It’s not uncommon for graduates in some countries to throw their caps up in the air in celebration, but in Japan some graduates are throwing their old uniforms up for auction instead.

Although vending machines selling used schoolgirls’ panties may be a dated myth, an increasing number of graduates selling all or part of their uniforms on second-hand auction sites has been causing quite a stir recently.

Until recently, hanging on to your high school uniform after graduation was the norm, with most people doing so for sentimental reasons and some even going so far as to slip theirs on for a nostalgia-enhanced trip to Tokyo Disneyland. The recent increase in online auctions for used uniforms, though, shows the pendulum might be swinging in the opposite direction these days.

One second-hand reselling app in particular, mercari, has been flooded by so many listings from students with their diplomas fresh in hand this year that it became a hot topic for netizen debate.


Online comments have included:

“I LOLed when I saw all the school uniforms up for auction on mercari.”

“They’re selling their uniforms on mercari?! Their parents must be in tears!”

“But people who buy from the graduated school girls on mercari will be able to get their home address, won’t they?”

“Even though they’re selling their uniforms, isn’t it common for them to include underwear with them?”

“The ones from Tokiwagi Academy are fetching a pretty high price!”

“You could start a business by buying new uniforms and putting them up as used on mercari.”

Many of the posts come off innocently enough, pitching their used uniforms to cosplay enthusiasts or new incoming students to the same school, but listings priced at a few hundred dollars or more are likely going for a different kind of clientele- the kind of men who are fans of high school girls, or JK (short for joshi kosei, “high school girl” in Japanese). JK-related business ventures have been around for a long time, but only over the past decade have they really come out into the open, with some critics calling them a rapidly growing problem.

Japan already has a few graduation trends of its own, like boys giving the second button from the top of their uniform jacked (the one closest to their hearts) to the girl they like, or guys and gals waiting until graduation day to finally confess their feelings to their crush, knowing they won’t have to face the embarrassing consequences if it doesn’t go as well as planned. Will the rush to profit from uniforms no longer needed soon be added to the list? Only time will tell.

Source: Byokan Sunday
Images: mercari