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High school student excluded from graduation ceremony for cornrow hairstyle

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137 Comments

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As the old saying goes:

"The diploma is for the student, but the graduation ceremony is for the parents."

The parents should be incensed!

Who cares about the hair - it's his last day in that school!

Some of the best graduation ceremonies have some people showing out! Lol

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

And I bet you a million yen at least one person in the decision-making process is an old man with a combover who thinks that style is perfectly "neat, tidy, and appropriate".

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Ah, so it's all the kid's fault he didn't allow them to racially profile him beforehand, and then refuse him anyway. Another perfect example of Japan's outdated and xenophobic policies. Everyone who was in the decision process should be sued by the family, and fired by the prefecture.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

@englisc aspyrgend

"your choice of hairstyle does not affect your ability or inclination to be studious." Apparently it affects one's inclination to be forthright and honest "コーンロー」と呼ばれ、アフリカにルーツを持つ黒人文化の伝統であることをインターネットで調べ、父親からも話を聞いていた" He looked it up on the Internet

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Petty and small minded little people given a little power, a typical officious jobsworth.

How exactly are cornrows not a “tidy and student like” style. Very tidy and your choice of hairstyle does not affect your ability or inclination to be studious.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

sounds like my boys' grammar school in England...... 60 years ago!!!!!

It's still the case - cornrow controversy continues in the UK

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@cleoToday 05:33 pm JST

The difference b/w you and him is that you already crumpets, scones and bread exist - you are just going to the Internet to find better variations.

In his case:

生徒は卒業式を「特別な日」と考え、巻き毛である髪質でも整って見えるよう髪を編み込んだ。「コーンロー」と呼ばれ、アフリカにルーツを持つ黒人文化の伝統であることをインターネットで調べ、父親からも話を聞いていた。

Because he thought graduation was a special day, he put his curly hair into braids to give them the apperance of tidiness. Called "cornrows", he found out on the Internet they are a tradition of the African black and had also consulted his father.

The way this is presented, this guy doesn't even know about Cornrows until he saw them on the Internet.

@AntiquesavingToday 05:39 pm JST

Some people seem to think if it isn't bred into your DNA then it isn't relevant.

If it isn't genetic, it isn't race. And it is one thing if this is such a core part of his culture and identity he has already been doing it before high school, another if it is a new idea he got from the Internet.

(It may be a integral part of African culture, but if he had to find it out on the Internet, it isn't HIS culture.)

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@ sakurasuki

Rastafarianism is not "pop" culture. It's a religion

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It seems that the support for the school's position is based of " those are the rules" mentality.

But lets look at that.

If we never challenge unjust rules then where would we be?

Well for one this boys wouldn't have had a problem because he wouldn't be a Japanese citizen today, because prior to 1981 and due to challenges made by people unwilling to accept the rules, a child born to a Japanese mother and a foreign father wasn't Japanese.

Prior to challenges and court ruling in 1991 a Japanese child would have to leave Japan with his non Japanese custodial parent if his parents divorced.

These "rules" affected mixed children like this boy, he was able to attend school, remain in Japan have Japanese citizenship because others before him "challenged" the system and status quo.

So those supporting the school, thank those that came before and didn't sit back and say nothing because your children are benefiting from people far braver than you.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The problem is that Japanese authority know very little about the outside world.

’International’ means gawking at foreign food on the top of some department store or a 3 day trip to Guam

Follow the rules and don’t think is a mantra for the 99% here

1 ( +5 / -4 )

cleo

Today 05:33 pm JST

you can't call something you had to look up on Internet an essential part of some cultural identity

> Of course you can. As a Brit, crumpets, scones, good bread, gardening, dogs, are all an essential part of my cultural identity. I've used the Internet to find recipes for crumpets, scones and bread, to check how and when to sow what seeds and how to look after them while they're growing, and to look for tips on dog training.

Great point, I am Francophones Quebecois, my mother did french braids on my sister as did many of my friends sisters.

But as a single father I had to look up how to do it when my daughter asked to have her hair braided like her cousins.

Some people seem to think if it isn't bred into your DNA then it isn't relevant.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

you can't call something you had to look up on Internet an essential part of some cultural identity

Of course you can. As a Brit, crumpets, scones, good bread, gardening, dogs, are all an essential part of my cultural identity. I've used the Internet to find recipes for crumpets, scones and bread, to check how and when to sow what seeds and how to look after them while they're growing, and to look for tips on dog training.

Cornrows apparently come in all different patterns and designs. Why not look to the Internet for inspiration and tips on how to get it right?

...but actually, where does it say he looked it up on the Internet? SeriouslyCreamy's link says the boy asked his father about it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Geeter Mckluskie

Clearly, this school had rules and the kid clearly knew them. Rastafarians smoke marajuana as a religious ritual. Do any schools allow their students of Jamaican descent to smoke weed?

For people that history illiterate and only using popular culture as reference and stigma please check this, 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornrows

it's been around for 30 thousand years. Even before Japan before feudal Japan really existed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

HOW SICK AND SAD, The school knows exactly who this boy is and what his ethnic back ground is but they did NOT care anyways.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Except the student didn't die due to his Afro,

More silly stuff.

"It's okay the teacher bear him and he is hospitalized but not dead" so no problem!

That makes about as much sense as what you are trying to justify

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@AntiquesavingToday 01:37 pm JST

They claimed his hair was to long, but the photo I linked clearly shows that was not the case but his NATURAL AFRO was something they were either uneducated about or unwilling to accept. (I tend to think both).

Except the student didn't die due to his Afro, but his choice to adopt a new, untested design he looked up on the Internet (you can't call something you had to look up on Internet an essential part of some cultural identity) and sprung onto his teachers without warning.

Beyond specific bans, the General Part of the requirement apparently was

流行にとらわれず、あくまでも高校生らしい清潔なもの

When I think of Tidy High-Schooler Hair, I don't think of a design where there are stripes of exposed scalp running back to forth like air vents on a bicycle helmet. Sorry.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@iradickleT

Guess what, men in the US military can't have cornrows either, must be Racist

Now you are trying to compare between US military and high schools? It's not comparable, kids can leave school with their parent consent, when in military you have fixed term of serving time. Try to leave before that can be considered a deserter.

Public school that being paid by tax payer money need to try to be inclusive as possible, not with military. It's not comparable!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Very harsh treatment of the schoolboy on his final day after attending for many years. Sucks for him to have that memory.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@ sakurasuki

Clearly, this school had rules and the kid clearly knew them. Rastafarians smoke marajuana as a religious ritual. Do any schools allow their students of Jamaican descent to smoke weed?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Antiquesaving

Yes, those are my children. The school rules in Japan explicitly state no dyeing of hair. They also have strict rules regarding length perms etc. My son got sent home from high school because he had a "two block fade". His hair was short. Instead of mewling to the press like a kitten sucking on a hind teat, I told him he had to conform to the rules like everyone else. He had his hair cut and was none the worse for it. Upon graduation he grew his hair out and now had dreadlocks.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@Geeter Mckluskie

He wants to be treated as exceptional because of his father's culture. He's in Japan now. A big part of Japanese culture is adhering to school rules. He knows that, yet put himself above the rules

The big part of current trend is inclusivity for all kids no matter sexual preference, gender, ethnicity and cultural background. For private school they can enforce whatever value they have but for public school with tax payer money they need to be more inclusive to many kind of kids from various background.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan's leanings towards discrimination and racism strike again, this time robbing a kid of one of his milestone achievements. I wonder what'll take for Japan to learn that individuality and multiculturalism aren't monsters clawing out from under the bed to wreak havoc on the masses. I hope the kid's parents sought recompense from the idiot school for needlessly singling the kid out and denying him access to his graduation ceremony and rites.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Geeter MckluskieToday  04:01 pm JST

"I'm special. The rules don't apply to me"

Are those your children in the photo?

Look pale hair, so when the school comes to you demanding "proof" that is their natural colour! When the school demands you change their hair colour of cut their curls to conform, I guess you are going to be the good boy and comply , right?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Anti: You don't understand the word rules. African are not the only race that have frizzy hair. I have a Scottish friend who has frizzy red hair and his brothers and relatives.

Oh seriously!

Please do you take us for fools?

Comparing the curls of Africans to Caucasian curls?

If you are being serious I think you need to take a fresh look at ethnic facts.

I am the first one to get upset at people wanting special privileges.

But lets call it what it is , intolerance of differences as a minimum racism and discrimination at the upper level.

If you wish to pretend that this isn't the fact then by all means.

I have been here for 30 years I have seen heard more things than I care to repeat but the dirty mix the dirty half that you don't look right I have heard them all directed at my children directed at my friend's children.

This boy should not have had to do anything to his hair and the only reason he had to do something was because he's half black and had black person's hair which didn't fit with the stereotype of straight black Asian Japanese hair.

If you wish to pretend that this isn't so that is your choice

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

"I'm special. The rules don't apply to me"

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

The rules are posted for all to see. If you don't like them,choose a different school. 

lol I have yet to see a school where rules, posted for all to see, include the cardinal rule, No cornrows.

As I mentioned before, at my daughter's school there was no mention at all of hairstyles until the class meeting after the entrance ceremony. And then it was all about colour and perms, not length (except, if it touches the shoulders, tie it back) and there was certainly no mention of cornrows.

men in the US military can't have cornrows either

Probably because ...

It could take literally hours to do that hairstyle. 

No time to do a coiffeur when you're going over the top.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Rodney said "So promote skateboarding as a national youth Olympic sport, common with street fashion, but ban a mixed race student for being just…a mixed race student." Maiko are considered cultural icons. High school students are not permitted to attend graduation ceremonies dressed in kimono with whiteface. School rules apply to everyone equally. This is the opposite of racism. This is inclusion...including having to adhere to the same rules as everyone else. He knew it, which is why he tried to sneak it in on the day of graduation.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

He wants to be treated as exceptional because of his father's culture. He's in Japan now. A big part of Japanese culture is adhering to school rules. He knows that, yet put himself above the rules.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Guess what, men in the US military can't have cornrows either, must be Racist

Again comparing rocks and apple.

It public school the military?

Incase you don't know: No it isn't.

The boy was told his hair was not to their liking BEFORE THE CORNROW!

So I am going to guess the "military" view you have is he should have cut his hair buzz cut to please them!

No boy with natural Japanese hair would be forced to Buzz cut, his hair wasn't long before the cornrow it just seems that way because is stays up due to his African genetics.

If his hair dropped flat like most Japanese then he wouldn't have done the cornrow to hide his natural curls that seemed problematic to the school.

Now I always get a kick out of apologists

His hair was fine before the cornrows, not touching his ears, collar or covering his eyes.

Except according to the school it wasn't

The school had earlier told the student to cut his hair as it was too long and in violation of school rules that called for "tidy and student-like" hairstyles.

Had you read the articles you would know he did the cornrow because of the above.

So now you know his natural hair was unacceptable and had he showed up naturally he would have had the same thing happen.

Still say it isn't discrimination at a minimum?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The rules are posted for all to see. If you don't like them,choose a different school. However, if it was a girl, this would not have been a story.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Anti: You don't understand the word rules. African are not the only race that have frizzy hair. I have a Scottish friend who has frizzy red hair and his brothers and relatives. They don't call their hair growth as Afro, they call it frizzy. I never have heard the excuse because my hair is frizzy I can't cut it to a certain length. Again rules have been set and agree to by the parents and the school concern. That democracy. They knew the rules they have a choice but choose this school knowing of the standards. You should look up the word discrimination because it seem to be your go to word when people disagree with you on a subject.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

the student had not explained "his ethnic background and the reason for wearing cornrows."

It sounds like the these people are lacking education. First of all, the ethnic background should be quite easy to guess, from the skin color and hairstyle. Second, the reason is obvious. He was requested to have a neat and tidy hairstyle. It could take literally hours to do that hairstyle. I can't imagine anyone else having a more neat and tidy hair at that ceremony. He should have been placed in the front row, as the pride of the school!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Wow, so many people going off the rails.

This is NOT racism, been living black in Japan for 16 years. So you guys must be saying that if a Japanese student showed up with a samurai cut or a geisha hairstyle they'd be good to go? Please. As I stated above, ask the school, show them a picture and tell them why you'd like to wear that style at graduation. If they say no, what, sit through the 2-3hr ceremony and NEVER have to worry about again. His hair was fine before the cornrows, not touching his ears, collar or covering his eyes.

And let's say they let him join, then all the other students start to wonder, "Well why couldn't I XXXX? It's not fair" now there's resentment and another mess.

Guess what, men in the US military can't have cornrows either, must be Racist

5 ( +12 / -7 )

So promote skateboarding as a national youth Olympic sport, common with street fashion, but ban a mixed race student for being just…a mixed race student.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Anti: Why did you use the word "afro hair" concerning this hair style. The hair style is unrelated to Africa or Afro hair. . It was first used by female warriors in battle of the Norse. Their straight long hair would hemper their sword work. The man ( Vikings )soon adopt it and wore it into battle also. If you read the Icelandic Saga it is detail very extensively. It worn today for one reason only "style" .The young man was not turning out for a battle therefore it for style ( Attention seeking ). He going to a ceremony where parents of the attendants all agree to the rules of the ceremony so their child's day and it is not spoil by some others political views or attention seeking. Who made you the decider of hair length or style when you have no input into how ceremony rule should be. A standard has been set and agree to by those concern. Why drag racism into the debate when it clearly a rule that all concerned agree to. This as nothing to do with racism. It obeying rule of a ceremony that all have agree to. That is democracy not racism.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

What surprised me was reading an article in Yahoo News that listed the 30 most underdeveloped nations & Japan WASN'T on it. I guess if there were a backwards developing nations list, Japan would be on top.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

All Ceremony have restriction or rules, like starting time no drinking of alcohol, all sort of rules. If one tune up in tongs and t-shirt showing his or her full body tattoo

Again another defender of discrimination using totally unrelated things.

His hair is not a tattoo he cannot change his afro hair he didn't choose to put afro hair on his head you have to choose a tattoo you have to choose a t-shirt.

The school objected to his hair before the cornrows because it was "too long"

The photos clearly show his hair was not too long but his hair is afro which means it goes straight up and curls.

The boy was courteous enough to try and make his hair stand out less short of getting a buzz cut but it seems the racism and the intolerance seems to be the way people want to go sadly a large number here.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki

Today 01:15 pm JST

I see a lot of people use the word "Racism", which clearly is wrong, because unlike "race" (usually meaning skin or hair color) which you can't change, one can always choose a different hairstyle. This is more about someone demanding special privileges on account of his culture.

Let me help, hair I black in most cases but will be very curly, which is why the school had a problem in the first place.

They claimed his hair was to long, but the photo I linked clearly shows that was not the case but his NATURAL AFRO was something they were either uneducated about or unwilling to accept. (I tend to think both).

So you would force the child to buzz cut his head because that is the only way his African hair would comply. That is the definition of racism. He is being discriminated against because of his natural Afro.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Graduation ceremony ? what is it ? It is a meeting to hand out a document of achievement to student after they passed their final year of education. Not going does not disallow them the document of achievement. They not allow to attend because of restriction of the Ceremony not that passing their exams . All Ceremony have restriction or rules, like starting time no drinking of alcohol, all sort of rules. If one tune up in tongs and t-shirt showing his or her full body tattoo of Swatsticker and devil symbols or wearing a pride flag suit he or she should they be allow to attend ? That why I was not allow because I wanted to draw attention to my political views by coming dress a miss piggy because my stand against cartooning of Animals. Now that I am older my stand for this cause seem very stupid now but where at the time of my ceremony seem very important and not stupid at all.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Rules are rules

...

This is more about someone demanding special privileges on account of his culture.

The rule is apparently that hair should be 'neat and student-like'.

Look at the photos. The cornrows are definitely more tidy.

As for 'student-like', what does that even mean? Look for 'student-like hairstyle' on Google Images. You'll be surprised.

Oh, but that's not Japan, Japan is different, I hear you say.

Fine. Google-image 学生らしい髪型.

Ain't nothing wrong with the kid's cornrows. Much neater than some of the recommended 'Johnny's Junior' styles.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I see a lot of people use the word "Racism", which clearly is wrong, because unlike "race" (usually meaning skin or hair color) which you can't change, one can always choose a different hairstyle. This is more about someone demanding special privileges on account of his culture.

You can say that everyone should be allowed to dress their hairstyle in whatever they want. But one role of school is to train people for society. If society is known to likely to look dimly upon certain hairstyles or other means of self-expression, acclimatizing the student to this is a valid school goal.

And if you say a regular student should not be allowed cornrows even if they are interested in it (I'm not), then to allow this kid cornrows for any reason is to privilege him. Just the presence of his cornrow head in the graduation photo may cause someone who happened to look at it to develop a negative opinion of the school as insufficiently disciplined. You may argue said "someone" to be narrow-minded, but if such people exist as a reality then it has to be accounted for. Disadvantaging dozens for this one kid is perhaps a little too much privilege.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

whoops - you're right @Politik Kills - apologies!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Politik Kills

Please study grammar. It wasn't 'the decision' that lacked. They said HE lacked that. Subjects and verbs, keep 'em straight.

@BB please read before you post. It is clearly written that

the decision to exclude the student "lacked a supportive attitude and educational consideration."

anyway, classic Japanese intolerance and racism illustrated right there. Poor kid, must have been devastating for him and his family.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Bubonam Justin Kayce

Today 12:52 pm JST

Rules are rules. I could understand if they discriminated against him without his prior knowledge, but the kid and more importantly the parent(s) knew well what they were up against prior to entering the situation. If they compromise for one they have to throw the rules out for all. Good on the school for upholding standards

So if a school in America or whatever country you come from said an ethnic Japanese had to conform to blonde hair, that would be acceptable to you?

https://video-images.vice.com/articles/6422d2b57a0824412f9587cb/lede/1680004344871-japan-school-rule-half-black-student.jpeg?crop=1xw:0.8771xh;0xw,0xh&resize=600:*

Look at his hair how is he to comply other than a Buzz cut.

You live in another era

3 ( +6 / -3 )

this is nothing but a racist act. This school is disgusting.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Luckily her mother (my ex-wife) is powerful and extremely litigious I was threatened to sue at the drop of a hat.

This is hardly going to scare any public school here. They have their rules and guidelines, and no threat of someone suing them is going to matter!

Japanese are not the type either.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Antiquesaving - I live in the sticks, my daughter has beautiful dark hazel, slightly curly hair. On the first day of senior high I pointed out to her form teacher (who had just read out the school regulations about dyed/permed hair) that my daughter’s hair was totally natural and she would not be dying it black to conform, or straightening it.

We had no problems over hair after that. No need at all for the threat of litigation.

My point in saying what my impression was after reading the article, and that it changed after seeing the photos, was not that ‘I believe everything I’m told and adhere to stereotypes’, but that it’s necessary to check the facts for oneself and make one’s own mind up, not just accept what others say.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

GorramcowboyToday  Read the article.

I did.

If you did, your comment makes ZERO sense.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

cleo

Today 12:17 pm JST

Reading the article and the first few comments, I got the impression that this was a troublemaker kid out for his moment of notoriety at the expense of the school

I find that interesting and telling!

Perhaps living in the countryside leaves some foreigns to believe the same stereotypes the Japanese have about certain non white or most Gaijin.

I live in Tokyo, my 2 children went to public school, plenty of mixed children most being other Asian like Philippines, China, etc.. but also a few black Nigerian and American.

The Afro hair seemed to regularly upset the schools, girls being told to cut it extremely short or use a straightening iron ( no perm) to make it stay down like Japanese.

These were constant fights between the students, their parents and the school.

My daughter's Caucasian curly brown hair was no exception,

Luckily her mother (my ex-wife) is powerful and extremely litigious I was threatened to sue at the drop of a hat.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Reading the article and the first few comments, I got the impression that this was a troublemaker kid out for his moment of notoriety at the expense of the school.

Then I saw the photos of the kid’s hair, natural and with the cornrows. There’s nothing wrong with either style, but the cornrows are definitely neater - what the school told the kid they wanted.

He should not have been admonished, he should not have been excluded from the ceremony. And the school owes him a HUGE, PUBLIC apology.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@BB please read before you post. It is clearly written that

the decision to exclude the student "lacked a supportive attitude and educational consideration."

anyway, classic Japanese intolerance and racism illustrated right there. Poor kid, must have been devastating for him and his family.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

finally rich

Today 11:49 am JST

https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/voices/culture/article/2019/05/24/japanese-schools-facing-backlash-asking-students-dye-their-hair-black

> One result of the 2017 case, according to The Telegraph, is that 60 per cent of Japanese schools now demand that students supply a Natural Hair Certification, which documents a person's natural hair colour and level of curliness.

> Can't make this up!!!

> Thats it. I'm enrolling my kid into Int. school.

> The subject alone would be the laugh of the day at any American, British, French school here in Tokyo!

My daughter like myself is extremely pale and will burn badly without sunscreen.

The school called sunscreen "makeup" and said she couldn't use it.

I tried explaining, they said only with a doctor note would it be acceptable.

So the local dermatologist went with us to the school and thoroughly embarrassed the school principal the teachers and staff by "educating" them about skin cancer infront of all the students!

2 years later we went through the whole ordeal again with my son at the same school!

Hopeless.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Pressuring everyone to conform - and deny what makes them unique - worked in the 50s and 60s when Japan needed an army of factory worker drones to power economic growth. It's the opposite now. Japanese educators need to refresh their playbook. No wonder the economy's been stagnant for two decades.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

Antiquesaving

I am not saying if doesn't happen but unlike in Japan it is official against the law in the UK.

It is only against the law for minority children. But not for the majority of white children.

I disagree with all forms of discrimination including those against transsexual pupils.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

One schoolboy was banned for shaving off all his hair to raise money for cancer aid.

Oh

This is terrible, what a problem

-24 months suspended 3 years! Thatll show em

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/voices/culture/article/2019/05/24/japanese-schools-facing-backlash-asking-students-dye-their-hair-black

*One result of the 2017 case, according to The Telegraph, is that 60 per cent of Japanese schools now demand that students supply a Natural Hair Certification, which documents a person's natural hair colour and level of curliness.*

Can't make this up!!!

Thats it. I'm enrolling my kid into Int. school.

The subject alone would be the laugh of the day at any American, British, French school here in Tokyo!

4 ( +11 / -7 )

French schools have dress codes although uniforms are not worn. Religious clothing of any kind is banned in schools in France.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

wallace

Today 11:45 am JST

I am not saying if doesn't happen but unlike in Japan it is official against the law in the UK.

I agree with you it happens, but unlike here it is nearly always universally condemned as minimum inappropriate or illegal.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Antiquesaving

Children banned from school yard because of their 'extreme haircuts'

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/children-banned-school-yard-because-3441033

Mum slams school for 'breaching' kids rights by putting them in isolation over haircuts

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/mum-slams-school-breaching-kids-14809994

One schoolboy was banned for shaving off all his hair to raise money for cancer aid.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Antiquesaving

   wallace

Perhaps dress code in clothing, but since 2011 UK courts rulled banning cornrows was racist and unacceptable, in 2022 the courts warned against discrimination based on ethnic hairstyle.

The UK has changed a long time ago.

You are wrong. Read many articles in recent years. I read the UK media on a daily basis. Many children have had problems with hairstyles at their schools. I do not think braids would be banned though.

https://qaeducation.co.uk/news/schools-warned-hair/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Awa no Gaijin

Today 11:27 am JST

The young man knew they disapproved of his hair prior to graduation and yet chose to be defiant.

> His priorities was not to be clean cut as was / is required.

> This is Japan !

> Better to be proud of your education than your haircut.

> Rules are rules no matter how ridiculous they are.

> This is Japan and thats that.

So under your view you would accept a Nordic country ordering black students to straighten their hair and Asian student to die their hair blonde if those were the rules straight light coloured hair!

Wow the hoops some will jump through to justify discrimination.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Japan needs to join the 19th century. Different people have different hair and different needs for styling of that hair to maintain a health scalp and healthy hair.

I saw a white teacher force a black student remove his cornrows before being allowed on a field trip in the 1970s. I guess he was old-school southern and considered the hairstyle to be degrading to his position. IDK. Cornrows are a style to protect the hair from breakage for people with that type of hair.

https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/hair/g34115672/protective-hairstyles/

0 ( +4 / -4 )

SAME#

Today 11:21 am JST

The school is 100% wrong but I wonder why the student didn't check with the school before if this was OK

He was trying to comply with a previous complaint about his hair being unacceptable.

The school claimed his hair was untidy and long.

In reality it was not long but curls straight up as many with natural Afro hair do.

So choice 1 buzz cut choice 2 make it clean and neat

Imagine here, remember this is his natural hair.

https://video-images.vice.com/articles/6422d2b57a0824412f9587cb/lede/1680004344871-japan-school-rule-half-black-student.jpeg?crop=1xw:0.8771xh;0xw,0xh&resize=600:*

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Oh Yeah?

Whats with the whole riot act over it?

Gimme a break nobody dead over a hairstyle. Wanna be harda*&, whatever-go ahead give em 18 months suspended 3 years. Something like Tatsuyoshi Masuda, remember that dude? Or was it the other nursery school head guy, he forgot about 5-year-old on the bus for about nine hours before being discovered. Daed kd and all he got was sentenced to two years in prison and a staff member to 18 months, both suspended for three years, for negligence resulting in death.

So you were sayin about strict rules?

@Sagamihara

…very strict rules on appearance and hairstyle. Had any student styled their hair like this they would have been excluded from the graduation ceremony had they not returned their hair to an approved hairstyle, regardless of race.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

wallace

Today 11:20 am JST

Many UK public and private schools have strict dress codes including hairstyles, and what dress is allowed.

> They claim it's all about discipline.

> In the UK media, there are weekly articles about some kids in trouble at school over the dress codes

Perhaps dress code in clothing, but since 2011 UK courts rulled banning cornrows was racist and unacceptable, in 2022 the courts warned against discrimination based on ethnic hairstyle.

The UK has changed a long time ago.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Why are so many here making excuses AGAIN.

We go through this every year over and over for 30 plus years this same thing comes up every graduation and entrance ceremony season.

And every year a load of people and sadly many Gaijin make excuses for the school's behavior.

The argument "we didn't understand their culture" etc...is no longer acceptable the "this is Japan do like the Japanese" is no longer acceptable. Not after every year the same thing happens over and over again.

If the school the teachers didn't understand them they are not suited to teach because this is in the news every year again every year and anyone today that is as clueless as this school and those supporting it shouldn't be in any position of authority especially over children.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

The school is 100% wrong but I wonder why the student didn't check with the school before if this was OK?

We don't have the details but I assume it was the 1st time he was doing this hairstyle as he explained he did some research and asked his dad about it. So he could have shown a picture and explained what he wanted to do?

Of course, he should never have to do this in the first place but we also know this is Japan and there are so many stupid rules that it's better to check when you are among the 2% foreigners .

I had many discussions on any topic with daycare and schools as our kids have different clothes, hair, eating habits, bento box, shoes, pen, school bag and so on....We usually come to an understanding when both sides explain the reasons behind.

Yes it takes time, and no we should not have to do it but it also helps to understand each other.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Many UK public and private schools have strict dress codes including hairstyles, and what dress is allowed.

They claim it's all about discipline.

In the UK media, there are weekly articles about some kids in trouble at school over the dress codes.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

tora

Today 10:46 am JST

Again you ignore reality and facts.

The student doesn't have natural hair that follows the straight black Japanese hair.

So are you suggesting he needs to keep his head buzz cut because his natural hair at normal length isn't acceptable to the school?

Seems that is what you are implying.

At normal length as seen in previous article/photo link was not long it just went straight up due to genetics of afro hair.

But the school and apparently you don't like that and expect him to hide this fact.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Sagamihara

Today 10:46 am JST

My high school in the west had very strict rules on appearance and hairstyle. Had any student styled their hair like this they would have been excluded from the graduation ceremony had they not returned their hair to an approved hairstyle, regardless of race.

Name "the west"!

Public or private, private can do as it pleases.

But no western country with even a tiny black population would even try saying no to cornrow hair, the racist overtone would get all involved fired.

Sorry I am not young, my city had very few black people but even 40~50 years ago cornrow was a fully acceptable hair style for black students

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

gokai_wo_manekuToday 10:47 am JST

I guess times have changed. When I graduated from high school in 1998, we had a half guy (Japanese and black) with cornrows, and nobody said anything. Or maybe it is because my school was in Shinjuku in Tokyo, and the school in this article is in Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture. It is the countryside. Oh, am I being stereotypical?

I don't think you are being stereotypical at all. Good to read what you posted. There's hope in that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Not a sliver of a sense of humor in the place.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Instead, they then doubled down and completely ostracized the young man and didn't allow him to enjoy what should have been one of the best days of his life.

Are you sure? I think most students don't even want to go to these events. So soul destroying and monotonous. Anyway the dude should have just followed the rules for a day and left it at that.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

No need to just repeat the same comments.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I guess times have changed. When I graduated from high school in 1998, we had a half guy (Japanese and black) with cornrows, and nobody said anything. Or maybe it is because my school was in Shinjuku in Tokyo, and the school in this article is in Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture. It is the countryside. Oh, am I being stereotypical?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The school told the board of education that the student had not explained "his ethnic background and the reason for wearing cornrows."

So much to see here but nothing to see, really. Born in Japan and has probably lived here all his years, speaks and writes in Japanese but still a foreigner, needing to explain his ethnicity. He will only be "accepted" if he's a Naomi Osaka or a Rui Hachimura and then only when they win or become world famous. Do the other kids have to explain their ethnic background and just what the hell does that mean anyway? There was a real teaching moment and they blew it completely. They could have taken him aside and asked about his hairstyle or showed him in the rulebook that the hairstyle is not allowed, even though I doubt it clearly states that, and give a warning and let him graduate. Instead, they then doubled down and completely ostracized the young man and didn't allow him to enjoy what should have been one of the best days of his life. Schools are meant to teach but they taught all the wrong things here. They need a lesson in showing proper respect but I doubt they even think they did anything wrong. Good luck to this young man and I hope it hasn't damaged him too much. It is truly a learning experience and I doubt it was his first encounter with such bias. That is Japan: Always wanting you to act exactly like a Japanese, but finding any little reason to exclude you anyway. "Gaijin dakara..."

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

If it weren't because race than it's because Japan won't acknowledge that students can different from one to another, it can because ethnicity background, cultural background or even gene.

That is not the issue. They have rules and asked the student to abide by them, within reason. From the article:

*The school had earlier told the student to cut his hair as it was too long and in violation of school rules that called for "tidy and student-like" hairstyles.*

I think you're twisting this a little.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Antiquesaving,

What are you going off on me for? Maybe run it by the teachers before is all I said. You yourself have NO DETAILS about what happened, the student, or even the school. I'm no japanophile by any means, maybe I'm just not the type to jump into a rage with minimal info.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@tora

Not sure what a corncrow cut is (I'm sure it's sick as) but the dude should have just listened and cut it shorter and neater as requested. Sounds like he was being a dick.

T

P.S. looked it up. Yep sure it would break the rules. This has nothing to do with race

If it weren't because race than it's because Japan won't acknowledge that students can different from one to another, it can because ethnicity background, cultural background or even gene. 

Whatever it is, Japan just want everyone look the same. Even students that don't corncrow will have another issue, like students who have natural born non-black hair need to dye their hair in Japan.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/tokyo-public-schools-will-stop-forcing-students-to-dye-their-hair-black-official-promises

https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/voices/culture/article/2019/05/24/japanese-schools-facing-backlash-asking-students-dye-their-hair-black

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

tora

Today 10:05 am JST

Not sure what a corncrow cut is (I'm sure it's sick as) but the dude should have just listened and cut it shorter and neater as requested. Sounds like he was being a dick.

> T

> P.S. looked it up. Yep sure it would break the rules. This has nothing to do with race.

So his hair was too long, because you believe the school, right?

https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3wzyy/half-black-student-japan-graduation-cornrows

Look for yourself.

Had his hair been typical Japanese straight hair it would have been fine but, NO it CURLS!

That upset them, so he went and tried a compromise.

Instead of cutting is acceptable length hair that curls he made it neat!

But again we have more people saying stuff without facts.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Some back of the bus shenanigans right here.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

iradickle

Today 09:54 am JST

"The response could have been different had there been prior consultation," an education board official said,

> Hate to say it, but they're right, he had been at that school for three years. Wrong time to spring something new on them

Obviously you missed this part or ignored it!

The school had earlier told the student to cut his hair as it was too long and in violation of school rules that called for "tidy and student-like" hairstyles.

What is tidy ? Oh right straight black, right?

Here is the boy and his hair.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3wzyy/half-black-student-japan-graduation-cornrows

Notice his extremely curly hair!

Now having had the problem with my daughter with brown curly hair the schools only "acceptable" style is as short as possible as to hide the " unruly curls" .

In the photo the boy's hair is probably no longer than any other boy in school just instead of dropping flat it curls straight up.

If after 3 years the school director, teachers etc...need this to be explained then perhaps the entire lot need to retire out of incompetent or lack of intelligence.

I wish the japanophiles would stop trying to make excuses for the inexcusable.

This is 2023 but 1923 not even 1993. The internet exists, the world is at the fingertips of the so-called educators but somehow the remain clueless about the world and those not like them, the only way this is possible is to go out of their way not to see the outside world.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Next! It is interesting an ethnic Japanese can go to graduation dressed as a white European leader in a kaki T-shirt etc..

No Twilight Zone. One is a highschool and the other is a university.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Not sure what a corncrow cut is (I'm sure it's sick as) but the dude should have just listened and cut it shorter and neater as requested. Sounds like he was being a dick.

T

P.S. looked it up. Yep sure it would break the rules. This has nothing to do with race.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Next! It is interesting an ethnic Japanese can go to graduation dressed as a white European leader in a kaki T-shirt etc.. is fine in one school but a mixed black guys hairstyle is too much in another school!

Welcome to the twilight zone!

So it goes to show that all schools have different rules, even rules that are completely stupid like this one. I knows kids here that have dyed hair, corn rows, nose rings, afros and mohawks but had no problems with going to their school. Stop making it out to be like the entire country is racist because of some measly school in Himeji has dumb rules/faculty.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Disappointing but not surprising. A bit funny too because though Japan has preserved its historical culture they have never been able to look at it critically and learn from it. This is a major reason why the countries been declining for 30plus years. Lack of innovation and acceptance of diversity of thought and race as aforementioned many of these people outside of the accepted norm in Japanese society decide to leave. It is impossible to have a successful capitalistic society and actively have barriers against different people being able to assimilate especially with things outside of their control i.e. their heritage. This is the main reason why Japan is nothing but a little brother to America and relevant because of the need for US hegemonic security in the region.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

"The response could have been different had there been prior consultation," an education board official said,

Hate to say it, but they're right, he had been at that school for three years. Wrong time to spring something new on them. My kids are Blackanese and my son's hair is like the "before" picture from the link someone posted above. He's in elementary school now so there's no problem. He still has another year in elementary so I'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Around my area it seems a few junior high schools are relaxing their rules, seen a few "unique" hair cuts on boys, girls in boys uniforms.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"The unnamed 18-year-old, who has black and curly hair, wore braids because his high school graduation was a special occasion, Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported on Tuesday. He wanted to show up with “neat hair” to the February ceremony, so he asked his father—a Black researcher from New York—about the hairstyle."

He looks very neat with his braids. Ponytails are also banned because they sexually excite men.

I will look out for him next week when I visit Himeji Castle for the sakura.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

In Japanese...

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20230327/k00/00m/040/127000c

We can see picture from Mainichi article, that student hair never pass to shirt collar which is common regular hair rule. So school just enforce their own rule.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

A lot of oyajis attend these (graduation) events. Principal and Admin don't want to look 'soft' by letting this hairstyle go.

But probably in another country, the entire class would refuse to attend the ceremony if "the halfu" wasn't allowed to accept his diploma...and it would work! Its a shame his classmates couldn't have stood up for him.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

SeriouslyCreamy

Today 08:53 am JST

A couple of photos of the boy's hairstyle on Vice Media...

> https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3wzyy/half-black-student-japan-graduation-cornrows

> In Japanese...

> https://mainichi.jp/articles/20230327/k00/00m/040/127000c

Thanks that explains the following

The school had earlier told the student to cut his hair as it was too long and in violation of school rules that called for "tidy and student-like" hairstyles.

His hair was clearly not to long but as suspected, he has naturally curly hair and that was also upsetting them (imagine not straight and black hair oh the horror) if his hair was typical Japanese it would drop flatand not be considered long.

So instead of getting a buzz cut he made it neat looking.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Cultural discrimination should not happen in schools or in the greater society.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

As you all can see,

there are still people

here in Japan who

hold onto racist views.

The school board or

any organization

should not have any

control over how

people dress or

style your own hair.

Follow rules only

if it makes sense

to you on an individual

level.

Not every rule fits

everyone.

Be unique. Use your

own brain.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Read the article.

I did.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If that would have been my child, I would have hired a lawyer and I would have gone to the media, and fight this until the end, I want to expose these people and this case, bring to light since it’s the best disinfectant. Let the nation see how cruel the system is and let the nation judge if it was the right, moral and ethical thing to do, denying a child’s graduation moment because of a hairstyle, punishing that child for being different. They took a moment from this child that he will never get back and for what? Conformity?

That's exactly what I will do the moment a school asks my son to dye his hair black (assuming I'm still here) but in my case I wont let "the nation" see, it would rather be World news, you know how terrified the japanese are of being exposed to the world.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

made the 18-year-old boy sit alone in a balcony at the back of the venue and told him not to respond even if his name was called

I would have told my son when his name was called to get up and go get his deploma and if anyone tried stopping him it would have been me standing infront clearing the way ( or his mother my ex-wife she is far more aggressive than I am).

Where was the father and mother during all this?

I would have made it clear the cornrow hair would be far less disruptive than what would happen if the excluded my child!

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Japan is a land of four distinct seasons, beautiful cherry blossoms during spring time and straight black hair! That should be respected because Japan is unique ! Good job to the school for sticking with the rules because Japaneseたち はルールを守る民族だ!!!

-22 ( +4 / -26 )

Chances are there were rules that needed adhering to so using any other rational to argue a point would mean you're saying it's ok to break rules and/or give a pass on an individual to individual basis.

Read the article.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sven Asai

Today 08:07 am JST

Probability is high that he also otherwise was behaviorally outstanding, only was present during the lessons and not even deserved any graduation,

My daughter has natural curly hair and medium brown this is her natural hair!

But that did not stop the school from "trying" to get her to change her colour to black and "straighten it a little" (as they put it) to blend in better at graduation in junior high.

And my daughter was not a trouble maker, attended school and did well.

She did however have a right wing homeroom teacher that would regularly say mixed children were a crime and that they had no business in Japan, the school and schoolboard did nothing because he was retiring in 2 years.

But you can think your way but it is sad.

0 ( +18 / -18 )

Ban this guy yet allow some idiot dressed as Zelensky to attend???

Difference between high school and university.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Sven Asai

Today 08:07 am JST

Do you make a habit of defending discrimination when the Japanese system does it?

Probability is high that he also otherwise was behaviorally outstanding, only was present during the lessons and not even deserved any graduation,

I rarely say this but is it because he is black mixed you jump to this conclusion? Or do you feel this way About all Gaijin mixed children?

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

Next! It is interesting an ethnic Japanese can go to graduation dressed as a white European leader in a kaki T-shirt etc.. is fine in one school but a mixed black guys hairstyle is too much in another school!

Welcome to the twilight zone!

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

The school told the board of education that the student had not explained "his ethnic background and the reason for wearing cornrows."

Did they say that with a serious face or while laughing?

The student was in the school for at least a year if not 3 years and the school wants us to believe they didn't know or understand he was half non-japanese/Black?

Someone in the school from teachers or other students more likely made a point about him not being pure Japanese weekly if not daily.

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

A high school in western Japan refused to allow a student to formally attend his graduation ceremony for wearing his hair in cornrows

Ahhh, ignorance is very much alive in schools still.

It’s amazing how much focus is put on irrelevant issues and how little attention major ones receive in the “academic institutions” of Japan.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Chances are there were rules that needed adhering to so using any other rational to argue a point would mean you're saying it's ok to break rules and/or give a pass on an individual to individual basis.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

A couple of photos of the boy's hairstyle on Vice Media...

https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3wzyy/half-black-student-japan-graduation-cornrows

In Japanese...

https://mainichi.jp/articles/20230327/k00/00m/040/127000c

17 ( +17 / -0 )

He did it to get attention.

Or he did it because that's how his father styles his hair.

This wasn't some insensitive youth "appropriating" some random culture; it's his own ethnicity that he wanted to celebrate.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

So much for cultural sensitivity, or lack of it. In his shoes, I would have just said, “Stuff the school all together and stayed at home.” Get my diploma later and be done with the school all together and moved on.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

"The response could have been different had there been prior consultation," an education board official said, adding the decision to exclude the student "lacked a supportive attitude and educational consideration."

BS.

3 ( +16 / -13 )

in violation of school rules that called for "tidy and student-like" hairstyles.

Lmao…(!)

..

"The response could have been different had there been prior consultation," an education board official said, adding the decision to exclude the student "lacked a supportive attitude and educational consideration."

Bs.

9 ( +20 / -11 )

Good move by the school board. Plenty of time in his life after high school to be whatever. High school is for learning, not a place to try to be cool, copying the latest rap star or thug look.

-33 ( +6 / -39 )

Poor guy, they robbed a precious moment. If he was a great player in any sport, the board would have been proud...sport is the only way to avoid racial discrimination here.

-4 ( +17 / -21 )

Sad. Graduation is meant to celebrate an achievement and point in one’s life. Instead of being proud of being who he is, the student is shamed and punished.

Hey! 

Teachers! 

Leave those kids alone! 

ll in all you're just another 

brick in the wall.

Roger Waters has used a speech to the United Nations to repeat his claim that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was "provoked".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

sounds like my boys' grammar school in England...... 60 years ago!!!!!

11 ( +25 / -14 )

First it’s corn rows and then smoking cigarettes and shooting pool. And the next thing you know, he’s headed to keba.

-17 ( +7 / -24 )

To remind many here, schools are a place for studying and achieving highest possible learning results, not a place for fashion or ethnic statements, wearing cornrow hairs or whatever else exotic. Probability is high that he also otherwise was behaviorally outstanding, only was present during the lessons and not even deserved any graduation, ceremony or graduation paper. So nothing happened and both sides profited, the school showed him what he was it for it, and he was generously granted undeserved graduation. It’s a win-win situation, no need at all to complain it.

-39 ( +6 / -45 )

And the Government wonders why the Birthrate is down in Japan. This is just another reason. Millions of graduates in the last 10, 20, 30 years have all had to put up with unreasonable conformist demands while the world has moved on. Who wants to have kids in a society that is even afraid to take off their masks lest they feel different and might stick out. I love this country but, like pretty much every other country in the world, it does have its issues.

-9 ( +19 / -28 )

School robbed poor kid of one of his proudest moments (that could’ve been)

Oh, come on! A milestone in a teens life, but proudest?!!

He knew fine well it would get himself on the wrong side. He did it to get attention. He won.

Like I said the school should have know better.

-18 ( +12 / -30 )

If that would have been my child, I would have hired a lawyer and I would have gone to the media, and fight this until the end, I want to expose these people and this case, bring to light since it’s the best disinfectant. Let the nation see how cruel the system is and let the nation judge if it was the right, moral and ethical thing to do, denying a child’s graduation moment because of a hairstyle, punishing that child for being different. They took a moment from this child that he will never get back and for what? Conformity?

Absolutely disgusting.

42 ( +56 / -14 )

The school told the board of education that the student had not explained "his ethnic background and the reason for wearing cornrows."

If find it extremely hard to believe that the school didn't know his ethnic background.

15 ( +49 / -34 )

Japan is so embarrassing with this bunk!

Ban this guy yet allow some idiot dressed as Zelensky to attend???

-7 ( +28 / -35 )

Hey!

Teachers!

Leave those kids alone!

ll in all you're just another

brick in the wall.

5 ( +23 / -18 )

Yesterday a graduating student criticised the PM and there was hope. Today this and the hope evaporates.

2 ( +24 / -22 )

I wonder if Dad was at the ceremony, and if so, what did he have to say about the situation?

31 ( +37 / -6 )

The student "lacked a supportive attitude and educational consideration."

What an ironic way to put it, considering they shunned this person for looking different.

18 ( +30 / -12 )

In addition..

"The public high school in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, instead made the 18-year-old boy sit alone in a balcony at the back of the venue and told him not to respond even if his name was called at the Feb 27 ceremony, according to the prefectural board of education"

Japanese bullying culture in action.

15 ( +55 / -40 )

The student was born to an African American father and a Japanese mother, according to the Mainichi newspaper's report.

Racist, and extra ironic given all the rainbow colored, huge extension hairstyles on display during graduation ceremonies highlighted on TV.

-7 ( +38 / -45 )

Absolute lunacy. School robbed poor kid of one of his proudest moments (that could’ve been). I’m guessing one of two rotten apples in school management and the rest too scared or shy to support the boy. Sigh.

22 ( +46 / -24 )

I can't help feeling the student in question loved every minute of it. The school should have known better.

-20 ( +21 / -41 )

High school student excluded from graduation ceremony for cornrow hairstyle

School official really enforcing the nail that sticks out gets hammered down especially when that student dare to stand out among the crowd.

-12 ( +29 / -41 )

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