okayama tankee top

Since the Japanese school year starts in April, graduation ceremonies usually happen around mid-March. There are tearful speeches, young adults dressing up in traditional graduation outfits, and of course only the most heartfelt thanks and gratitude given to teachers, parents, and everyone else in the community.

But not in Okayama City. For the past few years there’s been an unofficial tradition of the recent middle school graduates gathering outside Okayama Station and wearing *gasp!* long jackets. And not just that, but they’re wearing them in different colors! The horror was so much that police officers were immediately dispatched to keep an eye on all the horrible delinquents.

On March 17, large groups of recent Okayama middle school graduates (high school freshmen in the US) and some alumni gathered outside Okayama Station to celebrate. Since they were wearing the aforementioned long jackets and some of them even dared to color their hair, local residents called the police to keep an eye on the potentially unruly “.

Though it may seem incredibly silly to have several police officers keeping watch on a group of middle school graduates, to be fair the fears were not completely undeserved. A few days earlier a similar group of recent graduates gathered outside Hakata Station in Fukui Prefecture, and one girl was arrested after starting a fight.

But take a look at the kids and decide for yourself. Here are some tweets from brave onlookers who dared to snap pictures of the terror-inducing graduates along with translations of their comments:

▼ “Continuing the 2014 tradition, all the yankee graduates gathered outside Okayama Station sporting long, biker jackets.”

▼ “W-what’s going on Okayama? Is this what happens in the city? Uh, c-congratulations on graduating? (quavering voice)”


▼ “Yikes! Middle school graduation ceremonies are a whole lot scarier these days!”


▼ “Tons of people at Okayama Station today. And lots of yankees too! This is crazy.”


▼ “Tons of kids wearing long biker jackets today! Apparently it’s an annual tradition. Okayama is incredible. I was so moved reading all the words they had written on their jackets, I thought I was going to cry.”


▼ “My second day in Okayama. Apparently it was graduation day today. These guys were hanging all over each other. What a crazy place.”


Personally, to me it just looks like a bunch of kids having harmless fun on graduation. I think everyone should be thankful the teens didn’t partake in certain American graduation traditions, such as getting extremely drunk and driving around in their parents’ cars.

What do you think? Was calling the police an overreaction? Are there any graduation traditions where you come from that make this look tame? Let us know in the comments section!

Source: Breaking News Japan
Featured/top image: Twitter (1, 2) (Edited by RocketNews24)