I’m already a fan I can’t wait. That feedback from this comment as well TY.❤️

  19. Hmm, I think that making it acurrate will be better as it will involve more skill and also might be relatable for Japanese players.

    Also as a bit of a side question, how strong is Yandere-chat at her max strength? In game she can carry/run with 2 dead males, all those tools and the chello case! Which is equal to about 140-150 KG’s.
    So to sum up what is her maximum lifting potential?

  20. um… what about the teachers? Do the students keep the same homeroom teacher for all three years or different teachers? And do students have different teachers for different subjects?

  21. Hi YandereDev. I spent five years as a JET teacher at a Japanese high school in Wakayama and our high school students did indeed wear seifukus and gakurans. However, what your Japanese teacher is calling the High School uniform was what our affiliate middle school uniform was; so it was flipped. I think it varies a lot depending on the school.

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