School Uniforms: Miscellaneous
There are miscellaneous items that
are part of the school uniform and some of them unlikely
at first. Let's take a look at some of them...
Let's start off with the bag. Japanese schools generally
have a specific bag all students must use. But in cases
of manga, book bags can be changed to emphasis the personality
of the character. Three types of bags generally used are:
regulation (standard) book bag, trendy book bag, or the
sporty back pack.
The regulation book bag are black, with
a snap in the middle and two straps at each side. The sides
are folded but can expand for books and school supplies.
Most Japanese students would try to personalise their property,
so normally you would see stickers, pins, and whatnot on
their book bags. This is against school rules but they do
it anyways. :) For bringing out your character, try differing
your book bag from unmarked to a jazzed up for a more presonal
You could also take that a step further by giving your
character a trendy book bag possibly made by a well-known
fashion designer. It can be offset by some sort of design,
shape, or even features like a cellphone holder at the side.
I don't know if they have or do it in Japan but I had a
book back similar to the standard book bag when I was young
but I had a strap so I could hang it over my shoulder instead
of carrying it by the handle on top all the time (quite
tedious especially when I was lugging around a bunch of
books). You could deign to add a strap to your character's
book bag as well.
The sporty book bag is another "look" most used
for the athletic or non-strict character. In America, two
popular companies most sought after as a book bag was Eastpak
and Jansport. It had one big bag at the back, a small pocket
inside of it sometimes, and a smaller pocket up front. The
bottoms are thick leather for durability. When making a
sports bag, make sure to use some of these features or add
more for your liking.
Not usually worn by high schoolers but the elementary students
and younger is the cap. The cap is of a yellow color and
similar to the "fishing hat" with flapped down
lid all around. Young children wear these hats in real life
but I've seen manga with a completely different design altogether.
One such is CLAMP's Card Captor Sakura with the use of the
sailor hat (to go with the sailor uniform ^.^).
In America, schools have a mascot which becomes the schools
personal "mark" that identifies them from the
other schools. In Japan, I've found that private schools
generally tend to have their own insignia. A few public
schools as far as I noted had their own insignia as well.
It is much like the coat of arms of Europe used by the nobility
to identify their family. Below are a few that I came across
in the net.
As you can see, the school emblem can vary and be presented
on the uniform from a patch as in the first image or even
as subtle as buttons. The style also varies from traditional
looking emblems (with a motto too!), to more modern and
fluid looking like the third image from a school called
Mura. The emblems can also be found on the school flag as
School emblems are typically over the right breast if in
patch form and usually on the business type uniform. Of
course you may change this and be creative like the buttons
up above or move the insignia at the side of the arm. I've
seen manga characters have it on the collar of their uniform,
boys and girls, or even on the tie. More dress-down uniforms
like the sailor uniform or shirt and pants for the boys
tend to not have their school emblem emblazoned on their
uniform but you may opt to give your characters that distinction
if you like.