* Japanese school unifirm chronology







Japanese School Unifiorms: Chronological Trends


Figure 1.--.

Japan did not have a public school system until the late-19th century. There were a range of traditional institutions such as temple schools. And Japan developed the higest literacy rate in Asia (mid-19th century). As far as we know, the chilkderen mostly boys wore their own clothese to these schools--tradituional robes. Only with the Meiji Resoration did Japan begin to build a public school system based on Western education models (1869). This took some time, althoughthe Japanese rapidly expanded the system, eventually including children from low-income families and girls. At first the children continued to wear their tradutional clothes to school, although the reachers (mostly men) were instructed to wear Western clothes. Fir a considerable period the only western clothes the children wore were that the boys wore Prussian styled cadet caps. Japan had by the the turn of the-20th cenbtury creared a substantial public education system, porimaroily a primary system. After the turn-of-the 20th century Japan began expanding the secondary system, at first mostly for boys. And in these schools they introduced uniforms, cadet schools for boys and sailor outfits for the girls. Gradually the primary children also began wearing unifirms. After Workd War II, the primary schools no longer had mandated uniforms. Private schools mostly continued to have uniforms. Some of thhe state schools over time adopted basic uniforms, but most did not. The children began wearing Western styled clothes. The secondary schools continued to have uniforms. mostlky the pre-War cadey styles and sailor outfits.

The 19th Century

Japan did not have a public school system until the late-19th century. There were a range of traditional institutions such as temple schools. And Japan developed the higest literacy rate in Asia (mid-19th century). As far as we know, the chilkderen mostly boys wore their own clothese to these schools--tradituional robes. Only with the Meiji Resoration did Japan begin to build a public school system based on Western education models (1869). This took some time, althoughthe Japanese rapidly expanded the system, eventually including children from low-income families and girls. By the end of the century, the Meiji Public School System was well developed and established. At first schoolwear did not change significantly. the children continued to wear their tradutional clothes to school, although the teachers (mostly men) were instructed to wear Western clothes which was seen as a modernizing step.. For a considerable period the only western clothes the children wore were that the boys wore Prussian styled cadet caps.

The 20th Century

Japan had by the the turn of the-20th cenbtury creared a substantial public education system, mostly a primary system. After the turn-of-the 20th century Japan began expanding the secondary system, at first mostly for boys. And in these schools they introduced uniforms, cadet schools for boys and sailor outfits for the girls. Only after World War I in the 1920s do we see large numbers of children wearing Western -styled clothes. Gradually the primary children also began wearing unifirms. After Workd War II, the primary schools no longer had mandated uniforms. Private schools mostly continued to have uniforms. Some of thhe state schools over time began adopting basic uniforms. White shirts and blue short pants were common. Most primary schools, perhaps two thirds did not. The children began wearing Western styled clothes. Headwear became more commin foir school children tha n in the West. The boys commonly wore collared shirts and short pants. Thev girls wire dresses. The secondary schools continued to have uniforms, mostly the pre-War cadey styles and sailor outfits.








Careful, clicking on these will exit you from the Boys' Historical Clothing web site, but several are highly recommended

  • Apertures Press New Zealand e-Books: Appertures Press has published three different EBooks about New Zealnd schools.
  • British Preparatory Schools: A photographic book depicting life at British preparatory schools during the 1980s. Most of the schools are English or Scottish, but schools in Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ulster are also included. The pictures show the uniforms worn at many different schools.
  • British Prep School eBooks: Apperture Press has published six eBooks about different vaspects of British public schools. Volume I is a general assessnent. The other volumes deal with more specific aspects of the schools ahd school life.







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    Created: June 20, 1999
    Last yodates: 8:03 AM 10/12/2020