The Taimei primary school (Grades 1-6) is located in the Ginza section of Tokyo, well-known for its fashion district, as well as for being a well-to-do neighborhood.
They offer a school uniform made by Armani that its students can purchase and wear as their uniform, should the child and parents wish.
Of course, this is Japan… which means that even though the Armani school uniform is NOT mandatory, if one student has one, everyone must have one in an effort to keep up with the Jones’… sorry Suzuki’s.
While one can be critical of the school for making a ¥80,000 (~US$758) Armani outfit available for primary school students, they are within their right to do so. Even in Japan.
Those are the outfits in the photo above... they look pretty damn slick.
I suppose if it rains they can either wear those classic yellow rubber overcoats and boots, or they can have their butler hold an umbrella for them as they exit today's Mercedes Benz.
However, after recent student complaints about adults harassing them over their expensive school outfits while walking to and from school, the school has been forced to hire security guards to patrol the streets to try and ensure student safety.
Apparently at least three student were bothered by abusive adults who pulled at their uniform, with at least one child reporting that they were asked “Is this Armani?”
Now… it is possible someone merely inappropriately reached out to touch the clothing and merely ask in a curious way if it was Armani - and the child misinterpreted it… but why touch the child’s clothing?
That is now assault.
In other incidents, the same students were asked if they attended Taimei primary school.
No kid needs that type of abuse.
Why punish or threaten them merely because their parents are well-off and choose to have the child attend the school?
I wonder if it’s the same a-hole person being abusive, or Buddha help us there really are three such jerks out there harassing Richie Rich, the poor little rich boy (and girl).
“The Poor Little Rich Boy” was the tagline on the old Harvey Comics Richie Rich comic book title I loved as a child - I have 800 of related comic books - all well read.
According to school officials, the use of the optional Armani school uniform was a way to tie the 150-year-old school to the Ginza district.
While some people criticize the school (and parents) for allowing such clothing to become a part of the fashion statement, claiming that kids grow so fast that it’s a complete waste of money… what parent hasn’t wasted money on their child?
My kid has to wear a school uniform… and while it’s not so strict, there are colors he has to wear, but not specific clothing.
The point is, my kid will play like a normal pre-teen at school… running around, sliding, tearing the bejeezus out of a pant’s knee, or spilling some food item we’ve given that on his clothing never seems to come out in the laundry… now imagine the same happening top the Armani outfit…
“Heavens, Suzuki-san! I have soiled myself!”
“Gracious Buddha! What happened, other Suzuki-san?!”
“I have discourteously dribbled some of my ramen juice upon my shirt fabric!”
“Well, do not worry, other Suzuki-san! A little soda water will clean that right up!”
“Liar, liar pants on fire, Suzuki-san with whom I am not related!”
Yes, the comedy is there. Dryer, but there. Somewhere. I added explanation marks because children regardless of social strata or country will talk loudly to one another.
Or maybe that’s just on every single kid’s television program I have ever watched.
As another example of my wasteful ways towards my kid when he was around three, I once purchased every single Hot Wheels vehicle offered up during a calendar year… something over 500 cars.
To be fair, I don’t know if I purchased them for him, or for me.
PS: For the record, I purchased all of those Ricie Rich comics myself... more than likely after helping myself to the loose change available on my dad's dresser drawer every evening.
PPS: To show an example of how my father spoiled me when I was around nine or 10, he would drive me to downtown Toronto every Saturday, hand me a $20 and allow me to purchase used comic books, because he knew I loved them. I would buy 80 oldies a month - books from the late 1960s and early 1970s, and at 80 comics a weeks it is one reason why I have 35,000 comic books in my collection. After a couple of years of doing the weekend purchases, I stupidly stopped going to the used comic book store and began buying new books... though those new books are now over 40 years old... but I could have had more 50+ year old books if I didn't mind purchasing doubles.