Japanese School Uniforms(part2)-Current Situation of Japanese School Uniforms

In our last post, we have talked about History of Japanese School Uniforms ,today we will check the Current Situation of Japanese School Uniforms.

Japanese school uniforms do not only stand for the image of a school and aesthetic standard for the society, but also become symbols for the popular culture of a country. It’s nothing strange to see words like “she choose that school because the school uniforms there look more beautiful” . Even though lots of high school girls put on normal clothes after school, a majority of them still love to wear school uniforms for their group activities, such as going to shopping,KTV or game centers,etc.

For Japanese, they own social identity and cohesiveness that are much stronger than any other nation. Thus, they take school uniforms rather seriously. To better express the personality, they draw more attention on the fabric, craftsmanship and design on their school uniforms. Even though the conservative campus atmosphere requires school uniforms not to be overly fashionable, these clothes still tend to be more on-limits in recent years. Boys’ tsume-eri uniforms root in European officers’ designs, whose theme is still detected on contemporary school uniforms for boys. Dark blue is the main color, which emphasizes masculinity and handsomeness. While school uniforms for girls are deeply affected by sailor suits, which often impress us by cuteness, grace and vitality.

When it comes to sailor uniforms, skirts with different lengths are paired with loose socks, silk stockings, etc, which accentuate the sense of fashion and girls’ glamour. On the contrary, loose slacks can not flatter the silhouettes on girls’ legs. Nor can they well accentuate girls’ female properties.

Comparing with an imperial sportswear, a Japanese school uniform is much more expensive, which often costs 8 to 20 thousands yen (around $100-300 us dollors). New students bring huge economic benefits to clothing manufacturers each year. What perplexes lots of people is why Japanese school girls so deeply love to wear dresses. For this question, two mainstream answers are given. First, being afraid of coldness is considered to be an expression of cowardice. Thus, it’s nothing strange to wear dresses in chilly days. Second, excellent heating system has been built in Japan. Plus the wide popularity of wearing thermal high silk stockings, Japanese girls don’t worry about the coldness.

Japanese School Uniforms(part1)-History of Japanese School Uniforms

Today, we will start our Japanese Culture categroy, first we will discuss the Culture of Japanese School Uniforms, which appear in alomost ever japanese anime and mangas. In this first part, we will talk about the History of Japanese School Uniforms.

As a kind of campus clothing, school uniforms aim to manifest students’ identities. In most countries, school uniforms are divided into two styles: sportswear and western uniforms. Here, we aim to realize the culture of Japanese school uniforms by analyzing patterns and history of Japanese sailor uniforms. Famous anime characters are listed as models, helping you better understand the long history of school uniforms in Japan.

Referring to definition on school uniforms, a well-known site in China reveals like this: school uniforms originate in Japan. Life conditions become rather worse because of wars. In order to help students from poor families not to feel self-contemptuous because of tatty clothes and to avoid students from rich families feel complacent or show off because of better clothing styles, schools formulate a unified dress standard for all students.

However, another viewpoint tells us the earliest tsume-eri school uniform for boys originates in Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1873. When Japan enters into the modern culture era, it embraces an active foreign policy, which enables western culture and lifestyle to be well accepted. Sailor uniforms and stand collar definitely become modish clothing styles on that island country.

When it comes to Taisho Period, democratic culture tide makes western attires break the situation that kimono rules the Japanese clothing arena. But during the World War II, to propagandize the militarism, school authorities issued edicts that all nationals needed to wear empire national costumes. Then in 1942 (the 17th year in Shouwa Period), all students in Japan began to wear national costumes.

In the postwar period, a disordered situation was discovered in the Japanese school uniforms industry. National costumes, kimonos, western-style clothes, old Japanese army uniforms and US military uniforms were all appeared in campuses. Then in 1947, an education law was issued in Japan, which intervened into students’ clothing allocations. Tsume-eri for boys and sailor uniforms for girls became the school uniform mainstreams. When it comes to 70s and 80s, liberalization and diversification on students’ values strengthened their rebelliousness and caused many escapades or school violence. In 1982, Japan fashion industry federation and more than 2000 secondary schools formulated criterions to identify standard school uniforms. This greatly improved the situation of student management. Today’s Japanese school uniforms are exactly designed according to that standard.

The word of sailor rooted in the United Kingdom in 1850s. Sailor suits were originally worn by navies while shipping. But in 1846, a navy altered his uniform to be a children’s garment and sent it to the Prince Edward. Children’s wear called Middy Blouse were released in the clothing industry later, leading the trend on the high-end children’s garment arena. After a series of updates, these clothes tended to become prevalent in lower classes and then in the whole country.

At the beginning of the 20th century, sailor uniforms spread to Japan. But referring to campuses, it’s the Fukuoka Women’s College where sailor suits were firstly set as the school uniforms in 1921. The principal of this college – Elizabeth, had already known sailor suits were much easier to be worn than kimonos and carried more western culture features when she studied in England. Under her assertion, students in the Fukuoka Women’s College began to wear sailor uniforms.

Also, some people think the rise of militarism becomes the main reason for the popularity of tsume-eri uniforms for boys and sailor uniforms for girls in Japan. Males wear tsume-eri and females wear sailor suits, which stands for officers are higher-ranking than soldiers and men are nobler than women. Anyway, this has not been topic discussed by modern people. In today’s Japan, sailor uniforms have exactly been girls’ school uniforms, which speak for girls’ cuteness and become a kind of cultural phenomenon.

In the next posts, we will continue to talk about Japanese School Uniforms(part2)-Current Situation of Japanese School Uniforms .

Daily Cosplay- Vocaloid 2 Hatsune Miku Cosplay

The girl above is Korixxka iri, who is born in January 16, in Thailand. Lelouch Lamperouge and Kuraki Suzuna are her favorite cartoon characters. Games she loves best include Final Fantasy series and Harvest moon. As one of her hobbies, Hastune Miku cosplay in Vocaloid 2 may be the most successful cosplay experience made by Korixxka iri. More cosplay photos can be seen in her gallery. For Miku cosplay costume, just click here.

Cosplayer Interviews-Attyca

Attyca, a cosplay girl study for animation in school. Unlike many other cosplayers, Attyca make many amazing cosplay props herself, and take commissioning work as well. Cosplayers can contact Attyca, if you wanna make some special cosplay props or amors,check Attyca pervious work at her blog 🙂 . Thanx to join in us interviews,Attyca!!

1. Please Introduce yourself first?
Let’s just go with Attyca.

2.What does cosplay mean to you?

It’s a hobby and a business.

3.What was your first cosplay?

Technically Halloweentown Sora….but one I actually made without help was Kadaj from FF7 AC.

4. Does your family support your cosplay?

Yes, they think what I do is great and are always excited to see the pictures. My dad especially likes that I have my own little business going with doing commissions…moneymoneymoney right?

5. What is your most memorable cosplay experience?

Ahh definitly Kadaj in 07 when my friend was Yuffie…interesting things happen when crossplay is too convincing. Passerby comments are always the best.

6. What are your 2011 cosplay plans?

For Anime North I’ll be Juto from Magna Carta 2 and Howl, as for the rest of the year I’m unsure. It’ll depend on how much time I have.

7. If possible, which anime do you want to cosplay most?

I don’t usually cosplay from anime much, but for games I like anything with crazy armour or weapons. I’ve always loved Hyung-Tae Kim’s designs, so I’m sure I could find something nice in Blade and Soul.

8. Do you make costumes yourself or buy them?

I always make everthing myself. Most of the fun in cosplaying is learning how to make things and spending time on them. Actually wearing them to conventions isn’t as interesting to me.

9. Any other cosplayers you like?

I’ll be honest, I’m not that involved in the cosplay community to know of anyone in particular that I really like, but I always appreciate the people who do vacuum forming and casting. That sort of thing takes a lot of time and skill. Very impressive, and definitely something I’d love to try in the future.

10. Do some changes happen to you after cosplay?

I’m not entirely sure what that means. Not really? I guess after conventions there’s that eagerness to find funny photos, but not so much anymore.

11. Any advices you wanna share with cosplay newbies?

There are great tutorials all over the internet on how to make cosplays, props and whatnot if you’re stuck.
The most important thing though is to pick a character you really like and THAT SUITS YOU. As hilarious as Man Faye and Sailor Mans are, they’re not very ‘good’. Hah, yea, just keep that in mind.

12. When will you stop cosplay ?

Ahh I see the end is near. We’ll see. I’ll always enjoy making them, but once my real career in animation gets rolling I doubt I’ll have the time to make them and get out to conventions. Who knows.