By Kristen Olson
When the High Queen of Wisdom and Wizardry J.K. Rowling speaks, we (the Internet) listen.
And when the author revealed the names and locations for four additional wizarding schools from the Harry Potter universe last Friday, including one in Japan, we indeed solemly swore we were up to no good to open up your world beyond the Marauder's Map.
Called Mahoutokoro (Place of Magic), the ancient Japanese school has the smallest student body of the (now) eleven wizarding schools and takes in young wizards from the age of seven (although they do not board until they are eleven). In an essay on Rowling's wizarding-devoted site, Pottermore, the author describes the location of the ornate and exquisite place of Mahoutokoro as made of "mutton-fat jade and stands on the topmost point of the 'uninhabited' (or so Muggles think) Volcanic island of Minami Iwo Jima."
"Upon arriving", Rowling writes, "students are presented with enchanted robes when they arrive, which grow in size as they do, and which gradually change colour as the learning of their wearer increases, beginning a faint pink colour and becoming (if top grades are achieved in every magical subject) gold. If the robes turn white, this is an indication that the student has betrayed the Japanese wizard's code and adopted illegal practices (which in Europe we call 'Dark' magic) or broken the International Statute of Secrecy. To 'turn white' is a terrible disgrace, which results in instant expulsion from the school and trial at the Japanese Ministry for Magic."
Mahoutkoro's reputation is lived not only by it's impressive academic prowess, but also by it's legendary reputation for Quidditch, which is said to be introduced to Japan centuries ago, "by a band of foolhardy Hogwarts students who were blown off course during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe on wholly inadequate broomsticks."
Naturally, when the author announced a Japanese version of her beloved Hogwarts, Twitter was a little Petrificus Totalus with excitement, but nonetheless popping open the butterbeer.
The three additional schools include Ilvermorny in North America, Castelobruxo in South America, and Uagadou in Africa. While the schools in Japan, Brazil and Africa all have back stories, the page for the North American institution simply states “Coming soon . . .” meaning fans may have to wait until the film’s release in November to find out.