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Working as a teacher in Japan - INDOOR SHOES?!!

14 Jun 2008

In a couple of weeks I'm flying to Japan to work as an English teacher for Interac. They've told me I will be needing to bring some 'indoor shoes' with me for wearing in the schools - can anyone tell me what this normally means? Are just white sport shoes okay?? (I think they mentioned sports shoes as being good, so you can jump around easier or something...). What do teachers normally wear?

I believe that any rubber-soled shoes that you never wear outdoors should be fine for your situation.
Just another pair of dress shoes is fine. Look at Interac's FAQ to see what their dress code is. In many schools, you'll take off your shoes before you enter the building proper, leaving your outdoor shoes in a locker at the entryway.
I have never EVER seen teachers wearing slippers (uwabaki) during work. Slip-on shoes, yes. Sandals, yes. Never slippers.
My wife says it can mean any type of slippers, but for adults it mostly means the type you see as you enter a home or business or school, not the type in your picture.
I see.
Maybe it's a local stuff (meaning varies depending on where you are). For me slippers are always "surippa" while "wabaki" at school is something like the picture I posted, but obviously the meaning of "uwabaki" is not universal.

Anyway, I don't think Dave means the slippers...
Here where I live it seems to mean this:


or something that differs only insignificantly.

スリッパー doesn't have the portion around the back of the heel, while 上履 does.
"Uwabaki" commonly refers to the indoor shoes that undrentide and Mike posted that are used by students.

In the case of teachers and parents, however, it can be anything from slippers to gym shoes, so long as you don't mix them up with shoes you wear in the schoolyard and anywhere outdoors.

I used to carry very light slippers to school to attend PTA meetings and other school events. In PTA sports events in the gym, I wore cheap tennis shoes I bought exclusively for use as "uwabaki."

At elementary through high schools that my kids went to, a lot of the teachers wore "kenkou sandaru" inside the school. 😆
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yes, but he asked about INDOOR shoes. I think that dress shoes indoors will not go over well. A pair of black crocs might do the trick, though!
The only really important point to take into consideration about this prior to arriving in Japan is his shoe size. If it is larger than 27.5 he would be very well advised to hunt up a couple of pairs of suitable shoes (easy to slip on and off, non-marking rubber sole) and bring them with him.If he is 27.5 or smaller he can just get something appropriate after he gets here.
I've seen plenty of foreign and Japanese teachers wearing slip-on and laced dress shoes at work in private HS. Don't see the problem.

Good heads-up point, but we both know that larger sizes can be available in certain areas. It just depends on the size one needs!
He hasn't logged into JREF since he asked his question. Apparently he isn't too terribly worried about this.
靴のヒカリカタログサイト | sorts me out for shoes just fine. They have a COD service.

eastbay.com or llbean.com might be cheaper but shoes still have a habit of attracting import tariffs.

Off-topic link I found the other day -
Lingerie | Underwear | Freshpair
for those - like me - that couldn't begin to squeeze even their left buttock into a pair of Japanese boxer shorts - yes they ship international. No, there's no 'Novelty' page in the ladies section.

He was back on the 15th and lacked the courtesy to even acknowledge the help rendered here.

Part of why more and more these days I don't even bother answering questions.
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