Japan has started introducing genderless uniforms into schools


Schools in Japan have started to introduce genderless uniforms to support their LGBT+ students.

The move aims to help make students’ experience at school easier. One school near Tokyo, called Kashiwanoha Junior High School, allows students to choose whether they want to wear skirts or slacks, or ties or ribbons, no matter what their gender is.

The vice principal of the school, Koshin Taki, told Kyodo News: “We thought it would be better to let students wear something they feel comfortable in if they have to struggle to come to school because of uniforms.”

The genderless uniforms on show (Tombow Co.)

“We chose a subdued colour and check patterns so that the uniform would be suitable for any student.”

This has started a trend throughout Japan with other junior high schools like the prefecture of Fukuoka, where one school is about to get rid of stand-up collar uniforms and sailor-style suits to implement blazers and let students choose whether they want to wear skirts or trousers.

In Tokyo, the education board of Setagawa Ward will start using genderless uniforms next April.

Osaka and Fukuoka have said they will consider changing uniforms to ones that will be more acceptable for LGBT+ students.

All students can choose between skirts or trousers at some schools (Tombow Co.)

Kashiwanoha Junior High School’s vice principal said he would be keep an eye out for the reactions to the new uniforms from students. He emphasised that the inclusive dress code isn’t just for transgender students, but for everyone.

“I hope [the new dress code] will help students choose what they want to wear without necessarily disclosing their gender identity,” he told Kyodo News.