I was playing my Japanese version of animal crossing new leaf and when I caught a Killifish the dialog said:

メダカを 釣{つ}り上{あ}げた! まだ小学生{しょうがくせい}だな

I get the gist of what it says but I think it's some sort of joke as is the custom when you catch something in the English games. Would anyone be able to explain this joke (if it is one)?


2 Answers 2


I think it's a reference to a famous children's song めだかの学校, where a school of めだか is...er, a school of めだか.


  • now that you say that it seems obvious they were making a school of fish pun. I wonder though, how that term would have carried over languages like that. ありがとうございました。
    – kantido
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 1:18
  • 1
    – Sjiveru
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 1:21
  • 1
    It's a mere coincide :-) The song is only about the elementary school of めたか. No pun intended.
    – naruto
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 1:24
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    @kantido めだかの学校 is written in 1950, and it seems the lyricist didn't intend to pun.
    – marasai
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 1:25
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    – Sjiveru
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 1:26

This is an interesting question to me.

I actually hadn't known about what this exactly means until you asked.

Now, kindly take a look at this page.

The page says, ( though they are almost at the extinction level )



メダカ is a freshwater fish as small as 4cm and considered to be the smallest fish among them in Japan. In past times, they were found so often in rice fileds and creesk, ponds and were familiar to ordinary Japanese but the change of the environment reduced their numbers largely.

So, even though I have never heard personally the "joke" in your question for my long wasting lifetime, haha, but I think the implication of the sentence is referring to "small kid".

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