（Contributed by Mike）
Last time I wrote a little about the unknown origins of April Fool’s Day, and even though the theory that those who did not follow the Gregorian calendar reforms and continued to celebrate the start of the new year on April 1st were considered fools has been debunked, in many ways we still seem to follow this.
In many countries (including Japan and Canada), April 1st marks the start of the fiscal year. In Japan, April 1st also marks the start of the academic year. In Japan, I noticed that it was a time of change. Some colleagues had vacated their desks a few days earlier, with new faces filling their place. People in the high¬school staffroom were shuffled around, usually moving up a year as they followed their students. Because of my unique position in the faculty, I was always a second¬year teacher, so I was especially aware of the changes that were happening around me.
While I no longer have to worry about that schedule, I wonder what effects this “start of the new year” has. One thing I miss were the various welcome parties I attended, to welcome new staff to the faculty and the department. I suspect that a lot people in Japan attended a “kangei¬kai” or two this week, or might attend one soon.
For many in Japan, the first week of April is no doubt a busy one, and in more ways than one.