Cross Currents Home
Resources | About Us | 日本語サイト
Home Learn About Japan Learn About Japan-U.S. Cross Currents Learn About the U.S.

School Life
School Life
  1. School Excursions
  2. Athletic Festival or Undōkai
  3. Club Activities
  4. Getting to School
  5. School Uniforms
Listen in English | Japanese View Article in English | Japanese
School Uniforms
Nearly all public and private students in Japan wear uniforms, although they are most common for junior high school and high school students. Each school has its own uniform, but most school uniforms are very similar. Boys’ uniforms are based on 19th century Prussian military uniforms, and are usually black. Girls usually wear a “sailor blouse ” with a blue skirt. High school girls are usually not allowed to wear jewelry or make-up while in uniform. Several features mark a uniform as being from a particular school, such as the color of the stripes on the girls’ uniforms, or the type of buttons or lapels on the boys' uniforms. Some students alter their uniforms as a mark of individuality by lengthening or shortening the jacket or skirt. There are different uniforms for summer and winter. In summer, both the boys and girls switch to short-sleeved shirts and do not have to wear jackets. But even during the coldest days of winter, little boys wear short pants and knee socks, rather than long pants. Schools also have sports’ uniforms. These uniforms are more colorful and more varied; they are worn during school cleaning, club activities, and for the undokai or school sports day.
Download Podcast in English | Japanese
Document | Audio-Video | Chart | Picture | Map