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Tokyo schools drop controversial dress code on hair and underwear color

For decades, being a student in Tokyo meant you had to look a certain way. Under the public school system’s dress code, all students had to dye their hair black, certain hairstyles were prohibited and even their underwear had to be a designated color.

But these rules, which have recently come under scrutiny and been criticized as outdated, will now be abolished, the city’s authorities announced this week.

A total of five rules will be dropped by nearly 200 public schools across the Japanese capital, including regulations on hair and underwear color, and a ban on “two block” hairstyles, which are long on top and short at the back and sides — a style currently in fashion in many countries.

Other rules being cut include the practice of punishing students with a form of house arrest, and ambiguous language in the guidelines on what is considered “typical of high school students.”

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