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article imageJapanese eager to test their knowledge in subculture

By dpa news     Aug 30, 2007 in Lifestyle
Tokyo - Japanese people are still hungry for tests despite all the years they spend cramming for school entrance examinations. Nowadays, people of all ages are cramming to be recognized as experts in rock 'n' roll, anime or maid work.
Japanese people are keen on getting licenses and credentials in specialized fields to add extra allure to their resumes. But the credentials are no longer limited to traditional arts and knowledge such as calligraphy, abacus calculation or martial arts.
Japan is known for the examination hell, which starts at kindergarten and elementary school level and continues on up to university and even companies expect people to sit an entrance exam.
The narrow window for such exams has put tremendous pressure on many young junior and senior high school students and led to suicidal deaths on many occasions.
Now with these new types of tests, stress has become fun and they boost the confidence of applicants.
In June, some 3,000 people across the nation sat the multiple choice test for history of rock 'n' roll from the beginning of the music genre to the 21st century, including personal episodes of various musicians, according to Japan's business daily The Nikkei.
The examinations would determine second and third-class experts in rock 'n' roll.
A test for anime specialists is on the way in November, with an estimated 10,000 applicants waiting ambitiously to tackle a series of questions on Walt Disney films or Japanese anime pictures.
Even maid work is considered necessary.
Amid the rising popularity of maids especially in the hi-tech towns and the hub of comic-book obsessed, otaku geeks in Tokyo's Akihabara, Nippon Maid Association has introduced a test to become proper maids.
"Maids are professional care givers. The work should not be even slightly belittled," the association spokesman was quoted by Asahi Shimbun.
The test slated for December would touch on the history of maids and basic knowledge of manners. Applicants would also be required to demonstrate their sewing skills in a higher-level test.
These tests are not official, yet some companies may show interest in hiring someone with appropriate know-how.
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