As an avid manga reader and cosplay fan, I used to daydream of attending Japanese schools and wearing all those cute uniforms I could see from shoujo manga that I read. Of course, in time, I realized that even though uniforms from shoujo manga are sometimes inspired from real-life Japanese school uniforms, they are rarely as attractive as the ones from the manga. However, that trend is quickly turning around as more and more schools are taking into account the input of students in designing their uniform.
High school is one of the most crucial time for socialization as well as self-discovery. This is the time when creativity flourishes and is encouraged. As such, it is no wonder that girls entering high school would want a uniform that they will be proud to wear and that could complement them in the best ways.
Because uniforms are now becoming a factor for students in choosing a school to attend, Kyoto Kogakuin High School, a high school in Kyoto that just recently opened last April 2016, decided to entice students (especially female students) in enrolling into the school by introducing uniforms that are designed to look like the uniforms from the popular shoujo manga “Taihen Yoku Dekimashita (たいへんよくできました。).”
Zakuri Sato (佐藤ざくり), the author of the aforementioned manga, is a Kyoto resident herself and so she is delighted that the characters’ uniforms in her manga made an impact to the people of Kyoto and that it opened doors for girls to consider studying in Kyoto. It is not a surprise, however, that her designs were the one considered by Kyoto Kogakuin High School because she actually consulted the municipal board of education on the opinions of junior high and high school students prior to her designing her manga. Based on the opinions of the students, she then formed her own vision of the uniforms.
Because Sato’s works are actually geared towards girls, Kyoto Kogakuin – an integration of Rakuyo Technical High School and Fushimi Technical High School – is hoping that the attractive uniforms will soften the strong masculine image that the engineering high school has.
“Now, it is common that women play major roles in the science and engineering arena. We wanted to attract girls to study in our engineering school,” said an official of the municipal board of education.
Hopefully, the appeal of being able to wear shoujo style uniforms and feel like a character in the manga will bring more girls to Kyoto Kogakuin High School. This way, the 90% male student group can be balanced out and the stereotype of engineering being exclusively for boys can be abolished.
Kyoto Kogakuin High School’s Website *Japanese only