School rules: the web of regimentation
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In response to a question ‘what do Japanese schools equate to’, a student who returned to Japan after spending three years in Rome answered, ‘rules’ (Kunie 1991: 253). It is reported that 97 per cent of 1,125 public junior high schools in Japan have regulations on school uniforms – the symbol of school rules (Sakamoto 1990: 48). The ratio of prefectural senior high schools which have school uniforms is 100 per cent in many prefectures; and even in Tokyo where rules on uniforms are most relaxed, it reaches 55 per cent (Sakamoto 1990: 49).