Tuesday, January 28, 2014

School uniforms

Have you ever worn school uniforms? The other day I talked with my students about school uniforms.
Here in Utsunomiya they have school uniforms in most of junior high schools and high schools.
School uniforms are usually separated into two groups. In girls' case, one is a blazer type and the other is a sailor type, and in boy's case , one is also a blazer type and the other is a stand-up collar type.
When we were talking about them, there were three students. Each of them goes to different school. They have a school uniform but each of them is different.

The good points are that ---
It's easy to wear without worrying about what to wear on the day. Students wearing a school uniform look the same, so we don't need to compare with others.
A school uniform is really useful, it's a kind of formal wear. So when we have to attend to a ceremony such as  a wedding ceremony (though girls wear more bright clothes.), and a funeral.

The bad points are that
They are  a little bit dirty because they are not so often washed.
And a girl said that she often mistakes her friend for others because they look the same, and she often mistakes her school uniform for others when they change the school uniforms into their training wears, because their school uniforms look the same.

For the youth it's a usual thing to break rules, so at school they have a dress inspection once a week or several times a month. Students are checked whether they wear school uniforms keeping the rules by skirt length, hair style, front hair (bangs?), eyebrow, etc.
A student said it was too strict.
Another student said it was trouble some. and she also said "it's unnecessary, waste of time. Because I wear them neatly, so I don't need to be checked, why I have to go to the cold hallway to get such an unnecessary inspection."
These days girl students tend to shorten their skirt length.Do you know how the girls shorten their skirt length?  They fold the top of the skirt twice or three times.

A student mentioned COSPLE which means costume play. Some adults enjoy costume playing. When someone cosplays as a high school student, they usually wear a sailor-style uniform. Actually a sailor-style uniform is popular among high school students, though they are not accepted by most of high schools.
Additionally I've never worn a sailor-style uniform so I had wanted to wear it. 


Helen said...

Yes, I have worn school uniforms! Both when I lived in South Africa and in Scotland. They weren't military style, like the boys (and some girls) in Japan, they were skirts, pinafores, blouses, ties and jackets or cardigans, depending on where I lived at the time.

I don't think there were rules about hair or make-up, but I was still in elementary school then! I think earrings were okay, because quite a lot of girls had them.

In Canada we usually don't wear uniforms though.

I've never worn a Cosplay costume. The only times I've worn a costume was for Halloween or for a play. I don't think they are my sort of thing really!

Mieko said...

Thanks Helene for your comments. About Cosplay, me neithger except Halloween. In Yamagata have you seen some adults enjoying Cosplay?
Well, as you know "earrings" are prohibited in Japan. And about hair style at most of schools if girls have long hair they tie their hair into two with "black" rubber band. (Does it make sense?)

Helen said...

I live in a smaller city than Yamagata, so nobody does cosplay here! Once in a while if I'm in Sendai or Niigata, I'll see someone in the Lolita style costume, but they are usually teenagers.

I never had hair that was long enough for pigtails or a ponytail! I usually had very short hair...still do!

Anonymous said...

Mieko, what do you mean that earrings are prohibited in Japan? That is something I have never heard of before. I would say the vast majority of females here in the US wear earrings and feel "naked" without them! In fact, in many cases babies have their ears pierced and start wearing earrings.
When you say "prohibited"...do you mean by custom or tradition? Certainly not by law?? What do you think is the reasoning?
When I went to the opera in Tokyo, there were several people in the audience that were dressed in costumes...formal, elegant ones but definitely costumes. Jan

Mieko said...

Thanks Jan for you comments. Weaing not only earings and pierces and also any acesallies like necklaces are prohibited by each school law. when you wear school unifoms. And usually students like to break the rules, so at school they have dress inspection so often.
In Japan we don't use to have ou eas pieced. These days it's getting common. So if high school students have their ears pierced, they wear clear pierces to keep the holes.