Trivia

Fukuoka Trivia of the day: Sailor Girl Uniforms

Did you know that those famous (or infamous) sailor uniforms (seifuku) that Japan female students wear, and made famous in anime originated in Fukuoka?

The Fukuoka Jo Gakuin introduced sailor-suit school uniforms for girls in 1921.  Elizabeth Lee, the principal of the said school at the time modeled it after the British Royal Navy uniform, having been an exchange student in the United Kingdom years prior. Since then, as trends in Japan usually do,  it exploded into a national phenomenon.

*There is actually a controversy as to which school really started the trend.  Another school in Kyoto, Heian Jogakuin claims to have used the uniforms in 1920, or a year before Fukuoka girls wore them.  However, since this blog is based in Fukuoka (and the title screams Fukuoka) I guess we are allowed to be biased and rule in favor of Fukuoka!

Today, the sailor uniform is still widely used all over Japan and, since its crossing into the mainstream, has been a symbol of Japanese fashion not just in school but in every aspect of Japanese life, being and a permanent fixture  in trendsetting Harajuku in Tokyo.

Here are some music videos of the sailor uniform in action:

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