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This is the first in a two-part series on how the nation’s schools continued with in-person classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The upbeat theme song of popular anime series “Lupin the Third” reverberated throughout the building of a Tokyo elementary school on a recent balmy afternoon. The music came from a courtyard where a bevy of sixth graders had taken center stage and were playing accordions, metallophones and keyboards — instruments that don’t generate droplets — under the mesmerized gaze of an audience of hundreds of schoolchildren.

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