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What do you think of school uniform dress codes in Japan?


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Sounds like an unnecessary expenditure on uniforms.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Uniforms have a positive effect. They reduce the difference between richer and poorer and promote solidarity, which can positively effect student behavior. Other countries should at least give it a go. If it produces any negative effects then let it go. It would probably be a good thing.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Gene HennighToday 07:29 am JST

They reduce the difference between richer and poorer and promote solidarity, which can positively effect student behavior.

Only if they are provided for free. Not sure of too many places in the world that do that. You could also argue that individuality is more important than fitting in.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Uniforms have a positive effect.


2 ( +6 / -4 )

Gene Hennigh


agree with both of you.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

uniforms are great in terms of fostering uniformity among students (pun intended) and removing any demographic divide. It lessens the need to pick what clothes to wear. But I will say that overly strict uniform dress codes such as having prescribed bags or even inner clothing is a bit too strict for me. I grew up in a school environment similar to Japan and I can agree with the uniform part, just not with the inner wear and bags.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Good idea. Make them simple and low cost. For boys and young men a tan shirt and navy tie are enough - any dark trousers. (a flashback for me). For girls and young women … I can offer no fashion advice.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I'm of two minds on this. From my experience, it is not that much of a hassle or expense, at least in public schools. The only people who spend a lot of money are those that go for exact fit and have to keep buying new sizes. I've only bought one blazer and two pairs of slacks for my son in JHS. I bought the blazer big and let him grow into it and for the slacks, tucked the waist and hemmed the legs and let them out as necessary. Did the same when both my kids were in elementary school too. Big sizes for their PE clothes. Sure, they are a a little to big when they start and a little too small when they finish, and look a little awkward, but who cares? It also makes it easier to decide on what to wear - there is nothing to decide. Since they only need casual clothes for weekends and breaks, I've saved money on that end too. Most elementary school districts / neighborhoods also have a uniform recycling current that flows through them. My kids have worn several hand-me-downs from other neighborhood kids - gym shorts, warm-ups.... Some of them have had 2 or 3 different last names written and crossed out on the tags. We put them right back in the current when we were done.

As for the other part of my mind,

They reduce the difference between richer and poorer and promote solidarity, which can positively effect student behavior.

I don't think I can agree with this. If it promoted solidarity, the rampant bullying that takes place and formation of cliques in schools would not happen. It does and uniforms do absolutely nothing to prevent that. Kids don't get picked on by kids from other schools. I've also seen the classroom breakdown (学級崩壊) in schools with uniforms. The only solidarity they had was working together to give the teacher a nervous breakdown. Students also know who has money and who doesn't based on where they live, what jobs their parents have... - uniforms can't hide that either.

Also, while they may not be judged within the school, they are judged by society as a whole when they are outside the school when others see their uniform: Oh, that kid goes to XXX high school, she must be smart. That kid is wearing a XXX high school uniform, he must not be to bright. That one is wearing a XXX uniform, she's rich. He has on an XXX uniform, must be a trouble maker.... Then they become just another way to judge somebody without knowing them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not having uniforms would shine a light on those from poor backgrounds leading to them feeling uncomfortable and being targeted by bullies. But uniform costs need to be kept down, and a 2nd hand market for them helps. It's easier to spot kids playing truant and ban them from places where they cause problems if they have uniforms. They have the rest of their lives to express their individuality. Overly strict and petty rules should be avoided. And you really don't want teachers checking kids underwear. That is such a bad idea.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

To shorten that off-topic debate, schools aren't a catwalk and not a place for fashion statements or discussions. The focus has to be reset to solely education and achieving a highest possible level of knowledge.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I live in Nagano which has by far the lowest percentage of senior high schools with uniforms. Its about 50%. The next lowest prefecture is something like 80% uniforms. In Nagano, none of the public-system Matsumoto senior highs has a uniform. Generally speaking across Nagano, its the academically successful schools that don't have uniforms. The less successful ones keep them, often due to semi-paranoid concerns from parents or community elders about what anarchy would ensue if the kids didn't have uniforms.

Japanese public system elementary schools don't have uniforms. It strikes me as weird that little kids whose personalities are still forming aren't seen as needing uniforms to whip them into shape, but JHS students do.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm all for a uniform but too many schools in Japan take the dress code too far. Uniforms are there to act as equalisers, not to turn each student into a carbon copy of each other. I went to one school where we had a dress code that was simple: you could wear, navy, black, or khaki trousers, either a polo shirt, blouse, or shirt (tie optional) in any colour, and dress shoes or sensible black boots. In winter, you had a choice of blazer, sports jacket, or suit jacket. The purpose was to somewhat mirror how people would dress when going to work - some guidelines but enough leeway to allow for some individuality and customisation to come through. No student to my knowledge had issues with the dress code.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reasonable. Avoid the descent into chaos that my country has become.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If anyone is interested, here's an NHK article about the lack of uniforms in Nagano and the state in other prefectures


Our eldest had no uniform at SHS, but bought a pretend uniform so her and her friends could do JK cosplay at Disneyland. I think they might have worn it at karaoke sessions too. Her and her friends have a pact so that they will not wear the pretend uniform once they finish SHS this month. Anyway, its wrong to assume that all kids hate uniforms. A popular uniform can be a big draw, and is something that private SHS may focus on to appeal to more students.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have mixed thoughts about school uniforms. I wore one for 12 years of my schooling. But I can also understand why students might not want to wear them. Especially when the price of them is high.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Meaningless, and Useless.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What do you think of school uniform dress codes in Japan?

At best, bordering on the masochistic. At worst, bordering on the paedophilic.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Oops. I meant sadistic. DOH. Senior Moment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I remember being in the US and listening to some well dressed teenage girls criticizing other girls for not wearing more fashionable clothes.

Maybe uniforms are not so bad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some people love school uniforms, In the mid 1990's more than 40% of Japanese produced porn featured a girl in a school uniform.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The people talking about how uniforms reduce bullying are living in a dream world.

Bullying doesn't exist because there are fashion discrepancies between classes. Bullying exists for a wide variety of social and psychological reasons. If you take away the fashion issue, bullies will simply shift their focus to their victims' hairstyle, or hobbies, or music preferences, or friends, or the way they talk, or the way they walk, or what they brought in their bento, or their body shape, or a hundred other things.

Introducing school uniforms will solve exactly 0% of bullying-related issues.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a child, I went to a public school that had no uniforms. Our bullies were often the people coming from the lower classes themselves. They tended to be tough people who suffered from bad home lives. They were the ones wearing the low-grade clothes. So, no - in my childhood's context, wearing cheap clothes didn't make anyone the victim of bullying.

The portrayal of bullies as being the beautiful, rich girls wearing designer clothes and mocking their less well-off classmates for their dirty shoes certainly exists in the world. But it wasn't the reality of where I came from.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good idea. Make them simple and low cost. For boys and young men a tan shirt and navy tie are enough - any dark trousers. (a flashback for me). For girls and young women … I can offer no fashion advice.

-4( +0 / -4 )

Very curious. Why the -4? Was there something threatening about the post?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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