** Japanese individual school uniform

Japanese Individual School Uniform

Figure 3.--The boys at this Japanese junior high school in the 1970s wear a uniform that looks rather like an Enggish school uniform, with peaked caps and short opants suits. Most English boys, however woukld have worn ties and never would have worn white socks. This is the boys winter uniforms

We have some limited information on school uniforms and school wear and a number of individual Japanese schools. Uniforms at individual schools provide some examples of the types of uniforms worn by Japanese school boys. The private schools unifrms tend to be more individualistic than at public scgools. Most public primary schools do not have uniforms, but most secomdary schools require them.

Public Schools

Many public schools in Japan have school uniforms. Here the pattern is somewhat complicated. Uniforms are worn in primary schools, but it is not the most common approach. About one-third of primary schools have uniforms, but uniforms are not worn at about two thirds of these schools. The pattern is different in secondary schools, almost all of which have uniforms. Public schools are less individualistic than private schools. Primary that require uniforms usually only require very basic uniforms of white shirts and normally blue and grey short pants. Secondary uniforms are more involved. The most common uniform is a Prussian cadet uniform for the boys and sailor suits for the girls. Some schools have more civilian looking outfits, but the two milkitary styles are the most common. The styles available from the nation-wide outlets are quite similar with only minor stylistic differences. Private school uniforms are often brought at specialized shops and usually more expensive.

Private Schools

Private primary schools, all of which I believe are located in cities, sport a wide variety of uniforms -- indeed, Japanese private primary schools serve almost as a living encylclopedia of boys' fashions over the past century. Once a school settles on a uniform, it seems to stick with it forever. I have heard of one private school that permits (uniform) long pants in the winter, but virtually all the others require short pants year round. Most of them require some sort of jacket from October 1 through May 31, and permit shirtsleeves in the summer. I don't have information on specific private schools outside the Tokyo Metropolitan area, but I believe conditions are similar in Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto.


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Created: 1:57 AM 8/16/2005
Last updated: 10:31 PM 12/24/2010