Sukeban

From The Dress Code
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Mode Schoolwear
Status Unknown
Era Unknown
Scene Japan
Influenced by Unknown
Influenced Unknown

Sukeban means delinquent girl or boss girl in Japanese, equivalent to the male banchō. A dictionary of Japanese slang says that sukeban only refers to the leader of a girl gang, not any member of the girl gang.

Characteristics

The common signifiers of sukeban (described by the Japanese police in 1980s pamphlets as "omens of downfall") include brightly dyed or permed hair, and modifications of the school uniform such as wearing coloured socks, rolling up the sleeves and lengthening the skirt. Sukeban are reported to engage in activities such as stimulant use, shoplifting, theft, and violence, but if arrested, they can be charged with the lesser offence of "pre-delinquency". The word sukeban was originally used by delinquents, but has been used by the general population since 1972.<ref name ="Beyond Polite Japanese"/>

Media depiction

In the 1970s and 1980s, sukeban became popular characters in seinen manga. Sukeban characters could also be seen in shōjo manga publications; Sukeban Deka, YajiKita Gakuen Dōchūki and Hana no Asuka-gumi were three popular shōjo series that had a mostly sukeban cast.

Pink film director Norifumi Suzuki made the first films in the seven-film Girl Boss (Sukeban) series. He also started the four-film Terrifying Girls' High School series (1971–1972) featuring sukeban characters. Both series featured prominent Pinky violent actresses Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto. On December 6, 2005, Panik House company released a four-disc region-1 DVD collection surveying Sukeban films entitled The Pinky Violence Collection.


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