Illustrator Chiyou is publishing a series of cartoon albums called Collection of Taiwan High School Girl Uniforms. He says that fans on the Internet always support the uniforms of their alma mater schools, and this shows that, as well as representing adolescence, uniforms are a repository for many people’s nostalgic sentiments.
Chiyou, who has so far published volumes one and two of the album, was invited to give a combined talk and book-signing event at Tung Der Home Economics and Commercial Vocational High School in Nantou County’s Caotun Township on Monday last week. Second-year Tung Der students eagerly attended the talk, sitting on the floor to listen through the nearly two-hour lecture.
In his talk, Chiyou stressed that because Taiwan was colonized by Japan in the past, and because Japan’s uniform culture took form long ago, Taiwanese high-school girls’ uniforms are largely influenced by Japanese uniform culture, and that is why many schools have sailor suits as their uniforms. However, because there is not so much variation between seasons in Taiwan, Taiwanese high-school uniforms are more brightly colored and the designs are more freestyle, giving expression to Taiwan’s own characteristics.
Photo: Chen Feng-li, Liberty Times
In Japan, there are some people with a “uniform complex” who like to collect high-school uniforms. Chiyou thinks that Taiwan may have people with a “uniform complex,” but he says his motive for publishing his uniform albums is that this theme is “quite sweet” and easy to get into. Moreover, high-school uniforms are a symbol of short-lived adolescence, and the interesting thing is that netizens generally favor the schools they attended by supporting their alma mater school uniforms.
(Liberty Times, translated by Julian Clegg)
1. nostalgic adj.
懷舊，緬懷 (huai2 jiu4, mian3 huai2)
例: Elderly people are often nostalgic about their schooldays.
2. take form v. phr.
形成 (xing2 cheng2)
例: A spirit of community is slowly but surely taking form.
3. short-lived v. phr.
短暫的 (duan3 zhan4 de5)
例: His passion for that girl was short-lived—only one night.
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