Some complain that the rose doesn’t smell as sweet with its new name.

Once again, let’s take a look at some Japanese vocabulary you probably won’t find in your textbook: joshikosei. “But wait,” you might be saying, “I already know ‘joshikosei’ because I read SoraNews24! It means ‘high school girl,’ right?”

That’s true, but today we’re talking about a different joshikosei. While the high school girl joshikosei is written like this…

…the joshikousei we’re talking about today has a different third kanji character.

So what’s the difference? 女子高生 is a shortened version of 女子高校生, with 女子 meaning “female” and 高校 “high school,” and 生 “person,” and by association “student,” giving it the meaning “female high school student.”

On the other hand, 女子校生 breaks down into 女子校, “all-girls school,” and 生/”student,” giving us simply “student at a girls’ school.” In other words, 女子校生 doesn’t specify what level of education the student is at. Technically she could be a college student even, and because of that, since the late 1990s the term has been a popular inclusion in Japanese adult film titles and marketing, since it lets producers coyly cater to school uniform fetishists while still playing innocent as to whether the female characters depicted fornicating on camera (who are portrayed by out-of-high-school actresses) are supposed to be minors, helping them avoid pressure from legal authorities and industry watchdogs to tone down their content (女子高生 and 女子校生 being pronounced exactly the same also means that there’s no aural differentiation between them for in-film character dialogue).

The 女子校生 joshikosei used to be a purely innocent term back when single-sex schools were more prevalent in Japan, But though all-girls schools still exist, they’ve become less common, and now a Google search for 女子校生 will spit back link after link to porn sites. That might be changing, though, according to adult film actor and author Shimiken.

In a recent tweet, Shimiken claims that while publishers and regulators have until now let the 女子校生 joshikousei slide, they’ve started getting stricter and striking down titles that include the term. So to keep one step ahead, Shimiken says that some Japanese porn producers are switching over to a new term: seifuku bishojo, “beautiful girl in a uniform.”

Seifuku bishojo

The new term completely scrubs any kanji connection with “school” (校) or “high school” (高校), and while shojo literally means “girl,” bishoko can sometimes be used as a catch-all term for beautiful young females, young adults included.

While Shimiken himself chuckled at the linguistic evolution, not all online commenters were pleased.

“Seifuku bishojo isn’t bad, but it just doesn’t feel as real.”
“I just feel so sad seeing linguistic expression regulated like this.”
“I think some guys who were satisfied with the fantasy before will now want to go after real-life high school girls.”
“Can’t they just use words like ‘extracurricular activities’ in the title instead?”
“’Beautiful girl in a uniform’ just has me thinking of Sailor Moon ^ – ^’”

Though Shimiken sent out the above tweet on April 1, it doesn’t look to be an April Fools’ joke. Google seifuku bishojo, and the first five results are for video streaming websites with “sex with a seifuku bishojo” as part of their name, and the rest of the results are variations on that theme, so it looks like it has indeed become part of the lexicon.

Source: Twitter/@avshimiken via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: SoraNews24

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