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In Japan, a rōnin (浪人, ろうにん) is a student who has graduated from middle school or high school but has failed to enter a school at the next level, and consequently is studying outside of the school system for entrance in a future year. Rōnin may study at a yobikō.
Sometimes, the term 二浪 (short form) or 二年浪人 (full form, 二年 - second year) is used for student who failed exams twice.
In popular culture
Rōnin appear frequently in fiction and Japanese popular culture. As an example, the manga and anime series Love Hina features three main characters, Keitaro Urashima, Naru Narusegawa, and Mutsumi Otohime, who are described as rōnin throughout most of the series. In the manga and anime series Chobits, the protagonist, Hideki Motosuwa, is a rōnin studying at a preparatory school to get into college. Maison Ikkoku also features a rōnin as its main character; the series centers around his studying for exams as he is distracted by others that he lives with. The protagonist of Sekirei, Minato Sahashi, is also a rōnin. Kanamemo's Hinata Azuma is a roninsei as well due to her love of gambling and money making, activities which hinder her studies.
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