quote of the day

Uniforms should ideally be used to help the wearers feel comfortable from the standpoint of both their mentality and the clothing's functionality.


Miki Tanioka, 49, a public relations official of leading school uniform maker Kanko Gakuseifuku Co in Okayama. Schools across Japan are working on how to respond to requests for gender-neutral uniforms, including pants for girls, among their student uniform choices.

© Asahi Shimbun

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Yeah, but give them the choice. Some girls really like wearing skirts and they're really comfortable.

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Something like 45% of senior high students at public system schools in Nagano Prefecture don't wear a uniform. The next highest prefecture is about 20%.

None of the senior highs in Matsumoto has one. For most of Japan, it is common sense for kids to wear a uniform but in Matsumoto the opposite is true.

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Uniforms can serve a useful purpose in removing the social/wealth distinctions otherwise inherent in clothing and thus preventing the psychological disadvantaging of those from a less financially comfortable background. That of course requires the uniform to be reasonably priced and easily available. Not an excuse to rip off parents! Nor to impose an excessive regimentation on the pupils.

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I agree with englisc aspy in general but I'm still against school uniforms. They date back to a time when it was customary to tell by clothing which class you belonged to and even in Britain it didn't work. One of my pen pals flung her school uniform into the corner the moment she came back from school and put it on the next day right back from the spot she left it. Both her parents were working full time to keep food on the table so there was no one to care for it.

My other pen pal did the same but she had a nanny and her uniform was always spotless, ironed and upkempt. Even on an old b/w class group photo you could always tell the upper class kids apart.

Both girls envied me because we had no school uniforms in Germany - the only disadvantage showed in summer, when scantily clad girls hoped for better grades from male teachers.

But they appeared a minority. I would say the best option is, everyone clothes themselves comfortably, cleanly and decently, no display of expensive designers and if someone wants to wear a skirt or pants, it's fine.

The worst option would have been the idea that emerged in the late 70's at my school: the grammar school (Gymnasium) kids would be dressed in white, the intermediate school (Realschule) kids in blue and the secondary school (Hauptschule) kids in red.

The ensuing uproar buried the idea within weeks.

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