Posts Tagged ‘Japanese School’

Japanese School Uniforms

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

The traditional Japanese school uniforms are known throughout the world. The style of wearing a neatly pleated skirt, sailor-collar shirt, and high socks is so endearing that even students in countries where uniforms aren’t required enjoy wearing the style. While you may be familiar with the style, have you ever wondered where the style came from or why it is worn?

Japanese school uniforms have actually been around since the Meiji Period, an important time in Japanese history during which the people began to change old traditions into more modern ones. The original school uniform was a traditional kimono worn with a hakama, a style of wrap around skirt. Soon, the tradition changed again, creating a more military style appearance with boys in a smart looking Prussian type uniform and girls wearing a blouse with a sailor collar and a pleated skirt. In 1920, the modern style uniform was introduced at a girls’ school in Fukuoka, where it consisted of a long sleeve shirt, over the knee skirt, black stockings, and shoes. The uniform was chosen by Elizabeth Lee, who was fond of European and American culture.

Class Photo from a School in Japan

Wearing a uniform is no longer required in some Japanese schools, but the attractive and comfortable style of uniforms has made them very popular among children and their parents. In particular, the girl’s sailor-type uniform has become trendy, largely in part due to the appearance of the sailor uniform in Japanese comic books known as manga. The uniform has gained popularity in other countries through manga and Japanese animated films called anime. In particular, the Sailor Moon series featured teenaged heroines in cute sailor-style school uniforms.

Two Japanese School Girls with Geisha

Today’s Japanese school uniforms are made up of a jacket, sailor collared blouse, pleated skirt, knee-high white socks, simple black shoes, and a brightly colored cap that is designed for safety when walking in traffic. Many girls choose to wear a brightly colored bow around their neck as well. Each school has a different set of colors for their uniforms, with most consisting of blue or green, and some preferring a tartan pattern skirt. Modern girls offer their own take on the uniform, adding accessories like baggy long socks, fun charms, and wild hair ties to show off their personalities. Boys also add touches to their uniforms, often leaving ties loose and buttons undone.

Japan Schoolgirls in Uniforms Pose For Picture

Despite the changes to the look, Japanese school uniforms are still wildly popular at schools across Japan. The look is popular in many places outside of Japan, and there are many places to purchase both real and stylized Japanese school uniforms. Parents in many parts of Japan remember the school uniforms of their youth, and enjoy seeing their children wear the same traditional styles as they head off to school. The United States and several other countries are seeing a rise in the popularity of required school uniforms, and many are inspired in part by Japanese school uniforms. While many people offer theories on why the uniform is so popular, the simple fact is that Japanese school uniforms are a stylish and fun way to hit the books.

Top 5 Universities in Japan

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Here is a current list of the top 5 universities in Japan.

Update: I have received some e-mails asking me if these Universities offer courses and degrees in English. I have updated each one with links to the University websites showing full details. You can also download this PDF list of universities and the degrees offered in English that I got directly from Here’s another site you might find useful if you’re looking for courses taught in English –

  1. The University of Tokyo – (Tokyo Daigaku) a major research university. Fifteen prime ministers in Japan have studied at University of Tokyo. During the Summer Olympics in 1964, the university hosted the running portion of the pentathlon event. The University’s School of Science and the Earthquake Research Institute are both represented on the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction. Here’s a list of Degrees Offered in English.
    University of Tokyo
  2. Kyoto University – (Kyoto Daigaku) It is the second oldest Japanese university, and formerly one of Japan’s Imperial Universities. The university claims six Nobel Laureates and two Fields Medalists among its faculty and alumni. Here are Degree Programs in English for International Students.
  3. Osaka University – (Osaka Daigaku) It is the sixth oldest university in Japan, and formerly one of Japan’s Imperial Universities. Not only is it one of the top research institutions in Japan, it’s very difficult to get into. They offer English Degrees and Courses taught in English.
  4. Nagoya University – (Nagoya Daigaku) It is one of the most prestigious universities and it’s one of the top research institutions in Japan, and Nagoya Law School is considered as one of top Law schools in the country. It’s very selective with the students they select. They offer undergraduate degrees from which students can graduate entirely in English.
    Nagoya University
  5. Tohoku University – (Tohoku Daigaku) It is the third oldest Imperial University in Japan and one of the 13 universities selected by the government to lead the internationalisation of higher education in Japan. They offer international degree courses taught completely in English, at both undergraduate and graduate level. The radiology department has been actively measuring radiation levels throughout the city of Sendai since the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant meltdown, which is about 100 kilometers south. One of the interesting research centers they have is the Research Center for Prediction of Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions. They also offer International degree programs taught in English.
    Tohoku UniversityYou can view the top Japanese Universities and see where they stand in the country of Japan as well as where they are listed in top 500 worldwide rankings right here.