What is fair?
Here in the United States, many people think alphabetical order is fair and they usually list names from A to Z.
In Japan, instead of alphabet, they use "A-I-U-E-O order." The last name start from "A" comes first, and then "I"
According to "A-I-U-E-O order, the name which starts from "W" usually comes in the end in Japan.
Because my name is "Ishikawa", I have been lucky. Throughout all grades at schools, my name used to be called in the beginning part of "morning roll call." I was 3rd or 4th every time.
I remember...teacher used to call names as follows,
I forgot exact numbers of student at a class, but there were at least 40 students at the class and the name "Watanabe-san" or "Watab-san" used to be called at the very end.
I didn't have any doubts about "A-I-U-E-O order" until I got to know the study about "last names and their average life span" through Japanese TV news.
I just saw it one time a few years ago but it was unforgettable.
The scholar of the last names said, the average life span of the name which starts from "A" is much longer than the one which starts from "W." This means Mr. Akai could live longer than Mr. Watabe.
The scholar explained, "You cannot imagine how stressful...the name "Watabe" have to wait for the roll-calls. This is not one time. This happens all the time from preschool to care home. As a result, the stress may affect his or her life span."
"Then how about name which starts from "A" or "I"? They don't need to wait. They have less stress."
This news made me think about "what is fair" a lot.
And did you know what I did for Toro Nagashi last year?
I placed lanterns according to the sponsors' last names from "Z" to "A" for my first time.
I just wanted I could release the stress of the name that have to wait for a long time.
By the way, I tried to find a resource of the study but couldn't find any article about it on internet. So....it's up to you whether you believe this or not.