Big news for Tokyo public high school students! From the 2022 school year, Tokyo public schools will abolish rules that specify the color of student underwear (white), hair color (black), and hair type (straight).

Previously, some schools would conduct underwear spot checks and require students with naturally curly or light-colored hair to submit proof thereof. Otherwise, they would have to get their hair dyed or straightened.

Japanese middle school students standing in a circle.
By Edward Thomas using Canva

Male students will also be allowed to sport the long-banned “two-block” style (short sides and back, longer on top).

Although Japan is perceived as a modern, advanced country, many of its practices, rules, and laws are shockingly outdated and inefficient.



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Edward Thomas

Chicago native, resident of Japan since 1969. Japanese>English translator, copywriter, editor. Teaches English at a Japanese University.