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Fukushima schools open to revising old rules

During the late Showa era (1926–1989), every high school student in Japan wore essentially the same uniform and had a regular hairstyle—not necessarily by choice, but because school rules dictated it. A student caught breaking the rules will receive a severe reprimand.

“I always thought this was exactly how it was in high schools,” said Takayuki Midorikawa, 60, who runs a photography studio in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, as he recalls the days he spent at Ueda Junior High School in the late 1970s.

Male students were required to wear black socks. Female students were required to wear skirts that were neither too long nor too short; a teacher stood guard at the school gate, holding a ruler to ensure the skirts were the correct length.

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