Do All Japanese School Girls Wear Short Skirts?: Anime vs Real Life

High School Fleet, Skirt length



The topic of this article is the school uniform skirt lengths of high school and junior high students in Japan. Within Japanese anime, the skirt length of female students is often depicted extremely short. However, the average skirt length of school uniforms is not necessarily short in all areas of Japan. In addition to the length disparity according to personal taste and preference, there is a distinct regional difference. First, I will begin by explaining the history of Japanese school uniforms.



1.The History of Japanese School Uniforms

1-1. Year 1879, the First Male School Uniforms

The first school to adopt school uniforms in Japan was Gakushuin, a school famously taking in students from “kazoku”, which is the noble elite class within Japan. Gakushuin is a prestigious school were many members of the imperial family attend, to this day. The first uniform introduced was the collar style school uniform (known as eri-gakuseifuku) with trousers and a school cap (known as gakubou), a uniform style portrayed frequently in anime.
In this era, Gakushuin’s education policy included officer training. Therefore it was required for their school uniform to be very functional. Additionally, It should be noted that school uniforms in this period were extremely expensive.


“The meaning of school uniforms that change with the times”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


1-2. Year 1900, Female School Uniforms are Introduced

Before WW1, Japan had separate schools for boys and girls above elementary school. In this period, girls would go to elementary school which would be followed by an all girls high school. However, only a small percentage of female students would be able to go on as far as high school. At that time in Japan, there was common prejudice that believed women did not need education.


Although western clothing was introduced to schools such as Tokyo Joshi Shikan Gakko in 1885, western clothing was not popularised in this period. During this era, skirt lengths were often long enough that the hem would touch the floor. This length is believed to be influenced by the European culture at the time.


“History of school uniform”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


By 1900, hakama style uniform bottoms appear. Men’s hakama were called “umanori hakama” and had bottoms that resemble wide trousers. The hakama style uniforms made for women were in “chouchin hakama” style, which was closer to a type of skirt. Initially, women also wore “umanori hakama” style uniforms. However, the umanori style was quickly criticised as being “too masculine” and inappropriate for women. It goes without saying that this era had a highly male dominated society with much male chauvinism. Therefore it is not surprising that women were highly criticised for donning the “umanori hakama”. Still, there was a reason that women chose to wear “umanori hakama”. Since it was known that upper class women such as the female members of the imperial family had been wearing “umanori hakama” as early as year 794 to 1185, there was the feeling of longing and aspiration to wear umanori hakama amongst women in lower classes.


“History of Hakama”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


In this way hakama reminisces the image of a noble woman in court. The hakama was so popular amongst female students that many students would wear them to school. Some students even made petitions in order to allow them to wear hakama’s to school. The initiative and action taken by female students were a big factor behind the hakama being established as an official school uniform. This can be backed up by the fact that the “chouchin hakama” was created in order for women to be able to wear hakama’s freely. Women are always sensitive to fashion regardless of era or age! Within all girls’ high schools at this time, physical education was widely adopted in order to maintain the health and fitness of students. Since hakama’s were a very flexible form of attire, schools recommended students to wear them. This caused hakama clothing to become popularised.


Hakama continued to be the mainstream style of female school uniforms until the 1920’s when the sailor style uniforms were introduced. Hakama uniforms are still featured in anime today in works such as “Haikara-san Here Comes Miss Modern” and “Taisho Baseball Girls”. Today, women often wear hakama to their university graduation ceremonies.


In terms of uniforms for men, since 1894, the “bankara” style uniform was popular. Bankara is a style in which male students purposely aim for a rugged messy sort of look. This look was usually finessed by wearing a dirty cap, a grubby cloth attached to the hip, geta shoes, unkempt hair and a cape.

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


In terms of this style portrayed in anime, Goriraimo in “Dokonjou Gaeru/The Gusty Frog” and Iwaki in “Dokaben” wear their uniforms in bankara style. The dokaben style is still popular in Iwate prefecture. It is a tradition for the cheer team to wear dokaben style uniforms for the Iwate Summer High School Baseball Tournament.

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


1-3. The Sailor Suit Appears and Western Skirts Become the Norm of Female School Uniforms

The sailor suit which is often depicted in anime was first adopted as a school uniform by the Heian Jogakuin girls’ school in 1920.


“school uniform and sportswear”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


The very first sailor style uniform was a navy dress with sailor collar, the skirt length reaching as far as the ankle.


There are four main reasons as to why western style uniforms began to appear at this time. The first is that there was a massive earthquake in the Kanto region. Since traditional Japanese attire was not very flexible and hard to move in, there were many people who could not escape in time and became casualties of this earthquake. The second reason is that traditional Japanese clothes became very expensive. The third reason is that many people in higher occupations started to wear western clothing. The forth reason is that the relief supplies sent by the US included western clothes, which promoted western clothes to commoners. One of the main driving forces for the westernisation of school uniforms were missionary girls’ schools such as the Heian Jogakuin. Many such missionary schools were founded in the Meiji period and quickly began to expand.


In 1921, the Fukuoka jogakuin girls’ school also adopted the sailor suit uniform. The common skirt length in this school was a little above the ankle, the hem reaching the middle of the calf.

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


It seems that by this period female students began to wear their uniforms more freely to match their own style, even if that meant that they broke the school rules. Some students would shorten the hem of their jackets while other students would add more pleats to their skirt. This period was the beginning of the cat-and-mouse situation of rebellious students and conservative teachers, a common situation still present to this day.



1-4. The Appearance of the National Uniform

In 1940 as the possibility of war became more and more realistic, the Imperial Japanese National Uniform Ordinance was promulgated. Since there was a shortage of general supplies, uniforms were also regulated accordingly. As mentioned earlier, most female high school students wore sailor style uniforms around this era. However, in 1939, students refrained from acquiring high school uniforms since schools had advised the students to wear the clothes that they had been wearing at elementary school. Eventually in 1941, there was an official regulation set regarding school uniforms. From then on, female students were required to wear a blouses with a shawl collar (with a white cover)and buttoned sleeves, with a navy jacket and belt. This would be worn with a navy skirt with a few pleats (such as a semi-flare style) the length reaching just below the knee. This design was determined in order to save clothing materials. Male uniforms also changed to a more modest design. Uniforms no longer had stand-up collars or golden buttons. Instead, male students wore khaki coloured uniforms with a stand-and-fall collar, battle cap and puttees according to the national uniform ordinance set in 1940.


“Schoolgirl uniforms and monpe during the war”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.



1-5. Monpe Trousers

Following the enactment of women’s standard uniforms, in 1942 ①Kou ②Otsu ③Hei – three standard uniform styles were created for school girls. ②Otsu took on the style of conservative Japanese clothes. ①Kou had Japanese style tops while ③Hei had trouser bottoms such as monpe.


Since Japan had been relying on imported materials, there was a serious shortage of cotton and wool. Consequentially, the new uniforms were made with staple fibres which had lower tolerance against friction and washing. However, there was still a lack of resources which meant that the production could not fore fill the number of demand. This meant that the new uniform styles did not become as popularised and sailor uniforms were still used as uniforms in some cases. In some rural areas, sailor style uniforms were made with locally produced materials. A famous example is the sailor style uniforms made by kasuri a traditional style of weaving in Japan.

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


In 1944, female students were called in to be part of the labor force and skirts were abolished. Instead, anti-air raid hoods and name plates (as a means of identification) were mandated. Additionally, puttee’s were worn even amongst women for swift footwork.


1-6. Post-WW2, Sailor Style Uniforms Make a Comeback

In 1945, due to Japan’s defeat in WW2, the education system and uniform reformation was technically back to a clean slate. In 1946, schooling became mandatory for girls meaning that women finally had equal rights to an education. By 1947, the School Education Law was promulgated, establishing compulsory education to be 6 years of elementary school and 3 years of junior high school.


Concurrently, school uniforms were manufactured once again. This time, uniforms would go back to the sailor style for girls and stand-up collar style for boys. Surprisingly, there was no notable reform of the design of school uniforms despite the arrival of a new era. This is possibly due to the fact that the sailor style and stand-up collar school uniforms were once limited to noble elites, symbolising power and class. Hence it may be the case that commoners and lower class children were pleased to be able to wear these styles of uniforms, which were once high above their reach.


By this time, the skirt length of female students began to differ depending on region. For example, in Sapporo the average length was around the middle to just above the knee, in Kyoto 10 cm or so below the knee and in Nagoya around 10cm above the ankle.

“Sapporo Hokuto High School”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


1-7. Tsuppari and Sukeban styling of uniforms

Since we covered junior high school uniforms, we will now move on to the explanation of high school uniforms.


From the 1960’s to the late 1970’s deformed ways of wearing school uniforms began to appear. These ways of styling uniforms are referred to as “tsuppari” and “sukeban”. These styles were most often worn by hooligans and rebellious teenagers. In this era Japan was in the midst of high economic growth. While adults were busy with work, children tended to be left behind. In particular, father’s would often work long hours for their company, tending to their bosses, with minimal days off with barely any time to spend with their families. It is easy to imagine how lonely children will feel in this sort of household. Back then, most Japanese households relied on the father as the sole breadwinner, resulting in the further empowerment of the patriarchal family structure. Domestic violence was by no means uncommon and children exposed to such violence became more and more sour and rebellious. It is also highly likely that children with economically dysfunctional fathers also came to develop a sense of aversion. Tsuppari and sukeban were in a way how children rebelled to adults through fashion.


Some popular styles among male students was “nagaran” (an oversized baggy uniform top), “rappa zubon” (wide hemmed uniform trousers), “manbo zubon” or “suka-man” (trousers with a tight fitting hem) and “bontan” (extremely wide baggy trousers). These are just some examples of the “tsuppari” style fashion.

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


Meanwhile, female students began to style their uniforms in sukeban style. Some girls compactly rolled down their socks, while others purposely wore worn out shoes. A popular combination was matching an extremely long uniform skirt with a short uniform jacket, exposing part of their stomaches. A commonality between the tsuppari and sukeban styles is that the length of clothing tended to be extremely short or extremely long. This was a way in which teenagers attempted to look strong and show off their power.

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


Tsuppari and sukeban styles can be seen in various Japanese anime, in particular within anime and manga from a while ago. “YuYu Hakusho” “Good-For-Nothing Blues”, “From Today On, It’s My Turn!!”, “Bite Me! Chameleon”, and “Tokyo Revengers” all depict tsuppari and sukeban style uniforms. Although “Tokyo Revengers” is a fairly recent anime, the story has sci-fi elements and goes back in time, which is why the uniform style is tsuppari and sukeban which were popular in the 70’s. In the anime “Blue Legend Shoot!”, the main female character Kazumi Endo wears her uniform in sukeban style.


1-8. School Blazers

In 1964, the Olympics were held in Tokyo, Japan. By the 1980’s the children who observed the Tokyo Olympics had become parents themselves and had teenage children. Since parents of that particular generation had a special place in their hearts for the Tokyo Olympics, a school uniform which resembled the Japan olympic team uniform was made consisting of a blazer, finessed with an emblem and golden buttons. This uniform quickly became extremely popular.


In 1984, the new school uniforms of Kaetsu Gakuen School (featuring a tartan patterned blazer) and Shinagawa Joshi Gakuin School (featuring camel coloured blazer) gained immense popularity as an innovative style of school uniforms. The Shinagawa Joshi Gakuin School had been struggling due to the decreasing number of pupils. However, the reformation of the school uniform (started by the school’s founder’s great-grand child) resulted in the rapid increase of new applicants.

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


1-9. The Diversification of School Uniforms

Through the influence of manga and TV series featuring tsuppari style uniforms, arranging new ways to style school uniforms become normalised amongst teens.

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


Manga such as “Good-For-Nothing Blues”, “From Today on, It’s My Turn!!” And “Bite Me! Chameleon” were popular in the late 1980’s while the “YuYu Hakusho” series began in 1990. The authors of these manga were all born in the 1960’s. It is understandable how these authors portray the hooligans and rebels that roamed the streets in the 70’s, since they must have witnessed such teenagers while they were children. Needless to say, there are countless other manga works that feature similar topics/tsuppari, which were not animated.


Let’s get back to the topic of school uniforms. From the late 1980’s, many high school’s changed their uniforms to the blazer type in order to prevent students from wearing unofficial styles of uniform such as tsuppari and sukeban. In the 1990’s various colours of uniforms began to emerge such as red, green and camel. Prior to this, school uniforms had been predominantly navy or black. Fashionable new uniform designs became popular in private schools in Tokyo, such as checkered trousers, colourful ribbons and ties.


In the early 1990’s, shortening skirts become popular amongst female high school students. The predecessor of this trend is Kaetsu Gakuen School, mentioned earlier (1-8). Kaetsu Gakuen began adopting short length skirts ( above the knee length ) as their school uniform ever since they began adopting blazer style school uniforms.

“What is the power that uniforms produce?”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


Simultaneously, in the early 1990’s, stylish school uniforms designed by high-end fashion designers began to appear.


By the mid-1990’s Namie Amuro became a extremely popular icon for teenage girls. One of her trade mark looks is a short mini-skirt paired with long boots. Namie’s style heavily influenced female high school uniforms at the time. Her fan’s known as “Amu-ra”s began to wear baggy scrunched up socks (known as “loose-socks”) with mini-skirts, later widely known as “kogal” (a slang for trendy high school girls) style. The skirt length of kogal style was unprecedentedly short, only reaching to the top of the thigh. This trend in short skirts can still be seen on the streets in Japan today. A new branch of kogal style is referred to as the “Yamanba” style. Kogyaru and yamanba have similar fashion styles, yet yamanba style includes a distinctive style of make-up applying heavy dark brown/tan coloured foundation which is commonly known as “ganguro” style make-up.

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


The character AYU in anime “The Gymnastics Samurai” is a very good example of a high school girl in ganguro makeup and yamanba fashion. I highly recommend taking a look to understand the ganguro-yamanba trend. Even the way AYU speaks is very unique. The way she talks is “kogal-go” (meaning “kogal” lingo) and is nearly impossible to decipher by other generations, even if they are Japanese. This unique pattern of speech is one of the many relics of Japanese youth culture.


However, these sort of high school uniform fashion styles were strictly prohibited in schools with strict rules. Even so, once school was over, girls would still go to public restrooms to change into their preferred style of uniform and roam the streets of Shibuya, the Mecca of youth fashion at that time. Teachers cooperated with the police in order to guide teenagers to stay out of trouble. If a student in a school prohibiting detours were to get caught in their school uniform roaming the streets, he or she would become the subject to severe punishment. Some students would be suspended whilst some students would even be prone to become expelled. In the episode 1 of season 1 of “Sound! Euphonium”, there is a scene where a female student is told off by her teacher regarding the length of her skirt. Teachers take care to discipline their students from the very first day of high school to prevent rule breaking behaviour from the students. (Although I must point out that the characters Kumiko and Natsuki wear much shorter skirts compared to Riko Nagase who was told off in this scene!)


In the 70’s and 80’s students altered their uniforms to make a rebellious statement. In this sense, the 1990’s marks a turning point in which high school uniforms become regarded as fashion through reflecting new trends and changes throughout different eras. On top of this, it should be noted that high school uniforms are a fashion style with a limit, that is you can only wear them for the 3 years that you are a high schooler.


1-10. Recent Trends

In 1992, as the shift in school uniform trends reach a peak, students wearing deformed uniforms (e.g. sukeban, tsuppari) decreased. By 2017, new technology was created in order to prevent skirts being manually shortened.

“Amazing technology that keeps uniform skirts from getting too short”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


So why did students stop wearing deformed uniforms? This is because school uniforms began to be regarded not only as mandatory style of clothing, but a style of fashion. Some students even began to purchase school uniforms of other schools, to wear as daily wear on their days off. Meanwhile, it seems that the number of applicants for high schools with no uniforms is decreasing.

“The history of high school uniforms”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


As school uniforms began to gained popularity as a style of fashion within Japan, Japanese style school uniforms also began to gain popularity overseas. For example, in Bangkok, an exposition was held featuring Japanese school uniforms. A french fashion magazine also featured Japanese uniform style as a fashion trend.


The popularity of Japanese school uniforms is likely boosted by the fact that people are able to reflect their personal style in how they wear their uniforms. As a result, in mid-2010’s, sporty-mix type uniforms gained popularity and became the trend.


The sporty-mix type uniform is another way to style and wear uniforms and is still popular today. In recent years, school rules have become more relaxed. Due to the declining birthrate in Japan, schools are having to work harder to appeal to possible to new-students.


The characters Matsuri Mizusawa in the anime “citrus” and Hinata in “Haikyu!!”, both wear sporty-mix type uniforms. Marin Kitagawa in “My Dress-Up Darling” (one of the most latest anime just released in 2022) is also a good example that reflects the recent relaxation of school rules through how she wears her school uniform. Marin wears make-up, dyes her hair and wears coloured contact lenses. She also ties her shirt in a bow instead of buttoning it up. In this way, the declining birthrate in Japan has affected how school uniforms are worn by youth today.


In recent years post-2020, genderless uniforms such as unisex blazers and girls’ slacks have began to appear.


Although I have yet to see girls’ slacks portrayed in anime, they have already been portrayed in some Japanese TV series.



2. Skirt Lengths of High School Girls by Region ~ Above the Knee or Below the Knee ~

“Survey results of high school girl skirt length”

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


Since junior high school is compulsory education, rules and regulations tend to be rather strict. From here, let us investigate the skirt length of high school students.


2-1. Prefectures in which high schoolers tend to wear short skirts

Here are the top three prefectures:


Since there is a large gap, percentage wise, between the 2nd and 3rd place, it can be determined that short skirts seem to be overwhelmingly popular within Kanagawa and Tokyo.


2-1-2. Anime skirt length, set in high-ranking prefectures with short skirts


“Mirai” (set in Kanagawa)

The main character Mirai, lives in Kanagawa. Her skirt length is higher than her knee but not super high. Since she wears a traditional sailor style uniform, her uniform style is very pleasing and likeable.


“Your Voice :KIMIKOE” (set in Kanagawa)

In KIMIKOE, all the main female characters wear their uniform skirts short, way above the knee. Girls wearing ties gives off a very modern, contemporary vibe. While the girls wear very extremely short skirts, their clothing expresses the open atmosphere of their oceanfront school.


“Maid-sama!” (set in central Tokyo)

All the main female characters wear short skirts, above the knee. Since this anime began in 2006, it is not surprising that the skirt length is short. Since characters such as student council presidents tend to be portrayed plain and serious often wearing a rather long skirts, it may be argued that the president in this anime is fairly modern, representing a new era. Unfortunately, I personally don’t care much for the yellow-green blazer worn in Maid-sama!…


“Your Lie in April” (set in central Tokyo)

The skirt length of all female main characters is extremely short. The uniform features a blue shirt with an emblem and gold buttons and ties are worn by both boys and girls. The uniform in Kimiuso has an extraordinarily modern feel to it.


“Chihayafuru” (set in rural Tokyo, Fuchu-shi)

Again, all female main characters wear short skirts, above the knee. The ties and ribbons are red with a checkered pattern, which is matching with the uniform skirt. Extra points for being able to choose between the tie and the ribbon! Personally, I think the Chihayafuru uniform design is very cute!


“A Certain Scientific Railgun” (set in rural Tokyo, Tachikawa-shi)

All the main female characters have short skirts above the knee. (Although Saten and Uiharu’s skirts look long, they actually wear their skirts pretty short). Mikoto and Kuroko’s skirts are depicted way too short for junior high school students. Because their skirts are drawn so short, the I first watched this anime I thought that they were high school students! Most Japanese junior high school students have much longer skirts compared to Mikoto and Kuroko.
It seems that the school that Mikoto goes to have checkered skirts as their winter uniform. I think this is pretty cute! I can’t help but wonder how girls suddenly look so ladylike just by wearing a blazer with a red ribbon. I also think Uiharu’s sailor uniform with the long pleated skirt skirt is also quite cute.



2-2-1. Prefectures in which high schoolers tend to wear long skirts

Here are the top three prefectures:


It is a close call towards regarding first place amongst these three prefectures. By the way, in Japan, there is the general impression that students in Osaka and Hyogo wear their skirts long. The rankings for these two prefectures are as follows.


Considering that these two cities are the second largest cities after Tokyo, the percentage is pretty high regarding the ratio of students with long skirts.



2-2-2. Anime skirt length, set in high-ranking prefectures with long skirts


“Kids on the Slope” (set in Nagasaki)

Yurika’s skirt is so long that her knees are completely covered up. Since this story is set in 1966, it is understandable that the uniform is somewhat old-fashioned and conservative.

(C) 小玉ユキ・小学館/「坂道のアポロン制作委員会」



3.Skirt length of high school girls by region ~Length ranking~

3-1. Which prefecture has the shortest skirt?

The ranking:

1stMito city, Ibaraki prefecture25cm above the knee

Rural Tokyo Areas

Nigata city Nigata prefecture

20cm above the knee

Otsu city Shiga prefecture

Kyoto city Kyoto prefecture

18cm above the knee

Central Tokyo Area

Hakodate city Hokkaido prefecture

Sendai city Miyagi prefecture

15cm above the knee

Nagoya city Aichi prefecture

Fukuoka city Fukuoka prefecture

5cm above the knee

The link is in Japanese, so please use the translation function of your browser.


The survey results showed that Ibaraki prefecture has the shortest average skirt length. The skirts as short as 25cm above the knee, underwear becomes visible, depending on the length of the girls legs. Living in Tokyo, I often see high school girls covering their bottoms with their bags when climbing stairs. High school girls are well aware that their underwear will be visible from people behind them if they do not do so. Some of the high school girls who carry backpacks which catch the hem of their skirts, making their underwear visible. Despite such inconveniences, why do many high schoolers choose to wear still well short skirts? We will look into the reason for this later on in this article.


3-1-1. Anime skirt length check for anime set in top prefectures with short skirts

Anime’s set in Ibaraki prefecture such as “Girls und Panzer” and “My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy” both depict the skirt lengths of high schoolers extremely short. In particular, the blazer style uniform in the latter anime give off gal game/bishojo game vibes.



“Bakemonogatari” set in Niigata prefecture also depicts short skirt lengths. The uniform design is a kind of mash up between shirts and sailor style uniforms which seem unique and cool. Since characters often do not tuck in their shirts, it is safe to crouch down without their underwear becoming visible.



The skirt length in “Sketchbook ~full color’s~” is about knee length. Since the uniform design is on the plain side and has a longer skirt, characters seem young and look as if they may be as young as junior high school students.




3-2. Which prefecture has the longest skirt?

The ranking:

1stKobe city, Hyogo prefecture20cm below the knee
2ndOsaka city, Osaka prefecture15cm below the knee


3-2-1: Anime skirt length check for anime set in top prefectures with long skirts

Unfortunately there weren’t many school anime/gakuen anime’s which were set in Osaka or Hyogo. The anime “Kageki Shojo!!” Is set in Hyogo, but the skirt length was depicted on the short side.


4. Characteristics of All-Girls School’s

4-1. Discipline at All-Girls School

I myself, the author of this article, went to an all girls’ school. Since all girls’ school’s are often mentioned in anime, I will now explain the skirt lengths there. At my school, the school rules stipulated the skirt length. Specifically, it was determined that the length should be “around the middle of the knee in summer” and “just below the knee” in winter. It was a violation of school rules to wear skirts that were shorter than knee length. Still, as the rebellious teenager I was back then, I changed my skirt so it would be around 10cm below the knee. Although teachers noticed my altered skirt and would look a little concerned giving me a half-smile sort of look, I did not get scolded since my skirt covered my knees and my socks were also visible. At my school there were no students who wore their uniforms in sukeban style.


It is often noted in anime how all-girls schools have strict rules. This is very true. This is because most all-girls high schools hold philosophy’s for their students to be “lady-like” and “feminine”. In the mid-1990’s when kogal style was popular, many of my classmates were given special guidance for their style of uniform. While some girls were given detention or suspension/time off from school, some students even decided to drop out completely. Students who performed dances in their kogal styles at the school festival were expelled. These are some examples of how strict the rules in all-girls schools were back in the 90’s.


The skirt length is one of the school rules that is set in order to maintain the “lady-like” and “feminine” ideals of the all-girls institution. This rule is also important in terms of protecting high school girls from men. Students at all-girls schools are not very used to interacting with men. In fact, I saw many of my high school friends breakdown and cry once they got into university and began to experience dealing with men and going through tumultuous romantic relationships. There is a possibility that girls who are not used to interacting with men who wear short skirts could be misunderstood by men to be “seducing” men or romantically approaching them. Some men make excuses for pursuing young high school girls by saying that they were “seduced” by their “provocative” attire. This is another reason why the length of skirts in all-girls schools are extremely strictly stipulated.


The lack of experience dealing with men throughout adolescence leads to a disadvantage of being unfamiliar with men and a higher tendency to be involved in sexual crimes. In order to prevent girls from getting involved in such crimes, rules such as skirt length regulations are very strict. If girls do not dress “attractively”, men are less likely to pursue them.


4-2. Skirt Lengths in All-Girls Schools

Here, we will take a look at the skirt lengths seen in all-girls high schools around Japan.


Chiba Joshi Kouko (Chiba)

At this school, the rule is that the skirts must be at least 1cm below the knee. In addition some school clubs have stricter regulations of skirt lengths for their members.


Ouin Koto-Gakko (Tokyo)

© 2020 Oin Gakuen.

Ouin Koto-Gakko is a prestigious school with many elites who go on to go to Tokyo University (the highest ranking university within Japan) and medical school. Regulations are strict and students are expected to wear long skirts, the hem lower than their knees. However, the rules seem to be loosening up in recent years and some students sew their hem and shorten their skirt. This school was founded as a branch of the Tokyo Shihan Gakko mentioned earlier. As I meantioned, the Tokyo Shihan Gakko Girls School introduced western clothes as their uniform as early as 1885. Ouin Koto-Gakko has also had uniforms in western style clothing since that time. However, the summer uniforms have not changed from their first uniforms and they wear jumper skirts. I imagine jumper skirts must be quite hot to wear during summer…


Wayou Kounodai Joshi Koukou (Chiba)

Wayou Kounodai has a junior high school and a high school. The skirt length of junior high students are set to be 6cm below the knee. This length will likely make short children look rather short legged… In high school the skirt length is set at 3cm below the knee. This school is the only school in Chiba which still has sailor style uniforms and is known as a school for girls from wealthy families. This school is very attentive to the look of their uniform and even makes a special type of vest to pull up the skirt, in order for the pleats to look pretty and elegant.


Shira Ume Gakuen Koto-Gakko (Tokyo)

© 2022 Shiraume Gakuen High School, All Rights Reserved.

The skirt length at Shira Ume is knee length. This is on the short side in terms of all-girls schools. Schools in Tokyo have short length skirts, even in all-girls schools.


Kobe Yamate Joshi Koukou (Hyogo)

The skirt length at this school is supposed to be the same as its junior high school, however the length is undetermined. Looking at pictures, the length seems rather long, the hem definitely going below the knee. In summer, they have a one-piece/dress type uniform.


Kobe Joshi Gakuin Koto-Gakko (Hyogo)

Kobe Joshi Gakuin founded in 1873 is a prestigious mission school, providing high education to their students. The unique school building has been designated as a national important cultural property. The students of this school have won numerous awards at competitions such as the National High School English Debate Competition, the International Philosophy Olympiad Trials, the National Mathematical Championships, and the National Mathematical Olympiad. Since this school offers an all-English education, many graduates become doctors and TV reporters. The length of the skirts worn are surprisingly short and most students wear their skirts in lengths above the knee. Unfortunately, I could not find many pictures of the school uniform, which is common when searching for pictures of studious all-girls schools. Since this school was founded in 1873, it could be the case that the early introduction of western clothes has resulted in the less strict rules regarding the skirt length of its students.


Kobe Tokiwa Joshi Koto Gakko (Kobe)

Copyright (C) Kobe Tokiwa Girls’ High School. All Rights Reserved.

Kobe Tokiwa Girls’ High School students wears an orthodox blazer-type uniform. The average skirt length is below the knee. There are almost no photos of uniforms at this school, but it does seem that some students wear their skirts in a longer style, around mid-calf length. I wonder if this could be because of this school having a long history, having been founded in 1908…


Shouin Koto Gakko (Hyogo)

Copyright ©  SHOIN.

The uniform of Shoin High School is a one-piece type in both summer and winter. The skirt length is around mid-calf. The school rules seems to specify that the length should be “below the knee (about 35 cm from the floor)”. This would mean that students with shorter height will end up having their skirts lengths below the knee. Since recent children tend to have longer legs, the skirt may appear to be pretty long. Astoundingly, the school uniform at this school which was first designed in 1925 by an alumni, has not been changed for about a century!


Seisen Joshi Gakuin Chugaku Koto Gakko (Kanagawa)


According to the rules at Seisen, the skirt length of students are supposed to be below the knee. Since there are unannounced inspections at this school, it is more difficult for students to shorten their skirts. Seisen school also has one-piece type uniforms for summer and winter.


Shitennouji Koto Gakko

The skirt length of this school is below the knee. This school is a rare school, in that it is a Buddhist all-girls school. Traditionally, buddhism was a male-dominated religion. This all-girls school built its educational foundation upon the teachings of the buddhist figures Yuima-koji and Shoman-bunin. Shittennouji school students wear sailor style uniforms in junior high school and blazer style uniforms in high school. Since the winter uniform has a grey top and skirt, Shitennouji girls are sometimes ridiculed by students of other schools by being called “walking tombstones”.


Gakko Houjin Seibo Joshi Gakuin (Kyoto)

© 2021 Kyoto Seibo Gakuin Junior High School / High School

Although Kyoto came 4th in the short skirt prefecture ranking at 18cm above the knee, this school located in Kyoto has long length skirts. However, it seems that high school students are able to wear shorter skirts around knee length during the summer time. Usagi Yama Koko in the anime “Tamako Market” was based off of this school.


Taisei Joshi Koto Gakko (Ibaraki)

© Copyright © Taisei Gakuen, Educational Institute. All Rights Reserved.

The school rules permit students to wear short skirts which are above the knee. As expected, students in Ibaraki has short skirts!


Sapporo Seishin Joshi Gakuin Koto Gakko (Hokkaido)

Copyright© SAPPORO SACRED HEART SCHOOL All rights reserved.

This school has a a-typical blazer style uniform. Students are not allowed to wear their skirts above knee length. With that being said, the website of the school shows pictures of students with their skirts shorter than the regulated length, so the skirt length rules may not be so strictly enforced.


Hokusei Gakuen Joshi Koto Gakko (Hokkaido)

© Copyright 2022 Hokusei Gakuen Girls’ Junior & Senior High School.

This school has sailor type uniforms. Hokusei Gakuen strictly prohibits skirts above the knee and the shortest length that is permitted is around the mid-knee length. Hokkaido tends to have shorter skirt length but this school has skirt length regulations, which is also the case in Sapporo Seishin Joshi Gakuin Koto Gakko, mentioned above.



4-3. Observing the Length of Skirts within All-Girls’ Schools Anime, from a Female perspective

The region where the anime is set will be put in brackets next to the anime title


4-3-1. All-girls School Anime with Long Skirt Lengths

“Otome Wa Boku Ni Koi Shiteru”


Since this anime features a christian school, I think the long skirts give off a Catholic sort of vibe. Due to the fact that this anime was created primarily for male audiences, the skirts are tight and the girls figures are pretty visible, which is not very realistic. In the spin off “Otoboku 3”, the uniforms resemble maid-cafe outfits seen in the Anime Mecca of Tokyo, Akihabara. The uniform in “Otoboku 3” seem to be in one-piece style.


“The Virgin Mary is Watching You” (Tokyo)


My guess was that since “Lilian Girls’ School” is a school for girls from extremely wealthy families the skirt lengths would be long, reflecting their lady-like upbringing as well as Christian values. However, the skirts are in various lengths depending on different scenes, sometimes short, sometimes below the knee and some times extremely long. In my opinion, the sailor uniforms of Lilian’s Girls’ School is cute. (Although I do think the summer uniforms seem a bit hot to wear in warm weather) I think the Lilian uniform would be best worn below the knee or around calf-length, in a lady-like style.


“Asobi Asobase: Workshop of Fun” (Knee length, Junior High School)

Since this is a comedy anime, the skirt lengths vary between scenes but seem to be around knee-length in most scenes. I think this is very junior high school appropriate and a nice length considering the age of the characters. The summer uniforms are refreshing and cute. On the other hand I think the winter uniforms are a little… lame. Likewise the Tennouji Koto Gakko uniforms, I think completely grey coloured uniforms aren’t very attractive.


4-3-2. All-girls School Anime with Short Skirt Lengths

“Akebi’s Sailor Uniform”

This anime depicts the realistic transition of uniforms from the sailor-style to the blazer-style with an emblem and golden buttons. While I think the sailor style uniform is cute, I personally prefer the red ribbons worn with the blazer uniform. The blazer style uniform is rather typical in design asides from the large ribbon attached to it. I really like this uniform. The summer uniform has balloon sleeves, enhancing the femininity of the girls. Although I must note that Japanese summers are far too hot to wear jumper skirts.


“Sweet Blue Flowers” (Slightly above the knee, Modern design, Kanagawa)

© 志村貴子・太田出版/青い花製作委員会

Fujigaya Jogakuin, the school Akira goes to is a mission school. The sailor uniforms are very cute. There is a slit design made on the sleeves and seems flexible and easy to move in. However I think precautions are necessary such as wearing the skirt high up the waist to prevent their underwear from showing. In fact, in the Anime poster their underwear is slightly visible, which is quite realistic. The skirt is short for a mission school, but since this anime is set in Kanagawa the short skirt length makes perfect sense.

© 志村貴子・太田出版/青い花製作委員会

Matsuoka Joshi Koto Gakko, the school which Fumi goes to is an elite, high education school. The uniform is grey and very basic. I found it surprising that this school has a longer skirt length compared to Fujigaya Jogakuin. Perhaps it is because students are uninteresting in everything asides studying. The summer uniform consisting of a jumper skirt and stockings seems extremely hot.



The skirt length of the school which Yui goes is extremely short. I think the K-on! uniforms are super cute. This school divides the colour of the ribbon by grade. There are indeed schools that do so in real life. Some schools are known to divide the colour of slippers by grade. The characters in “K-on” have various coloured hair/ hair lengths and even wear accessories which suggests that their school does not enforce strict rules, although I don’t think this is very accurate, in real all-girls’ schools.


“Garupan” (Ibaraki)
The girls at Orai Joshi Gakuin wear super short skirts. I think their uniform is really cute and versatile enough to look good even on gentle, graceful girls. I also think the short socks add a nice touch.

I wonder if St. Gloriana Joshi Gakuin have blazers? Sweaters are more easy to move around in and in my opinion, cuter. The skirt length is very short at this school also. The stockings add the vibe of an all-girls’ school covering by their legs.

The red skirt and short tie ensemble worn in Sanders Daigaku Fuzoku Kouko is super cute too.
The uniform of Keizoku Koku seem to be sporty resembling golf and tennis wear. This style is similar to the sport-mix style uniform. I think their uniform is innovative and interesting but don’t really look very uniform-like…


“Strawberry Panic” St. Supika Jogakuin and St.Lulim Jogkauin

St, Supika Jogakuin is a school that focuses on women’s empowerment and sports, such as swimming and horse riding. Perhaps this is one of the reason why the skirt lengths are so short that they remind me of golf or tennis uniforms. (Although it seems like the uniforms are in fact in jumper skirt style) I wonder Hikari chose to go to this school… I don’t think it really suits her image. The bolero type jacket that Hikari wears was quite common a while back. Since it is not in fashion any more, the bolero adds a nostalgic touch to the uniform. The summer uniforms are stylish but perhaps too high-fashion to suit anybody in reality. St. Lu Lim Jogakko has skirts with frills on the hem, which doesn’t look very uniform-like. If you wear a cardigan with this skirt like Kagome does, it looks even less like a uniform. Still, I do think the design is cute and that this uniform is perfect for a school which adopts a liberal style education.


“Love Lab”

Although Riko and her friends go to a preppy school, the skirt length is pretty short. In real life, its rare for junior high school students to have skirts shorter than knee-length. Because of this, I had mistakenly assumed that the girls in Love Lab were high schoolers. In particular, Riko’s skirt is way too short. Checkered skirts are very popular in Japan, but I really like the design of the skirt in this anime with a line going across the hem. However, I think the lined socks look too much like soccer socks. Even so, I’d like to try wearing this uniform!



The skirt lengths are short for an all-girls’ school. The uniforms in citrus are not cute at all! The brown checkered skirt with the deep green vest seem very plain. I’ve never seen black ties worn as a school uniform, even amongst boys! Black ties are usually only worn to funerals. Yuzu styles her uniform cutely wearing a pink shirt with a red ribbon. Matsuri’s uniform is in the modern sport-mix style although I still think the skirt length is way too short for a junior high school student!


“Love Live!” (Tokyo)

The uniform is cute. The length of the socks can be changed freely to express the personal taste of students. The skirt length in Love Live seems too short for an all-girls’ high school.


“TWOCAR” (Various prefectures)

All the skirt lengths in this anime are short.
Miyake Joshi Koto Gakko School has a cute uniform in sailor-style worn with a tie. However, the colour of the uniform is unrealistic.
At Suzuka Joshi Gakuen, the impression of the look changes drastically according to the length of the socks worn. I personally prefer the thigh-high socks. Although the Suzuka uniforms look more like the uniform worn by servers in diners, they still look very cute. Tsukuba Joshi Koto Gakko uniforms look like a sort of company uniform! I think the Amagasaki Joshi Gakuen Uniforms with thick shoulder straps resemble the uniforms in Evangelion. Taka Jogakuen has a uniform which seem like a uniform for a department store clerk. Ikoma Joshi Koto Gakko uniforms also give off company uniform vibes from the tight skirts.
I think the brown stripy skirt worn in Motegi Joshi Koto Gakko is new and interesting. I had the impression that Motegi School may be near the sea, yet the school is in Tochigi prefecture which does not have a seaside. The skirt length is short, but did not seem overboard because of the good design. I think this look is pretty cute.


“Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3” (Haruna in Myojo Jogakuin wears a long skirt)

Despite targeting a male audience, the uniform design is a bit plain. I would not be surprised if this uniform was worn in elementary school or junior high school.


“Kageki Shoujo!!”

Considering the fact that the students here are accustomed to being seen by others and have to present themselves as future stage actors, it makes sense that their skirts are short. However, I hate the uniform belts in Kageki Shoujo!


4-3-3. All-girls’ School Anime’s with no rules regarding the skirt lengths

“Maria Holic” (Catholic school, Tokyo)

This school is Catholic, so it makes sense that the students’ skirts are long. Still, I wonder why Sachi is the only one with such a short skirt!? There are several types of jackets, but overall, they have a plain uniform design, typical for catholic girls’ schools in Japan.


“Strawberry Panic” St. Miatle Jogakuin

Since this school is a school associated with a monastery, the uniforms are decorated and flashy. This may be because many of the students are from distinguished families. Although the shoulder pads make the uniform seem a bit old fashioned, overall I think it is a cute design. Nagisa is the only character that wears her uniform skirt very short. This is probably due to the fact that she is the only character that does not come from a noble lineage. The balloon sleeves and frills on the collar and top of the summer uniforms look girly and cute.


“Wasteful Days of High School Girls” (Saitama)

The thin string ribbon worn with the blazer style uniform seems somewhat new in the design. I think its great that students are able to choose the length of their skirts freely, as is the case of the high school students in this anime. The school in this anime seem to have very loose rules, since students are allowed to choose whether they wear a ribbon, hoodies and sweaters. This level of freedom is quite rare for all-girls’ schools in reality. However, I am not so sure if I like their uniforms so much.



4-4. Summer Uniforms in All-Girl’ Schools

Why is it that the jumper-skirt style so popular as summer uniforms in all-girls’ schools? I think it is to prevent the underwear being visible.

In 2021, Chiba Joshi Koko School changed their summer uniform for the first time in 70 years. The formal styling of the uniform is a vest, necktie, and short-sleeved blouse. However, students are allowed to take off their vests when it’s hot. Since the blouse tops are made from materials that aren’t see-through, it is safe to wear on its own. The polo-shirt style uniform was also created. Polo-shirts are convenient as uniforms since they do not become see-through even when you sweat and are very easy to move in. In this way, Japanese school uniforms are evolving day by day.


The white sailor uniforms of Wayo Konodai Girls’ High School and Hokusei Gakuen Girls’ High School are see-through. Kobe Yamate Girls’ High School has 3 types of school uniform. Summer uniforms, winter uniforms and mid-summer uniform for particularly hot days. The latter is a thin blue one-piece style uniform. This uniform resembles the summer uniform worn in “Tamako Market” If you try changing the colour to pink, narrow the place for the button, and add a ribbon, it looks exactly like Tamako’s summer uniform!


Seisen Jogakuin’s midsummer uniform isn’t as light as Kobe Yamate Girls’ High School, but is a slightly lighter blue colour. Since the material is thicker, underwear will not be visible. The summer uniform is a navy blue jumper skirts.


Shoin High School wear one-piece dresses for both winter and summer. Their summer uniform in white with a prim design is very popular. They are so popular that every year when it becomes time to switch to the summer uniform, newspapers feature the uniforms in articles as a summer tradition. However, the thin blue skirts and white skirts of Kobe Yamate Girls’ High School and Seisen Jogakuin School are risky to wear. My mother went to a school that had midsummer clothes in a similar style. In the summer, many students would stain their white skirts with menstrual blood. This is a very embarrassing situation for an adolescent girl. Although students could choose between a navy skirt and white one-piece, students who chose navy blue skirts would often be suspected to being on their period. The “prim” and “summery” designed uniforms are not necessarily the easiest for girls to get by in. This is why female students wear vests and navy blue wool skirts shortened, even in the middle of summer.


There are many jumper skirts and one-piece uniforms at girls’ high schools. This is one way to keep the skirt length from becoming too short. These types of uniforms have along history (as I introduced at when commenting on Ouin Koto Gakko). Some students still sew the hem to make their skirts shorter. Perhaps the reason for these types of uniforms is to create a feminine prim image rather than issues of shortened skirts.


Now, I will move on to one-piece style uniforms within anime.


“Tamako Market” (Kyoto)

As I mentioned earlier, the summer uniform in Tamako market resembles the mid-summer uniform worn in Kobe Yamate Joshi Koko School. Although the skirt length is on the slightly long side, it doesn’t seem too hot to wear since there aren’t many pleats in the skirt. Despite being an all-girls’ school, the skirt lengths don’t seem overly long. Perhaps this is due to the regional tendency of Kyoto, where skirt lengths tend to be short. However, the summer uniforms look a bit like nurse uniforms.


“Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea”

The uniforms in Nagi-asu are a beautiful blue color since the school is set near the sea. The skirt length is very short. Therefore, it is probably pretty easy for the students’ underwear to be seen by accident and of course by going to the beach and getting wet. The pleats of the skirt are in an unusual design. Another unique thing about the uniform is that the top is sleeveless. The colours are nice, but there is hardly anything uniform-like in terms of the design.


“YuruYuri: Happy Go Lily” (Toyama)

I had always thought that this uniform was a jacket with a tie, but it is actually a bolero-like jacket worn with a jumper skirt. This is a very unique design. I think the uniform is cute, but I have the feeling that not many people will be able to pull the look off. Moreover, the skirt length is too short considering that it is an all-girls’ school.



5. Why Are The Skirts of Osaka High School Students So Long?

I will summarise some information from an article that interviewed a high school girls in Osaka.

Some high school girls in Osaka claim that…
“Longer skirts look more mature”
“I feel too shy to show my legs”
“In the winter its warmer to wear short skirts and in the summer it prevents sunburn”
“I don’t like short skirts because they look tawdry and old-fashioned”


The interviewer of this article asked about ten girls in Osaka, all of which claimed that longer skirts were more popular at their schools. Even within the city, 3 out of 4 groups wore their skirts around 15cm below the knee, which is pretty long. Some students told the interviewer that they would loosen the skirt zippers and wear their skirts by the hip to make them longer. It seems fair to say that long skirts are in fashion in Osaka.


Let us find out why this is the case. It is said that long skirts became popular over 10 years ago, when the uniform of Shoin Koto Gakko in Hyogo Prefecture, which was mentioned earlier, became popular because it was “lady-like and cute”. A couple years later, the trend had spread to Osaka. At that time, second-hand clothes were popular in Osaka, particularly casual street style fashion.


In Osaka, layered clothing was considered the basic style, and it was cool to wear clothes that emphasised your uniqueness and personal style. The Gyaru style and conservative style clothes which became trendy in Tokyo never popularised in Osaka. I think that this is still the case today.


Recent high school girls in Osaka do not seem to express much admiration towards the private schools in Kobe. Some girls mentioned how they “wanted to wear uniforms with a rucksack and wear second-hand clothes in a casual style, like normal clothes” and “It’s cool to wear baggy oversized uniforms”.

In Osaka, uniforms are worn like ordinary clothes and express one’s personality. On the other hand, in Tokyo, people want to wear school uniforms cutely. I think this is what leads to the opposite regional taste in skirt lengths. Since the trend of long skirt length is only prominent in Osaka and Hyogo, it can be said that this local trend clearly exhibits the difference in the way of thinking about fashion. Interestingly, short skirts are popular in Kyoto, the prefecture just next to Osaka and Hyogo.


From here on I will state my personal opinion on how Osaka girls style their uniforms. I think that the attitude towards fashion in Osaka is different from that of other prefectures, which may be the reason why long skirts are still in fashion. The reason short skirts are often depicted in anime is probably because the publishing companies are located in Tokyo and it is inevitable for Tokyo trends to be strongly reflected. When Tokyoites go to Kansai and see high school girls, they are taken by surprise of the difference of fashion. Therefore it may be better received in Tokyo, to stick with depicting shorter skirts. Although apparently once you get used to seeing long skirts, they gradually begin to look cute.



6. Why High School Girls in Hokkaido and Other Snowy Regions wear Short Skirts

First, let’s start with the answers to an interview article about why high school girls in Hokkaido have short skirts.


The high school students in Hokkaido claim

    • They “prioritise fashion over comfort”
    • They are “used to” wearing short skirts
    • Although it is cold during the winter, it is very warm and well heated indoors


When I went to Hokkaido in November (midwinter), it was unbearably hot inside buildings. Therefore I understand why girls choose to wear their skirts short. Even if it feels cold outside, I think it would be just about right indoors. Sapporo and other places are covered with underground passages, which is why people don’t have to walk outside so much.


If you dress warmly and sweat inside the building, you will catch a cold as soon as you step outside.


How about the high school girls in other snowy areas? In particular, Niigata Prefecture (which tied for 2nd place in the ranking of skirt length for high school girls by region) there was a person who answered the reason for wearing her skirt short as:


“Once I get to the school it’s warm and all heated, so I only need to endure the walk to school, which is no problem since I got used to it”


6-1. Anime’s set in Hokkaido

The uniforms that appear in anime set in Hokkaido also have short skirts. Is this because the school girls are drawn realistically? Or because short skirts are popular in Tokyo, the centre of otaku culture? I would be interested to ask these questions to the makers of the following anime


“Sofutenni!” (Short skirt)

I have hardly ever seen girls in real life wearing a short skirt in a sailor-style uniform. Personally, I prefer long skirts for sailor uniforms.


“Rainbow Days” (Short skirt)


The stripy ribbon design is very cute.


“Student Council’s Discretion” (Short skirt)

The skirt design and the big ribbon is not very uniform-like. I have never seen socks as long as this uniform in real life, nor do I think it is very uniform-like.


“SHUFFLE!” (Short skirt)

Perhaps because SHUFFLE is a gal-game, the clothing hardly looks like a school uniform. Beret hats are never worn as uniforms in Japan, except for as children as young as pre-school and elementary school..


“The Place Promised in Our Early Days” (Short skirt)

I think the uniform design is well suited with the scenery and atmosphere of Hokkaido.


“We were there/Bokura Ga Ita” (Short skirt)

The uniforms are very cute!


“Kimi ni Todoke: From Me To You” (Short skirt)

A modern blazer-styled uniform. The uniform is pretty versatile in that it can be adapted into Gyaru style pretty seamlessly. I do find the slight colour difference between the blazer and the skirt a bit strange. I think it would have been better to keep the colour coordinated between the two. The summer uniform looks nice comfortable enough to wear in summer.


“ERASED” (Short skirts – even for elementary school children)

The design of Airi Katagiri’s skirt is very cute. Due to the pattern and colour, the shirt looks like a polo shirt, which was a bit disappointing. Perhaps a bigger ribbon would be a nice fit.
Although not in uniform, even the elementary school girls wear short skirts in this anime.


“WORKING!!” (Mahiru and Popura wear short skirts)

Mahiru’s school uniform is super cute! I think the checkered pattern uniform design with a matching top and skirt is super trendy and cute! The skirt is not as short as “garupan” and suits Mahiru well.
Popura’s typical sailor-style uniform is also cute, particularly with her ponytail hair. Personally I would prefer sailor-style suits to be worn with skirts reaching mid-knee length. However, if Popura wore a longer skirt she may look like as young as an elementary or junior high school girl.



7. The Reason Why the High School Girls in Tokyo Wear Short Skirts

Finally, I will write some of my own opinions based on the information I have collected so far.


I think the reason that high school girls’ skirts are short in many areas of Japan is because only high school girls can enjoy short skirts. This is because when an adult wears a short skirt in Japan, they are regarded as a ‘gyaru’ and often associated with nightclubs. This is a form of discrimination, but I want you to know this as an aspect of Japanese culture. In particular, when you become a company employee, people begin to make “safe” and “conservative” fashion choices, hence short skirts are not worn often.


Young women wearing short skirts are more likely to receive unwanted sexual attention including being groped and taken pictures of. Girls should be aware that wearing short skirts have such disadvantages and risks. However, short skirts are clothes that can only be enjoyed while in high school, which may be why they are always so popular amongst high school girls.


Despite Japanese summers being extremely hot and humid, some schools require students to wear woolen skirts or woolen jumper skirts, even in the summer. I also happened to go to a school with such rules. Woolen skirts are long and heavy. So I understand the feeling and need to shorten the school uniform skirt. An additional disadvantage of wearing your skirt short is that you will be bitten by a lot of mosquitoes.




School uniforms are part of Japanese culture. The original school uniforms derived as a consequence of war. It was after the defeat in the war that the regional differences in trend and preference became clearly visible in the length of the skirt. 77 years since the end of WW2, school uniforms have become more popular than ever before, even functioning as advertisements for the school themselves. Modern school uniforms have become more fashionable, and school rules are beginning to change in order to meet the fashion needs of students. I’m sure that in a few years, new technology and designs will appear. In the near future, we may begin to see school uniforms with designs quite similar to anime.


Follow me!

One thought on “Do All Japanese School Girls Wear Short Skirts?: Anime vs Real Life

  1. Michael John Lengyel says:

    I do agree about the length of skirts in Niigata and Osaka. They are below the knee and consistent year-round. I saw a girl with pants in her formal attire and while the only one she looked professional and sincere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *