Black Hair and White Underwear: The Battle Continue’s Over Japan’s Bizarre School Rule

The battle to change the rules in Japanese schools has been ignited by a court ruling in Osaka that awarded a former student $3,000 for “emotional distress” incurred after she was forced to leave high school because her hair wasn’t black enough. The court, however, backed the school’s legal right to impose the rule. The young woman, now 21, was ordered to dye her hair black every four days, but was then banned from classes because teachers decided it “wasn’t black enough.” Schools don’t just stop with hair color. In the city of Nagasaki, nearly 60% of the public schools demand that students wear white underwear. Public outrage is growing, with parents demanding that the rules be changed, as the ridiculous rules are damaging to children’s emotional health.