9 Japanese School Rules That Are Shocking, But True

Schools differ a lot from each other, but schools from different countries are a total mass of varieties.

While Japanese people are beautiful and fashionable, like the little girl who is an Instagram fashion star, they cannot be fashionable at school.

Japanese schools have pretty strict rules, and you must obey them if you want to remain a student. That’s why they have one of the best school systems in the world. Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about Japanese schools.

1. You can’t have your favorite hairstyle at school

It’s because children might be distracted by their hair. Boys have to have a simple cut with no styling or layering.
On the other hand, girls can have their hair long or tie it up if they want. But styling it is not allowed in any way.

2. No good appearances are allowed

Children in Japanese schools are told to focus only on their education. Girls are not allowed to wear makeup, paint their nails, or shave their legs.

3. No relationships at school

This is tough when you have a crush on someone from your class. If you were there, you would never act on your feelings because relationships are strictly banned in Japanese schools. According to teachers, Japanese students are too young to think about that topic.

4. No substitute teachers

If a teacher is absent or sick, then the class that teacher was supposed to take is not assigned to a different teacher. Instead, the students are alone in class, studying on their own. Could you imagine this in a European or American school? Downright impossible! In Japan, this is not a problem due to the great discipline that the students have.

5. Greetings are a must

In the morning, every student must greet the teacher in their class. It is a tradition for some schools to start the day off with some meditation, so the students have some positive energy in them before they start their long day.

6. You are not allowed to be late

It is strictly against school rules to come to school late unless there is an urgent situation. Although this is true for many schools, it is worth noting that Japanese students are extremely punctual. Also, they will usually stay late after school for extracurricular activities or extra classes.

7. Uniforms are necessary

Every school has a similar uniform in Japan. Boys are required to wear black suits, whereas girls are required to wear plaid skirts.

8. You can’t bring food from home.

The school provides food for the students, and it can be either a bowl of rice, fish, or soup. Students are actually punished if they don’t finish every bite of their food. BUT this one is not applying for high school nowadays.

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4 thoughts on “9 Japanese School Rules That Are Shocking, But True”

  1. These rules apply in most schools around the world and aren’t shocking. A number of the rules you mention don’t even apply at all Japanese schools.

    BTW your copy protection is irritating, it stops me from highlighting things as I read. Fortunately, it’s easy to bypass.

  2. A comment from Denmark, I can confirm that thee rules do not apply to danish public schools. and to my knowledge not to any Scandinavian public school. Privat schools well yes to som extend. And this lack of discipline and respect is a problem in our school system. It might have other benefits, but still. Japan has something strong and good here to some extend!

  3. The fourth point is quite irrespectful towards other Europeans students like me…
    as an Italian Scientific Lyceum student it would be false to say we slack off or party when a teacher is missing.
    Whenever there is a missing teacher, we don’t always waste our time! Most times another teacher of another subject of hours comes to give a regular lesson to us, and if none of our class teachers is available we either get another random teacher that either does lesson or we self-study or do assignments for the next hours\days. Sure, there will be someone that probably will play phone, but it is false and generalised to say seeing something like this is “unthinkable” in Europe.
    I have my great respect for Japan, but it’s not as if diligent students in each class didn’t exist here!
    Also point six is valid as well here, and quite relevant. School opens exactly at 8am, and we have five minutes to be inside the class. Student who start arriving after 8’06am will most likely upset the teacher, and also get a “late notice” on their student report card. If you collect too many late entrances you’ll have a very bad reputation and eventually a lower “conduct” grade, which impacts your final grades for each year.


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