Apparently kids just can’t learn properly if they’re wearing any other shade.

As we’ve discussed before, Japanese school dress codes can be extremely thorough. Not only are most students required to wear uniforms, some schools even go so far as to regulate which bags they’re allowed to carry their books in and which brand of shoes they’re allowed to wear during gym class.

But even within that social context, many people were startled to find that some schools in Tokyo go so far as to dictate what color of underwear pupils have to wear.

Atsuko Kaizu, a municipal assembly member representing Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward, recently spoke out against an unnamed junior high school in the district. In the school’s student handbook, under the section describing acceptable attire, Kaizu found the following passage:

“Being mindful of hygiene, always wear (white) underwear. Do not wear underwear with colors or prints.”

The purported basis of “hygiene” is a little suspect, because unless the colors and markings on a pair of underpants are skid marks being left behind by improper or insufficient post-poop wiping, there’s no reason for the color of intimate apparel to affect the wearer’s physical health. Kaizu did allow that since student’s generally wear white shirts as part of their summer uniforms, the provision about white underwear could be partially motivated by a desire to protect the modesty of female students by making sure their bras aren’t visible through their tops. Even still, the legislator believes the countermeasure is overkill, saying “There’s no need to go so far as to make that mandatory under the school rules, is there?”

Even if the goal is to help students maintain an aura of purity, the regulation may in fact have the opposite effect. As pointed out by one online commenter, “It’s gross to mandate the color of the students’ underwear. If some pervert knows about the rule, you can’t rule out the possibility that he’s going to be thinking ‘Ah, this girl has on white underwear right now!’ when he sees her in her uniform.”

Kaizu was further exasperated to find out that of the 10 ward-administrated junior high schools in Bunkyo, six of them have rules specifying that students’ underwear must be white or beige (no mention is made of gender, implying that the restrictions apply to both male and female students). “Just what kind of educational benefit are they trying to achieve?” wondered Kaizu, but at least the upside is that scrupulous teachers have no way of checking whether or not their pupils’ underwear complies with the dress code.

Source: Niconico News
Top image: Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s still trying to figure out what his junior high’s dress code meant by “No dolphin shorts.”