The List of Unreasonable Rules in Japanese Schools


Summary: Japanese schools have many unreasonable rules. I graduated from public junior high school and worked as a public junior high school teacher in Tokyo. I’ll introduce unreasonable school rules concerned with it.
Before you read this article, please read “Why were Unreasonable Rules Born in Japanese Schools”

Examples of unreasonable school rules which I faced in a public junior high school

・Students must not dye hair.
・Student mustn’t make up.
・Students mustn’t shorten their skirts.
・Students whose hair color is not black must submit a certificate that it is natural to school.
・Students whose hair cover their eyebrows or eye, they must shorten their bangs.
・Students mustn’t use hair wax.
・Students must not do two block hair style(Japanese call shaved side hair style “two block”).
・If girls have long hair, they must tie their hair.
・While commuting, students mustn’t drop off any shops.
・Students must not shave and cut their eyebrows.
・Students must attend any club activities.

Without above

Recently, “black school rules” are known in Japan. Black implies “unnecessary or unreasonable”. Peoples complain to the black school rules and call for improvements. If you search “black school rule” on the internet, you can find some information that
No.1 Students must wear white underwear. To check underwear, teachers see and check student’s underwear.
No.2 Between students, they mustn’t love each other. If they want to, they must say to teachers.
No.3 Students mustn’t use scarf while commuting.
No.4 Student must not do French braid hairstyle.
and so on. However, from the view of my experience, I have never heard like these black school rules above. I feel these above were too severe obviously. In particular I think No.1 is a part of sexual harassment completely. I am not sure why like that school rule exists. To be honest, I doubt that any school don’t make rules of No.1~4. I imagine they are just an emphasis which show that schools have many black school rules.

Young teachers also have questions against the black school rules

Not only I but also many young teachers have doubts of them. We think teachers should improve the black school rules. Of course, many school rules are necessary, on the other hand, some rules are unnecessary. In addition, many old teachers think that teachers should be a role model for students.

They think teachers also obey school rules. Hence, some old teachers criticize other teachers who dying their hair, who have two block hair style, who use hair wax, who get their hair permed. Eventually, almost all teachers have just ugly hairstyle.

Nevertheless, they don’t have any power to change rules. They can’t argue the irrationality strongly even if they have question about the school rules. If you think just bystanders also have crimes, young teachers are also criminals.