Is Real Japanese School Life similar to that in Anime?

Is Real Japanese School Life similar to that in Anime?

First of all, you must take notes that some of the scenes that are shown in your favourite Anime series do not happen in actual Japanese high schools.


Animes about schools showcase events such as having fun in the classroom, attending School Clubs every year, doing daily chores and spending time with friends. Unfortunately, Japanese schools are stricter and many students do not have time for cliques and other things similar. Most of their time is spent on academic studies, and they have a limited time for entertainment.

In order to understand the reality better, here are a few of the rules that the students must follow in most schools:

1. You must not drive a car to school


Safety is one of the most important factors. Many of the students either take a walk or ride bicycles if the distance is not too great. In other cases, pupils must take public transportation, such as trains and buses. School policies often require students to stand on buses and trains, leaving seats open for other travellers in place to exhibit consideration.

2. Prohibition of certain activities in public


Reading books while taking a stroll, chewing gums or any other “impolite” actions may not allowed by school because this might leave a bad reputation towards the school that the students go to. However, these behaviors tend to be less considerable as the students move further away from the school.

3. School Uniforms are a must

Real Japanese school uniforms:

There are some other variations available, but in short, the most common types are the Blazer and Sailor.
Blazer Style: White long-sleeved shirts are essential for boys and girls, followed by black blazers. Neckties are worn around the necks which are applied to both genders. Sometimes, girls are required to wear ribbons only.

Sailor Style: The main features for the girls are the sailor-like collars and ribbons on the chest. In contrast, the boys wear high-collared jackets with golden buttons, which are called Gakurans.

Most of them are allowed to remove their jackets during summer and just wear white short-sleeved shirts, the males wear casual t-shirts underneath their sleeved shirts.

4. Wearing indoor shoes


Once at a school, students are normally provided with lockers or shoe racks, where they have to place their outdoor shoes and wear uwabaki (Japanese indoor slippers) before entering a class. The main purpose of wearing indoor shoes is to keep cleaning and maintaining the floor to a minimum, since there are no janitors in the building.

5. No snacks and instant ramens at school


Sugary snacks and processed foods are banned in most of the school compounds as they provide little to no nutritional benefit. Allowing such foods can contribute to the development of many health problems, like tooth decay, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. The students often eat school lunches or boxed lunches that are usually made by their mothers in the early morning, which consist of rice, eggs, fish, fruits and vegetables, or such.

  1. I can’t believe some people actually thought that school life depicted in anime is realistic.
    I watch American sitcoms and I thought them to be accurate depiction of life in america.

    • Obviously EVERYTHING isn’t true to fashion. Its safe to say anime doesn’t represent real life, movies do that much better. Of course, i speak of the hit movie Fast and Furious 3: Tokyo Drift. I have been assured by many a fellow that the underground drifting scene, as depicted in fast and furious 3 Tokyo drift is REAL and LIVE. But where might one encounter such a scene? I’m told that if you seen then you mean it and then you know you have to go. I commit crimes on a regular basis, what am i doing wrong. I dont want to be a wasteland weaboo, i want to be the drift sensei, the master drifter, the fastest, the most furious, the king.

  2. If I’m not mistaken, most vending machines in Japan have no preservatives (depends on the brand, of course) since most beverages are fruit drinks. Seldom you will see sodas in their vending machines.

  3. if you have just realized all of these now, then you are watching the wrong kind of school life anime. i have not read a single new thing i haven’t seen in an anime yet.

  4. The photo of three animated girls is from Clannad, and i just finished watching it. And i didn’t think that this 5 rules were broken in any way in this anime !!

    • Most anime I’ve seen or manga I’ve read have depicted school pretty much as this article dictates. There are certain, obvious things that would never happen in reality, especially in a comedy series or a fantasy series.

  5. well ofc it’s not 100% the same but there are some that are like cleaning duty. and im pretty sure they have shorter skirts in some school too..

  6. Actually, the one thing that’s consistent in a bunch of anime I’ve seen is the indoor shoes thing. The lockers seem to be a good place for a conversation before actual class. Ditto for the uniforms and transportation. What surprised me, in all honesty, was the bentos

    • well of course there really are but they are a secret! they are afraid if everybody knew they really had super cute magical girls and stuff we would all come there, and japan is already pretty crowded.

  7. Most, if not all, Slice of Life/RomCom Anime with a Middle or High School Setting follow all of the things mentioned in this article. The only times wherein these stated facts/rules are not portrayed clearly in an anime is if the anime aims to be unique and/or has elements in it that are meant to be unrealistic/exaggerated (i.e., anime series with a fantasy/supernatural genre). .

  8. Are japanese schools at least active in sports like in the animes?? Im not talking about the special moves haha but just the interest in diff sports as portrayed in several animes?

  9. Actually the comment abt short skirt being rolled up to make it shorter is true.. i cant believe the weird hair color n style arent included. They cant have those hair color.. and the shoes are correct. same bags too

  10. still love the long sleeve uniforms tho :D but i really didn’t think about japanese school life is like an anime

  11. I don’t agree with the uniforms on this one beacuse i have been in japan and the school uniforms that i see there is not like that. PS. I know that there are different uniforms too.

    • There is nothing wrong with speaking English. Haven’t you realized there are some Filipinos in the Philippines who don’t speak Filipino well, but they speak English fluently? What about those who speak more than one language? What about Filipinos who were born and/or raised abroad, but they currently live in the Philippines?

      Clearly, the close-minded one is you.

    • There is nothing wrong with speaking English. Haven’t you realized there are some Filipinos in the Philippines who don’t speak Filipino well, but they speak English fluently? What about those who speak more than one language? What about Filipinos who were born and/or raised abroad, but they currently live in the Philippines?

      Clearly, the close-minded one is you.

      • Its ok, filipinos that say that are too stupid to read books. Try playing dota or LoL here haha, “English pa more.”

  12. I studied at fuji high school was so damn strict I wished I was back in U.S. hardly talked to anyone and the homework was a pain in my ass you’ve got to be an idiot to think JP school is like anime

  13. yeah lies! how could it be? in anime schools has computers, in Philippines only schools in Metro Manila has computers (note: not all cities in metro manila, how much more schools from provinces.) Most schools in the Philippines is very far to reach (plus, lack of school supplies.), students must pass the seven mountains and seas. that doesn’t look like anime, thats hell. LOL the real anime are the Filipino Politics.

  14. I really don’t know on what type of anime you’re watching, but all the statements present above are all evident in every school anime that I watch, so what’s the difference?

  15. I don’t know what type of school-themed anime you’re watching, but all the statements you stated above were present in every school-themed anime I watched. So what’s the difference?

  16. Politics in the Philippines is nothing but a joke. We vote for the popular and who have political background. But to study in this country is NOT a laughing matter. Although not all of us here are poor, the fact that in most countries (or perhaps some) they see us no more than “lower life forms..” and I completely agree that school life in the Philippines is way more anime-like than in Japan. :)

  17. When you study in a Japanese high school, expect the following to be present in ANY school:
    1.) Your own group of friends.
    2.) A rich blonde girl in your group.
    3.) A summer outing…luckily you have a rich blonde hair friend with a vacation house.
    4.) Hanabi festivals and fireworks.
    5.) Cultural week project with your class.
    6.) Chasing and running around with your group.
    7.) Studying only for exams.

    …Oh wait, I think this applies to anime.

  18. Umm.. Can I ask, how sure you are that there’s no computer at schools in rural areas in PH? Note: Jeyrick Sigmaton a.k.a “Carrot Man” lives at mountains. We know that he’s hard working person but some of his spare time aside from harvesting carrots, he uses his account in Facebook. If Jeyrick can use computer, what more for students? Of course, they can also.

  19. If you’re asking me if anime school life can apply into reality on philippine schools, yes.

    1. We pilipinos can use both methods on how to get to school: Car Transport or just walking. Here’s cool, some students here in PH, instead of trains and buses, we use a public transport called “Jeep”. The fare is cheaper than trains and buses. Also, some students use their bikes to get to school.

    2. Some scenes in anime can apply into pilipino students like going into a classmate’s house and have fun like crazy EVEN lewd stuffs (not having s*x). Ex: Pocky Game, Truth or Dare, etc.

    On public areas, we hang-out after school, play online games, etc. We’ll do what we want as long as we don’t disturb other people and disobey the laws.

    Some schools don’t care what students do as long as students don’t use the school uniform of the school. And schools here thinks that; We, students, should have their own freedom for what we are doing as long as we obey rules and laws.

    3. Our country is a conservative country. So, skirt school uniforms are really long. The shortest will be 1-inch under toe. For males, we use polo and t-shirts with long pants. For delinquents, they trim their pants called “Baston”. But these baston pants are prohibited in school. I just don’t know why they do that.

    4. You may not know but we also use indoor shoes. Instead of uwabaki, we use “school rags”. We’ll just attach them to our outdoor shoes and it’s done. Simple as that. But for some schools, they don’t use it not because they have janitors but because the school wants to help other people and hire them as janitors and have the janitors have their pay instead of robbing, use drugs, etc.

    5. Even now, students are free to choose to what they eat. Also, some students bring healthy lunches made by their moms. After lunch, some students drink their tetra juices on rooftops. Yes, rooftops! You read it right. I won’t say what school but it exist. Just enroll here if you want.

    • If i remember M****m college have a wide accessible rooftop, my school also have one but have been conquered by some club (radio club or mountain dudes i forgot) and since then non club members have been prohibited to enter

  20. I mostly knew all of this because I studied in Japanese culture and Language at a local university but really like the uniforms, we had to have a strict rule in winter it was blazer (if you came into school without one, they’d make you go back home to get it while giving you a weeks worth of detentions) it was optional to wear a jumper under, trousers (girls HAD to wear trousers in the winter and their colour had to be dark navy blue if they were black or a lighter blue we had to yet again go home to change) flat, padded shoes to protect our feet since we did classes such a design tech which you used machinery and you had to have your tie a certain length and the exact colour of the school logo or the school would make you re-do it/buy another one.

    Summer though was different you didn’t have to wear a blazer, summer t-shirts were allowed and skirts were allowed for girls, boys however were NOT allowed to wear shorts.

    Canteens would only sell certain foods, most people would either have packed lunches or leave the school at lunch to get food.

    I must admit though compared to a japanese school ours was quite laid back in England but they still didn’t like the idea of their schools reputation being damaged.

  21. Well….to whoever wrote this article

    point no. 1,3,5 does not actually prove your point of the article….as a lot of slice of life anime actually do go by that….

    and also…to the ppl who said abt japanese schools being strict,
    Try Chinese schools in Malaysia,
    1. The school school is strict
    2. Some strict teachers punish students for unreasonable reasons(Teachers expects perfection)
    3. No talking allowed, even during recess(for schools that are very strict)
    4. Teachers who even scold prefects for doing their job, bcos they skipped his/her class
    5. and there is a whole more list i can say about chinese schools in malaysia…..

  22. For the record, I live in Japan, and have been working at public high schools in Chiba and Saitama prefecture (southwest and north of Tokyo, respectively).

    For the most part, the article was correct. However, I have never seen a school that actually forbade its students from eating snacks (outside of classtime, of course!) and students do have plenty of time for socializing and forming cliques! Granted, this is at public schools… private schools are usually much stricter, and the students are far more serious about studying.

  23. It all makes sense now… The reason why the Rebel Alliance can’t find the Empire’s bases is because Palpatine somehow found out about Earth and sends all the Storm Troopers to Japanese high schools, thus eliminating the need for any kind of training base! Ingenious….

    *mumblemumble* Handwaveaboutthembeingclones *grumblemumble*

  24. Japan has nothing on us Americans-Almost no one now, in America now even, remembers or knows how Private schools in NYC,(even in NYC), were often run like mini fascist states. Similarly, until the mid to late 70’s, Catholic and a few other religious high schools, were run exacly as mini fascist states where it could be dangerous for some girls . Mostly, as the nuns retired and married and young teachers not members of religious communities entered Catholic schools, these dangers and aburdities faded. a Common practice was early AM inspection. Girls, always in uniform skirts had to kneel,(on demand) to show a nun or other inspector,that their skirt actually touched the floor: making it about knee level in height. As a result, the girls folded the skirts several inches at the waist , after inspection, raising the hems up again. The spring dresses were all but transparent for the lucky girls in some Catholic schools and tended to blow up if a car passed going over 10 Mph.
    Boys were legally punished and in many private or religious schools, could be beaten by various powerful teachers. There was no recourse as children in the US are “chattels”(property) of their parents and so religious and private schools were allowed authority “in loco parentis”. They could hit, pull hair, kick, insult and strip search anyone who was a student. School authority also extended beyond school grounds for varying distances.
    So don’t think the craziness in Japanese anime is totally out-there. Few people now even believe me when I tell them the true stories of 1960’s (and earlier) American school life.

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