Are Ponytails Banned in Japanese Schools?

Well… kind of.

Edward Thomas
JAPUNDIT

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I recently did a short piece for the publication Everything Short Form about how Japanese high schools were starting to lighten up on rules governing hairstyles, underwear color, and other things.

In response, I received the following comment from Maddisson C. Zabitsky:

I’m not sure if this is true, but I read recently that some schools in Japan are banning “ponytails?” Not sure if you heard of this or if it’s fake news by chance?

I had never heard about a rule banning ponytails before, so I decided to do some checking.

I learned that the ponytail ban story was being reported in the global press.

News reports ranged from “some Japanese schools” (in more prominent, mainstream publications) to suggestions that the ban was being applied nationwide (primarily in publications based in India, Malaysia, and Pakistan).

According to most versions of the story I saw, ponytails were banned because the hairstyle exposes the nape of a girl’s neck. School officials feared the sight of the female neck would sexually excite male students.

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Edward Thomas
JAPUNDIT

Chicago | Japan since 1969 | Japanese>English translator, editor | Teaches English at Japanese University. | Buy me a ko-fi @ ko-fi.com/edwardthomas