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Majority of Nagasaki high schools have white-underwear-only rules, study finds

71 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Schools in Japan have a reputation for being particularly picky about students’ appearances, and one of the clearest examples of how detailed dress codes can be is that some have rules in place saying that students must wear plain white underwear.

This isn’t a regulation that all schools in Japan have, and even among Japanese people there are those who think the rule is going too far. But it does exist in some educational institutions, and to find out how many, the Nagasaki Prefectural Board of Education conducted a study of public high schools and junior high schools within the prefecture, and found wear-white-underwear-when-you-come-to-class rules are surprisingly common.

Out of 238 schools examined, 138, or 58 percent, have white underwear listed as a mandatory part of the dress code. However, that number may be dropping in the near future, as the board thinks this is cause for concern, and believes that by maintaining such policies schools may be leaving themselves open to complaints of violating students’ rights.

Considering that Japan is the same country where a district court recently upheld schools’ authority to prohibit students from dyeing their hair in the interest of maintaining discipline, one might assume educational institutions need not worry about challenges to their authority to dictate underwear color, since white is ostensibly specified so that girls’ bras won’t be visible through their uniform blouses.

However, the specific wording of the dress codes is not “underwear must not be visible,” but “underwear must be white,” and so it requires a check for compliance, regardless of whether or not the student’s underwear is otherwise visible. At some schools this has been done by a teacher periodically pulling female students’ bra straps up through their collars to check the color, and one Nagasaki junior high school girl reported that a female teacher would come into the room while the girls were changing their clothes for PE class (in Japan, boys and girls change for PE in separate classrooms, as Japanese schools do not have dedicated gym locker rooms).

By focusing on the choice of color, instead of the resulting visibility or lack thereof, schools are in effect granting themselves the authority to look at students’ underwear, and also in effect forcing students to let teachers, classmates, and school staff know what color of bra and panties they’re wearing on school days. These are the sort of things that the board is concerned about, and so at the start of the month a notice was sent to schools throughout the prefecture asking them to reexamine not just their dress codes, but their student conduct policies in general, and look for rules that need to be reconsidered or revised in light of how they impact students and emerging societal values.

“The schools that have rules about white underwear generally enacted them a long time ago,” admits a spokesperson for Nagasaki’s Department of Education. “As beliefs about individual rights change, it’s necessary for schools to actively reexamine their policies.” The board’s notice also asks that necessary revisions be made after discussions and surveys with students and parents, taking into account their opinions on the issues.

Source: NHK News Web via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Tokyo public schools will stop forcing students with non-black hair to dye it, official promises

-- Japan’s Shizuoka bans teachers from personal communication with students on social media

-- Tokyo junior high school demands students wear white underwear as part of dress code

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

71 Comments
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Dear Japan, the year is 2021. Please kindly catch up. Many thanks.

46 ( +50 / -4 )

Dear Japan, the year is 2021. Please kindly catch up. Many thanks.

won't happen. this is Japan

29 ( +34 / -5 )

Out of 238 schools examined, 138, or 58 percent, have white underwear listed as a mandatory part of the dress code. However, that number may be dropping in the near future, as the board thinks this is cause for concern, and believes that by maintaining such policies schools may be leaving themselves open to complaints of violating students’ rights.

If the majority are only now coming to the realization it is a violation of rights one despairs for a juster future for this nation.

In its' determination to avoid facing the actual challenges facing it , Japanese society keeps sticking its' head where the sun doesn't shine.

27 ( +30 / -3 )

White underwear, white socks, white shoes .... and so on.

Stupid rules created by stupid people!

Give those kids at least some freedom!

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Japan always finds a way to embarrass itself.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Is it just me or is the article photo somewhat inappropriate?

The photo is not benign and it’s clear what message the photographer was hoping to convey.

And then the addition of that photo with this headline.

Nice trick.

16 ( +26 / -10 )

Is it really anyone but the person wearing the underwear business?

16 ( +16 / -0 )

dagon

If the majority are only now coming to the realization it is a violation of rights one despairs for a juster future for this nation.

And it's not even the realization, they declare that it MAY BE a violation! Ummm... "may be"?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

And if they wore a different color ...

how would anyone else know?

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Moronic prudes.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

I am so glad my daughter didn't go to school in Nagasaki.

I wouldn't have enjoyed having to go to the police station and pick up my daughter.

The first time a teacher would have tried pulling on her bra strap or checking the colour of her underwear, that teacher would have been visiting the emergency room.

I know this because that was what happened to the guy on the train that thought touching her was a good idea.

She may be small but she has no problem delivering the shots to take down anyone inappropriately touching her.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Creepy, and those men making these decisions are even creepier. If they are worried about underwear being seen through uniform blouses, then the uniforms are too transparent.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Some places are always fixated on the wrong things. High school is not about learning, it's about things like hair and underwear color. You have to wonder.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@cleo

I also raised 2 here and a single father.

You always say "never had any problems", but sorry seeing I know far to many that had, seeing things my children their friends, etc... Even my ex wife and her brother had to endure, that never a problem seems said a little to often

Either I live in a different Japan or some of those "never had problems" is from a different Japan

I am not American and my country doesn't have active shooter drills it also doesn't have hair colour checks, underwear checks, earrings (pierced) checks wabaki (indoor shoes) brand check ( not all children can fit in the "official" brand and forcing the parents to pay 5 times the price for order made ones and yes this did happen and no I did not buy the official brand at ¥20,000 special order. No one ever told my sister that she needed to buy larger blouses and jacket to hide her daughter's breast size ( yes this was an actual conversation I had with the Jr high here in Japan).

Oh then again never has my sister been asked to prove her daughters hairs are all natural colour and curl.

Pulling out the outlier of the USA active shooter drills not done in any other developed country does not make any of what the Japanese school do any better. It is just trying to make it look less bad, it won't work. We know the facts in Japan, the news tells us every day.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

In the first place, why was there a rule for underpants? Are we supposed to watch the panties ?

oh, sorry, this is certainly for girls, not boys.

Now, has it been any studies done to know if colored underpants do impact the studies ? Let’s say, colored panties students are less prone to study, their results are not as good.....

Well, pure bs.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

However, the specific wording of the dress codes is not “underwear must not be visible,” but “underwear must be white,”

By focusing on the choice of color, instead of the resulting visibility or lack thereof, schools are in effect granting themselves the authority to look at students’ underwear,

If it goes down to underwear colour, such rule also implies it may be checked or so. Must not be visible through clothes? Yeah, sure. Like white colour will change it. This is absurd. Someone has obviously perv problems.

I may understand the thing about natural hair colour (despite it is your choice and has nothing to do with education), sure. But this?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A great excuse for any teachers perving on their female students.

"I was just checking everything was up to code"

"Naruhodo"

8 ( +8 / -0 )

People in charge are actually having meetings about this topic? Priorities, please.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Good old Japan -- making it a rule to dictate the color of a little girl's underwear, and then even being allowed to check. Disgusting!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Misogyny is prejudice against women. These are school girls. Nonetheless, rules made for girls made by men. What does it matter what color is the underwear. Same as last week about the color of girls' hair.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Thankfully, the Japanese Communist Party is fighting unnecessary school rules like this!

https://japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/communist-party-fights-underwear-color-rules-in-japanese-schools

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Are they checking students Virginity YET??

It sur looks like it could be happening but we just don't know.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“The schools that have rules about white underwear generally enacted them a long time ago,” 

But some still actively, strictly implement

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The parents of these students should start a petition for the male teachers to wear bras (white ones only) and the female teachers to wear construction gloves and old boxer underwears as part of their uniform. Then they'd understand that it's not their place to choose what underwear a student (a child) wears. I don't give a rats what you wear to school as lond as its not distracting and can put yourself in harms way, as long as you're learning. What sickos, man!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Does anyone still think Japan is a good place to raise your family?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

By focusing on the choice of color, instead of the resulting visibility or lack thereof, schools are in effect granting themselves the authority to look at students’ underwear, and also in effect forcing students to let teachers, classmates, and school staff know what color of bra and panties they’re wearing on school days.

Oh they'd be quite horrified to see what would come to these teacher if this "check" happened to my daughter.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So instead of mandatory virus tests, teachers can force young girls to lift their shirts and look at their panties?

if they is such a rule, young boys should also be forced to remove the pants so teachers can look at their underwear.

wonder if Mori made this rule?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

smithinjapanToday  01:46 pm JST

Good old Japan -- making it a rule to dictate the color of a little girl's underwear, and then even being allowed to check. Disgusting!

Disgusting and perverted to say the least. Can't a kid have any privacy at all? Damn!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The strictness and school rules in Japan are atrocious,so basically these kids joined the army rather than the educational schools.

Time to move to 2021 Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I also think they have a right to wear stockings when it snows.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

HBJToday  07:47 am JST

Dear Japan, the year is 2021. Please kindly catch up. Many thanks.

Sounds like there's some really bored and/or perverted people running these schools.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Does it really matter what colour kids underware is? and what a violation of privacy checking to see what kids underwear whilst they are changing. no wounder there is so much sexy tension and strong fetishes towards girls, can you imagaine how big the law suits would be in either the US or the UK or most of Europe? whilst kids are getting changed teacher are checking to see what colour underware is? WTF? sorry this is not on, if a girl has a pink bra on it will be obvious, especially if its under her white blouse, she then should be told that the next day to ware a white bra, as for checking panties, NO,NO, NO! jeees, this is creepy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The problem wouldn’t be my non white underwear. It would be the pervert who found out I had non white underwear.

Disgusting! The fact that parents don’t even see a red flag over this!!! If I saw this rule in my child’s - or anyone’s child’s - rule book is be asking direct questions.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

disgusting.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Next they will ban selling second hand white underpants from vending machines? Pedophine heaven. Who the hell cares what colour another persons underwear is unless that's a sexual buzz. Mine are camouflage good luck finding them. And good luck trying to grab them. It's weird the school boards are so bereft of meeting ideas that underwear, hair colour are trumping actual education.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All relates to the GroupThink mentality.

You must all look the same, act the same, say the same things, etc or you will be shunned.

I can understand having guidelines so no child is treated differently, but saying what color underwear a child should wear is severely pushing it. Growing up, I went to a couple of schools that required uniforms, but there was never any rules about the color of underwear. Come on Japan, stop trying to control every aspect of a childs life, let them have some individuality.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Definitely some old men at the BOE that believe some old fetish fantasy and loving to dictate and even feeling good about the power to check some girls undies....only in Japan...smh..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What?? That is just insane. How do they want to enforced that stupid rule, by having teachers check students undies??

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This kind of thing is never a good sign. Schools and colleges with these rules are always overstepping of indiviadual's right to privacy. If an institution claims to have the right to check the underwear of the people who enroll in it, that institution is simply indecent

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What's more strange is that someone decided to investigate and write an article about school kids underwear color.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My children were all born here none of them educated here and none of them ever will be..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Do they confiscate offending garments?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You can find lists of schools in your prefecture that don't have a uniform by searching for the Japanese expression 私服校. In Nagano, it's most of the academically achieving ones.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wouldn't want even female teachers looking at my child's underwear.

If this is junior high, your kid may have to go to the local public one and you have no choice. For senior high though, there are actually some pretty good ones, the super science schools and Kosen technical colleges, and schools that teach the International Baccalaureate, which now includes public system schools and regular private schools where you don't pay fees if you earn under 7.2 million yen. The acadamically top-ranked public system senior highs in my prefecture Nagano also don't have uniforms. So don't assume your kid will have to go to a school where they have to put up with this kind of prehistoric nonsense. Vote with your feet if you can.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Bet the teachers have a lot of fun checking compliance with this rule.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why stop there?

Why not have everyone wear nothing but white? White underwear, socks, pants, shirt, tie, and jacket.

Idiots.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

if this were the US. the heads of the BOE would not only be canceled, but they would never be allowed to probably work again

So, suddenly you're supporting cancel culture.

More hypocrisy from the right. At least this time it's in the right direction.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It begs the question who are the paedophiles enforcing these regulations?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, suddenly you're supporting cancel culture.

When it comes to violating the privacy of young girls, absolutely.

Don't like whites??. No problem, wear another colors !!.. LOOOOOL !!..

Glad you are taking this all so seriously.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And just out of curiosity, does the same rule apply to boys, and can they check that as well, or is it only a rule made or at least agreed upon by mostly men, for little girls.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mandatory ‘hair color’ and now, underwear color - Someone’s predilections are definitely evident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Because you want to lightest possible color near that area

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it checked, and by whom, with or without witnesses, male, female, lgbtxq? Protocols written? Photos made and sold in the net? And where is it checked, right before the entrance gate or in a decent lighted locked bedroom? No need to answer, we all have our five minutes of perverted thinking. lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ah, hard-hitting news story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WHAT have you been searching?? The same algorithms that track our keywords, preferences and predilections a used to develop a. ‘profile’.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tell us more righties how Trump Made America Great Again.

-1( +0 / -1 )

Heh, at least one rightie didn't like me pointing out how their Dear Leader hastened the fall of America!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As a parent, I think that is too extreme and ludicrous. Schools have their uniforms, but just school uniforms only; not non-school clothing unless it modifies the uniform. Even more laughable of having this go on a student's troubling record.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One must not buck the system in Japan.

That is the ruling party's mantra, drilled into every citizen from day one, and helps ensure the continuance of the ruling party.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the point of white bras is so they don't show through the white blouses, change the blouse color to something less opaque or a solid color; black, for instance. If the point of white undies is ... What is the point of white undies?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wonder if going commando would be against regulations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rampant misogyny.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

What does it matter what color is the underwear

i guess same reason for uniforms but taken to an extreme. Same for hair color

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Is it just me or is the article photo somewhat inappropriate?

it’s you.

who cares?! What do you want, a picture of girls’ underwear??

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Definitely some old men at the BOE that believe some old fetish fantasy and loving to dictate and even feeling good about the power to check some girls undies....only in Japan...smh..

Don't like whites??. No problem, wear another colors !!.. LOOOOOL !!..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Our school has rules about undershirts being white or "skin color", so as not to show through the white summer uniform, which I don't find to be unreasonable.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Folks the USA is not the whole developed world it is the one major outlier of the western countries.

But it is the largest developed first nation where innovation, pop-culture, trend, and the center of geopolitical news happens which shape and influences a lot of the world. but yes, this particular case is beyond strange, if this were the US. the heads of the BOE would not only be canceled, but they would never be allowed to probably work again, they would get sued to every which way and Sunday.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Can we assist enforcing these necessary measures?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

At least get the picture to fully match the story!

Like a virgin; touched for the very ‘first’ time.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@didou

why was there a rule for underpants?

Due to the length of typical school uniform skirt in Japan

has it been any studies done to know if colored underpants do impact the studies

No, but there certainly has been an understanding on their impact on Japan's male teachers in school and salary men encountering on commute trains.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Does anyone still think Japan is a good place to raise your family?

Raised two kids here, never had any problem with underwear being checked. Nowhere’s perfect, and Japan is far from being the worst.

Fire drills and earthquake drills they had, active shooter drills, never.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Just remembered, some states in the US of A lock up black and Hispanic males for following fashion to wear low jeans that show their underwear. World is strange.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

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