Tokyo school hires guards after Armani uniform furor

By Toru Yamanaka

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Poor kids. The utter lack of common sense in this country at times is staggering.

14 ( +30 / -16 )

Alfie Noakes

This isn’t about a country. This is probably an exaggerated response to an exaggerated problem. That’s how Japan does in general.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The principal of this school decided to have a high fashion brand design the uniform and pushed the plan through. No discussion, no debate: other brands he approached refused but the clueless numpty still continued. Now the parents (not consulted) have to fork out a ridiculous amount and the kids (not consulted) are in danger from mentalists in the street.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

It’s good they hired guards here. People harassing kids in the street because of what they are wearing? That’s got to be killed off immediately and the morons jailed

9 ( +15 / -6 )

I don't think 80.000 Yen is that much expensive, compared with other expenses that school kids have in Japan, let alone a Ginza private school fees. This issue is just a mix of elitism, media garbage and a high ratio of unstable crazy people, and Japan excels at these.

3 ( +17 / -14 )

Ahhhh yes, "The nail that sticks out soon gets pounded in". It is a part of the fabric of Japanese Society. I'd be willing to bet that the people that are harassing these kids over the uniforms don't quite know why they are really so angry and abusive. The cultural programming is so ingrained in these people that they react without really understanding why they do so. They may have been bullies back in grade school.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

Ahhhh yes, "The nail that sticks out soon gets pounded in". 

Oh please, not again. I suppose I said this as well in my first year in Japan, but it does sound trite. Cultural programming is hardly unique to Japan. At least there is an awareness of it here. In the USA, cultural programming is strong, and part of that programming is that Americans are "free thinkers" and "progressive." Which is worse?

From the article, it doesn't sound as though any of the 2 or 3 cases reported were overly aggressive. They are obviously inappropriate - no adult should approach a child they don't know that way, even if their intentions are benign. But the whole media circus is also a tempest in a teapot.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

What's wrong with Armani? Stylish.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Maybe a hint of jealousy and too much free time in the mix too?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Koiwaicoffee, “ let alone a Ginza private school fees.”

This happens to be a public school.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

The school did nothing wrong, dressing quality from the early age will help instill a better sense of self worth.

8man yen aint expensive for ginza, maybe a bottle of sparkling at one of the clubs which I am sure some of the parents attend anyways.

just media pointless frenzy which inspired some psychos, I say jail the journo ( crap writer ) that pushed it in first place.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

The school administration reportedly said the outfits were a bid to tie the 150-year-old school to the upscale Ginza district where it is located.

It is this claim that needs to be looked into. It wouldn't be unheard of if Armani Japan made a donation to the school and reciprocity demanded the branded uniforms. The school has a 150-year-old tradition in the area yet we are made to believe that an Italian brand ties the school to Ginza?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Of course, the cloth material and garment styling won’t be bad, it’s Armani よ. But the point is not that. It’s that the school’s introduction of the brand has nothing to do with those things. It’s only for the name Armani and the brand value associated with it. Sad though, that the kids had to suffer for their school’s nincompoopery.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I think we can rest assured that for this folk 800.-USD is like 80.-USD to other people.

Also, these uniforms are often handed down and sold to the next generation in the schools. At least in our case. All in all not that expensive compared to the Millions of Yens that have to be spent during a kid's school life, when attending private schools.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Considering Ginza the unis aren’t that expensive. Let the families decide. It’s probably the same situation in other pricey school districts around the world.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Why need a branded uniform at elementary school ??? It’s a sick decision by school.

School should revoke their decision immediately to make it normal and definitely school should pay the money back those already brought the uniforms.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Elitists at it once again, doing their level best to remove any doubt that the rich are different from you and me.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The solution is simple. Find a Japanese suit/uniform maker, the quality will be almost as good as Italian-made Armani, and around half the price (4-Man).OK, maybe no famous label like Armani, but at this age the kids shouldnt care too much about labels, wait until Junior HS for that.

No more protest, media hype etc. Case closed.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The only ones who should care about this issue are the parents of the school who have to waste their money. Anyone who takes it upon themselves to harass kids that have nothing to do with them deserves to be arrested or a good ol fashioned...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Sapphire 12, “life, when attending private schools.”

Again, this is a public school.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Agree with Educator60.

A certain amount of wealth disparity in any society is to be expected. Just look at social primate studies — it's built into our genes. But a PUBLIC school? Funded by MY taxes?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Armani? School clothes? Public school! Now that's a group of words not often seen together.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The irony of the hyper-critical comments here is pretty funny.

They don't realize that they're overreacting in the same way as the people who made this tempest in a teapot.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think we can rest assured that for this folk 800.-USD is like 80.-USD to other people.

With the following here it sounds like YOU too. And all this talk about "elitist".....Look in the mirror pops into mind.

Also, these uniforms are often handed down and sold to the next generation in the schools. At least in our case. All in all not that expensive compared to the Millions of Yens that have to be spent during a kid's school life, when attending private schools.

You actually think that a family that can afford to buy Armani is going to buy a "used" uniform? That's ludicrous.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Doesn't a typical school back pack cost around 60,000 yen already? In North America where we typically pay about 5,000 yen for aback pack this seems staggering so 80,000 yen for a whole uniform in comparison doesnt seem that staggering

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I resent the fact that because of their conceited decision to use Armani uniforms, now my tax dollars are being used to pay for guards. If it was some elitist private school I wouldn’t care, but since it’s public it becomes an issue for all tax payers.

I agree with Yubaru, there is no way these people will be buying second hand uniforms. Even families that are struggling feel they must buy a new uniform for there kids.

I also wonder about the sports wear that all kids must buy and wear for PE class. Was it also designed by Armani? How about their “land sales”? Who designed them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


But the back-packs are designed to last six years. A uniform will be outgrown in two.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope the security guards are decked out in suitably snazzy attire too.

Apparently the vast majority of parents already bought the uniform so this story seems to be a bit of a beat up.

If people living around Ginza are happy to spend their money that’s fine with me. Japan has far bigger issues to concern itself with.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Armani branded school uniforms? What a bizarre decision by the school. That this was even suggested by someone in the school beggars belief, let alone that others nodded in agreement. A truly Monty Pythonesque moment, only in Japan.

What's next, Prada school shoe and Mont Blanc pens?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Armani uniforms for Japanese students. I get it. Ginza, the fashion. The connection. The image.

Japanese adults harassing kids over fabric and brand? -Call up guards and security measures.

What a contrast in scholastic cultures. I wonder what American students would think of this story?

Strange world we live in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree with the commentator on what ¥80,000 is to the wallet here. It’s certainly not $800. It may be currencywise but ¥80,000 feels like about $200 in the US.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Armani? School clothes? Public school! Now that's a group of words not often seen together.

I agree. That public school though isn’t an ordinary public school as in a public school with budget issues. Like Hibiya High School and others, they are in the category of “elite” public schools, e.g. Stuyvesant High School in NYC and so on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Had to park my car in Ginza for two hours. ¥2000 yen. Had a meal in phnom Pehn, ¥70. The world is unbalanced and confusing. I guess you have to except that only elite people should live in Ginza, and others should live in Saitama.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I agree with commanteer. The school has scored a big own-goal with this, but it's the media that are hyping it up. Thankfully, the incidents sound more like nosey parkers than "abusive strangers". I dread to think what UK-level "abusive strangers" would do. It would be far nastier than "Kore Arumaani kai?"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Armani-suits for children is absurd, but that's no reason to harass kids in any way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The simple solution is to trash the idea of uniforms as a requirement and replace that rule of thumb with free choice. Then, watch the kids be kids. I can't think of anything better than a free-thinking (and clothed) education.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why do strangers think it is their business? Parents should be free to spend their money however they see fit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Free advertisement for Armani ... 2 adults ASKED about the uniforms? Mother of God! And 1 touched the uniform!? This is more important than dumping 300,000 gallons of nuclear waiste in the ocean!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Peer pressure. Of course. Why do 'all' kids have iphones / smartphones? Expensive but necessary. The question is why PTAs have done little about this keep up with the Joneses mindset? Can't interfere with business as usual? Whatever, we're paying for it now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it true that my missus tells me this school is not private but a public school? Please someone tell me its not true..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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