The red armband of leadership in Japan

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Have you ever wondered about the red armband of Suzumiya Haruhi? In Japan, there is a method for identifying the leader of a group, student council or president of a school club. The person usually wears a red armband with the title of the organization or group.

Some wear armbands of different colors, mainly because the red armband in the West was once represented as communism, socialism and Nazism. The color red really represents leadership, which symbolizes all these occasions, especially the leader of some group or organization.

In dramas and anime it is also common to find different types of workers, reporters, journalists and even police officers wearing a generally white armband as a way of identification. The armband in Japanese is known as wanshou (腕章) or from English wow, bunch (アームバンド).

It is unknown how the culture of wearing armbands to represent leaders emerged in Japan. But for a long time this culture is like the famous bandana. Leaders, military and important people in history used some sort of bandana to identify themselves. Wearing them is common, so much so that many custom armbands are found in stores in Japan.

The red armband of leadership in japan

Who else wears red armbands in Japan?

Several anime and drama characters present the use of the armband as a leader of school clubs. We can list some important and well-known anime below:

  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn's Disciplinary Committee!
  • Naru's Oendan crowd in Love Hina;
  • Simon in Gurren Lagann;
  • The president and members of the student council in Seitokai Yakuindomo;
  • Kuroko from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun wears a green armband;
  • Kamado Ueshita from Mirai Nikki wears a yellow one with green;
The red armband of leadership in japan

You ouendan (応援団) also often wear a red armband. They are a kind of cheer squad (usually men) who often make noises with taiko and other instruments, flags and megaphones, with a differentiated performance. There is even a famous game called Osu! Where we see a lot of these ouendan characters.

The Yandere Simulator game also has several club leader characters wearing the traditional red armband that became popular among otaku after Suzumiya Haruhi. One of the characters of the army committee of the game/anime Danganronpa wears a red bandana.

Did you know about the red armband culture of leadership in Japan? Do you think there is a problem or something negative to use them in red? Do you remember any other anime or character using it?

Have you noticed that this red bracelet also reminds me a little of the red bandana hachimaki? We appreciate the comments and shares. We recommend reading:

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