Japanese pupils 'forced to dye hair black' rebel
Japanese school rules that force children to dye their hair black so that they fit in with their classmates are facing a growing backlash, fuelled by a viral video campaign and a fast-growing petition.
What began as a marketing campaign for Pantene shampoo has gained a groundswell of support in an effort to change the rules.
Nearly 10 million people have watched the 'What's Wrong With My Hair' campaign video, which presents the findings of a survey of 1,000 children and teachers in relation to hair rules in Japanese schools.
The issue of hair rules in Japanese schools was highlighted two years ago when a pupil sued Osaka prefectural government for damages after being continuously forced to dye her naturally brown hair a more uniform black.
Critics say the rules reflect a society where collective uniformity is valued over individuality.
Pantene's campaign highlights how 60pc of public schools in Japan require that all pupils submit a hair certification that confirms the natural colour and degree of curliness of their hair.
As many as one in 13 schoolchildren surveyed had subsequently been "urged" by their school to dye their brown hair black, according to the survey - despite having strict rules forbidding pupils with naturally black hair from dying or bleaching it.