A Japanese high school student has filed a lawsuit and has shone a light on the touchy issue of "black hair" coverages and brown-hair registries in universities throughout Japan.
An 18-year-old woman brought a lawsuit against the authorities of Japan's Osaka prefecture a month to get mental anguish after she was repeatedly forced to dye her naturally brown hair black.
According to the suit, the student has been angry about having to dye her brown hair black at junior high school and, even when she entered Kaifukan High School in Osaka, her mother asked the school's government "to take care not to let the same thing occur in high school."
Despite these pleas, school administrators started ordering the woman to dye her hair every a couple of weeks and, during her second year, every four times. The student soon developed a rash and had her hair damaged by the dying that was continuous.
Schools in Japan have strict rules regarding appearance, including the length of skirts, using makeup and also hair color.
The lawsuit alleges that the woman suffered psychological harm and punishments for needing to dye her hair, she received. She hyperventilated and dropped after was barred from class trips and school festivals due to her hair color and being reprimanded.
One teacher purportedly advised the woman, "If you don't dye your hair black, then don't bother coming to college." The girl has not returned to her school and eventually had her name removed from college's enrollment, and pupils were told she'd dropped out.
There are quite a few colleges around Japan that maintain a so-called "brown-hair recorder" to prevent confused disciplinary action being inflicted on students with naturally brown hair. While critics say that these registries are problematic, Osaka's board of education stated that the prefecture doesn't track implementation and that it's up to schools to utilize the machine.
Kaifukan did not, although if the school had one, in the case of the student involved in the lawsuit, her mom allegedly asked.
Officials in another school in Osaka that does keep a registry told the Mainichi paper that they have ten pupils on the listing. The students on the record have their hair recorded and quantified on a scale as long as the student's hair color does not change, they won't be disciplined and when they begin in the school.