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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Boring question #63; Why do most Japanese school girl uniforms have short skirts?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26840points) June 8th, 2011

I am not sure of the temperature in Japan but what I have found it seem the average temp for the greater part of Japan, unless you are lucky to live in the South, is on average 44 to 68 deg f. With an average temperature so cool would not you expect the female uniforms to have slacks instead of skirts? If they were going to have skirts, would you not think they would be below the knee or to the ankles? The reason the skirts are as short as they are have something to do with culture, Western culture, tradition, etc.?

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30 Answers

MilkyWay's avatar

Are you asking this because all of those manga cartoons?

filmfann's avatar

May I have more examples, please?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@queenie Nope, I don’t see the trend here in the US. About 98.9% of all the females I see in schools that reguire uniforms wear Black, Navy, or khaki slacks, if they are even in a skirt, (and that is usually a Christian or Catholic school), the shirts is below or at the knee.

Jude's avatar

I was just going to say that you need to get out of your basement and stop watching Japanese porn. But, anyways..

ratboy's avatar

I believe young Japanese schoolgirls wear short skirts out of respect for their elders; more specifically, it is a touching kindness offered to elderly Japanese men. Thank you, Japanese schoolgirls.

jerv's avatar

This sounds like a question for Mr Shiny Shoes for a variety of reasons…

Even here in Seattle (around the same latitude and temperature range) I see plenty of girls/women wearing stuff that short in weather where I am wearing long johns under my jeans, so I think there is an element of ignoring physical discomfort for the sake of looking good, just as there is for waxing, tweezing, and wearing high heels.

Of course, there is also an obsession with panchira. Now, it used to be that to look up a skirt, you needed shiny shoes, but even that was no guarantee if the skirt was too long. Short skirt + shiny shoes = instant panchira.

However, you also have to remember that we Americans are pretty uptight about sex and nudity, so there is also an element of Japan just being a bit more liberal in some respects than we are.

mazingerz88's avatar

Now you’ve done it! Now you’ve done it! Asking this question brings forth a death curse to all boys and men who have wondered ( while salivating ) about the same thing but choose to keep their mouths shut. Now, Godzilla will awaken to seek and crush those same boys and men who ever stared on those legs! Lol.

No seriously, I think part of the reason is that it makes the girls, the girls that they are. And what could be more feminine than the mini-skirt? If no one ever looks at it in a sexual context, ( really what is the chance of that happening? ) that is all it would be, cute and girly. Also, I’m pretty sure those onna no kos do not mind since it makes them look taller?

jerv's avatar

@mazingerz88 I beg to differ, and here is my counter-argument.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Eeeewwwwww…….@jerv That was so wrong in many ways. My counter would be:
I don’t know if they look much taller. I have not seen rain around here and girls dressed like It get down below 72 deg f. around here I see those who would try to wear skirts dashing for the slacks, and in rain? Fugettabawd it.

@jerv Don’t ever do that again, I am going to have nightmares with that guy in it!

mazingerz88's avatar

@jerv Oh man! That is the hottest picture ever! It made my balls shweaty! : )

@Hypocrisy_Central I admit to my mistake. Those two girls did not appear to be any taller. Lol.

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Really? Check your inbox :D

mazingerz88's avatar

@jerv Oh, ho ho ho-!

LuckyGuy's avatar

On the way home from school the “bad” girls hike their skirts by rolling over the top. I lived there and it was really funny to watch the length change between morning and evening.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@worriedguy Great, what is the weather really like there most of the time? Off video and photos it looks to be on the cool or rainy side a lot, yet no matter what you see the girls in shorts skirt as the link above with the girl in the rain in a skirt. If it were optional I would think you’d see more slacks or at least shorts. It appears all the girls have to wear skirts and there is no “plan B” so why so short?

iphigeneia's avatar

In my experience, most Japanese school skirts are around knee-length. As @worriedguy said, they probably roll/change their skirts once they leave the school grounds, a ritual performed by schoolgirls the world over. Maybe you don’t notice it in the US because uniforms are not the norm.

the100thmonkey's avatar

I live in Japan – summers are incredibly hot and humid, except in the far north of the country. The winters are cold too – the climate is dominated by the continental mass of Asia, which gives it extremes of hot and cold.

Schoolgirls do exactly what @worriedguy suggested: there are rules regarding the length of the skirts at school, but these aren’t enforceable outside of school premises.

Japan is an extremely conservative country – the uniforms at Jr high and high school are based on Prussian military academy uniforms for the boys and a sailor suit for the girls. Much in the same way that in the 50s in Britain boys wore shorts all year round, the same uniform is work year-round in Japan.

filmfann's avatar

@jerv Why can’t we have quality television like Upskirt Judo Guy here?

jerv's avatar

@filmfann I think it’s because not every girl wears panties and some things cannot new shown on regular network TV.

the100thmonkey's avatar

What’s most interesting about the commentary is the default use of the ”-chan” suffix on every participants’ name – it suggests someone younger than the observer, who is in some way to be treated as “sweet” or “cute”. This titular suffix is almost never applied to boys older than about 5 years outside of contexts where the male is in some way infantilised.

Basically, women are treated by the state and the society as children in Japan until they marry, which is tantamount to having children for many, in my experience. Nevertheless, many women don’t choose to have children, hence the very low birthrate here – why would any rational individual want to go from being a child to being a mother in months?

Japan is not a ‘deviant’ society – to suggest so implies judgments from categories that are inherently bound by the culture that produces them – it is, though, really fucking weird.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@filmfann @jerv Why can’t we have quality television like Upskirt Judo Guy here? Outside of many people seeing it as tasteless I would gander the biggest reason would be that feminist would see it as sexist. It is not the fact that many girls here who wear minis go commando, they can be ”screened” before they take to the stage, bet many horndogs would love that job. That is part of the hypocrisy, you don’t want to have a show where women are flipped to expose their undies but you can have some woman in a bikini sell you a burger, as well as use sex to sell nearly everything else.

@the100thmonkey Japan is not a ‘deviant’ society – to suggest so implies judgments from categories that are inherently bound by the culture that produces them – it is, though, really fucking weird. Whether something or someone is deviant almost always comes down to perception, doesn’t it? People see the Mormons and their many wives and say deviant, others see Clark and Bruce in a married relationship they say deviant, 2nd cousins Maggie and Blain are dating people will say deviant, 17yr old Alice wants to have a consensual committed relations ship with her 25yr old college physics tutor, people say deviant. Some of the people in one group would call another group deviant while being in a group that is called deviant by another. So then what is true deviance?

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Many would argue that Japanese TV in general is tasteless. Have you ever seen their game shows?

As for the feminist argument, we could judo flip some Scotsmen to balance things out :D

@the100thmonkey My take: “Deviant” basically means straying away from the norm. However, what is the norm? What standard are we measuring deviance by? Most people will use the norms/standards set by their own culture, in which case pretty much everyone is a deviant. For example, I am from New England, so I consider Southerners and especially Texans to be deviants. (Oddly, I never had that feeling in any of the foreign nations I’ve been to, leading me to think that the bottom half of the US is the strangest place on Earth.) But some people will measure how different they are from the average, middle-of-the-road human, and by that standard, the Japanese are pretty normal.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@jerv – that wouldn’t be televisable (is that even a word? it should be) as many Scots don’t wear underwear with a kilt. Not sure where the practice started (you’re supposed to wear underpants of the same base colour as your kilt on formal occasions at least, but few seem to know that), but yeah, flipping a Scot would likely result in quite a lot of bollocks being broadcast… ;)

Japanese TV is almost unremittingly shit.

@Hypocrisy_Central – yes, although I prefer the terminology I used in my previous post; the categories inform the perceptions, or, rather, the judgements one makes based on those perceptions. There is no true ‘deviance’ by what I suggest.

The judgement call should at least attempt to base itself in something other than the perceptions of a group – some kind of broad-based and justifiable assumption should be made upon which we might all agree. That’s harder to do than it is to suggest, though.

With regards to Judo-throw-upskirt-guy, it’s not deviant because the participants are volunteers. One might argue that the society is deviant because women will volunteer for the show. On the flipside, one might argue that the US is a deviant society because people volunteer for reality TV shows there. From my experience, there is no line to draw unless we all sit down and draw it ourselves.

I don’t believe in moral absolutes, categorical imperatives or anything else. In that way, I am a nihilist. I do, however, believe that there is inherent dignity (in the original sense of ‘worth’ or ‘value’) in every human – potential. What that implies for the species as a whole is a very sticky problem.


I think it’s just because “girls are supposed to be dressed like girls” and boys like boys, hence the skirts for girls and the military type uniforms for boys. Japan is a very gender-dichotomized nation——even the Japanese spoken language, women and girls speak “differently” from men, using a more “polite” and mannerful kind of word usage and speaking, whereas men speak more abruptly and do not “add niceties” to the end part of sentences like women do.


@jerv You are correct about the “more liberal attitude” and relaxedness concerning sex and nudity in Japan as opposed to the West. Over there, you have communal nude baths for both genders for the public. I don’t think people would do that here. Lol.

In terms of Japanese game shows, movies, t.v., and video games, yes, the Japanese are sort of weird, and often exceedingly perverse and kinky. Quite different from the Chinese, who are more “down-to-earth” and “sensible”. I’m speaking generally of course. Lol.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Over there, you have communal nude baths for both genders for the public. I don’t think people would do that here. I take it the ”over there” is in Japan. I remember the big stink in SF years ago over the public bathhouses and they did not even mix the sexes. If you say you are a ”naturalist” bka nudist many will look at you as if you were weird or deviant, same with the chikan, they would find themselves toss in the clink 90% of the time or more, IMO.


@Hypocrisy_Central Yep, Japan. I can’t believe how people in the West take such an offense to nudity and other sexual matters. In Japan, everything is about “order” and “responsibility for the common good.” The group is valued more than the individual. Here, people are very protective about their own privacy, and tout their individual rights if they think they have been encroached. Over there, people value self-respect too, but they don’t like to raise a “stink” if a matter threatens the good of the majority. A classic example is the recent tsunami disaster in Japan. There could have been a lot of public chaos, with people running amok and stealing things, but the Japanese are a very composed, patient, and orderly people, sometimes to the extent where it is almost ridiculous and to their disadvantage. Compare that to what happened with the looting and pillage during Hurricane Katrina.

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