Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

Genderless school swimwear goes on sale to general public in Japan

This photo provided by Footmark Corp. shows children wearing genderless swimsuits with the same design for both male and female wearers.

TOKYO -- A Tokyo-based company began selling genderless swimsuits featuring a long-sleeved top and shorts -- developed for use in school swimming lessons -- to the general public on April 19.

    Footmark Corp., a manufacturer and retailer of swimming equipment and other products, designed the swimwear to be roomy in the chest and waist areas, making differences in body shape by gender less noticeable. More than 200 schools nationwide are apparently considering introducing the swimsuits this academic year.

    In the 2022 school year, three junior high schools in Tokyo and Hyogo Prefecture introduced the swimsuits on a trial basis. According the manufacturer, positive comments were received from students, such as, "It was good to be able to hide my skin and body hair as well as prevent sunburn," and, "I was able to concentrate on my classes without worrying about my appearance in a swimsuit.

    The company says media coverage of the trial sales led to many inquiries not only from schools, but also from individuals. It made further improvements to the swimwear, including a twist to prevent the top from rolling up at the waist and a waterproof finish to prevent wet swimsuits from becoming difficult to take off.

    In March 2023, prior to the product's launch, Footmark conducted a school swimsuit awareness survey among 1,200 pairs of students from the 5th grade to the 2nd year of junior high school and their guardians. When asked what kind of swimsuits they would like to wear, the top choices for all ages were "easy to change into" and "modest skin exposure." For junior high school students, the percentage choosing "modest skin exposure" apparently increased not only among girls but also among boys.

    The company said that it not only responds to the voices of those who do not want to show their skin, but also proposes this new product as a solution to various concerns, such as skin diseases.

    The genderless swimsuits are priced from 6,710 to 7,150 yen (roughly $50 to 53), depending on size (120 to 150 cm for the smallest sizes, followed by S to 4L). They are available at the company's online store at (in Japanese).

    (Japanese original by Ran Kanno, Digital News Center)

    Also in The Mainichi

    The Mainichi on social media