On my recent trip to Micronesia I extended a one night layover in Tokyo in order to see a bit of this famous city and absorb a little bit of Nipponese culture. Having never been to Japan, I was quite eager to compare my preconceived notions to the real thing.

Upon disembarking from my Singapore Airlines chariot of the gods, the first two living stereotype incarnations were a girl in a "Sailor" uniform and a man wearing a filter-mask. Shocked by this immediate validation of what I had assumed to be an overworked stereotype that really didn't have much bearing on reality, I decided that as I toured Shinjuku (the area of Tokyo where in I was staying) the next day that I would conduct an informal survey and collect the number of representatives from each of these groups that I encountered.

The Results

  • Sailor Girls: 7
  • Antiseptic Zombies: 18


Now, for MY money, that is a crappy ratio. I would rather encounter a Sailor Girl than an Antiseptic Zombie any day of the week. So I began some frantic rationalization.

Ok, only females are likely to be wearing sailor outfits, but the Antiseptic Zombies have been, more or less, equally distributed between males and females. So we'll just divide the Antiseptic Zombie population in half. Yeah, that's what we'll do.

  • Sailor Girls: 7
  • Antiseptic Zombies: 9


Hmmm, still not quite what I was hoping to see, but a lot better, nonetheless.

Desperately needing to believe that there were really more Sailor Girls than there were Antiseptic Zombies in Tokyo, I cast about for more rationalizations.

Well, it IS 35 degrees Fahrenheit, out here. Maybe it is just too cold to get a proper sampling of the Sailor Girls. Maybe they are being forced, against their will, to wear something other than a sailor uniform by the tyranny of winter.

Feeling even better at this point, I realized that there was no way in hell I could come up with a half baked adjustment to the sample data that might represent this factor. While I was defeated in my goal of getting the numbers to explicitly SAY that there were more Sailor Girls than Antiseptic Zombies, I felt righteous and sure in my heart that was, indeed, the case.



/me nods and concedes the point to -brazil-.
Li Kao's rationalization was wrong, though. Japanese schoolgirls are 100% resistant against the "tyranny of winter". They'd never let something as unimportant as low temperatures keep them from wearing fashionable clothing - and school uniforms with really short skirts happen to be fashionable at the moment. Thus, they might wear a thick cloak (short, of course) and wrap a thick woolen scarf around their neck, but they'll never wear their skirts even one inch longer than the minimum permitted by school rules, colds be damned!

The most likely reason for the lack of seifuku encounters is that is was the wrong time. After all, they're school uniforms, and outside of schools are therefore visible only on girls on their way from or to school, or in the evening if they have had no time to go home and change. Thus, during holidays or on sundays, as well as during school hours, the chances of meeting seifuku-clad girls are very low (well, except in image clubs, where you can "meet" one at just about any time).

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