Today, when I asked my third-grade class to write their names on the whiteboard, I noticed for the first time that one of my brightest girls is actually left-handed. I was so surprised. It is not common to encounter lefties in Japan, because traditionally they are trained out of it in early childhood (and if I’d had a left-handed child – which I don’t – I probably would’ve done the same thing). A “leave them alone” trend seems to on the rise in modern cities, but it’s still really unusual to encounter them here.
Therefore, I really was surprised to see someone unabashedly writing with her left hand. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that since my NZ days.
One of my Japanese cousins is naturally left-handed, but was trained out of it when he was a kindergarten student. He ended up becoming ambidextrous, and once bragged to me that he could hold a pencil with one hand and a pair of chopsticks with the other. Apparently he got really good grades at school because he could eat and study at the same time, thus saving a lot of time and effort. I can see the merits.