セーラー服を脱がさないで sailor fuku wo nugasanaide (don’t take off my sailor-style school uniform) lyrics & background

Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide Front Single Cover
Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide Front Single Cover

The song Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide, sung by Onyanko Club, represented a new stage in the evolution of the Japanese idol group. It was an early iteration of the large-number-of-young girls concept, engineered by producers such as Yasushi Akimoto, that would ultimately lead to the AKB48 and 48 franchise groups.

Who Are Onyanko Club?

Onyanko Club was a 14-member girl group that appeared as part of a popular evening TV show. The show was called 夕やけニャンニャン Yuyake Nyan Nyan and was a Fuji Terebi television program that aired every weekday between five and six pm, between the years 1985-1987.

The show had a segment called アイドルを探せ (Idol Search!). High school girls would audition. If they passed they could be part of the group that would be featured on the show. The group took their name from the name of the show and became Onyanko Club.

Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide Back Single Cover "Hayasugiru Sedai"
Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide Back Single Cover “Hayasugiru Sedai”

What does the name Onyanko Club mean?

Onyanko is a cute name for “cat” or “pussycat” in Japanese. “Nyan” is equivalent to the word “meow” and is the sound a cat makes. So the name could be translated as something like “The Meow-Girls Club”.

About the show 夕やけニャンニャン Yuyake Nyan Nyan

An episode of Yuyake Nyan Nyan

Yuyake Nyan Nyan grew out of another pre-existing Fuji Terebi program called オールナイトフジ (All Night Fuji). This show was a live-to-air, late night television show that featured female university students singing, dancing, often in a fairly sexually explicit way, mixed variety and comedy entertainment. 

In 1985, All Night Fuji show did a special feature called 『オールナイトフジ女子高生スペシャル』All Night Fuji High School Girls Special. The program was aimed at school aged boys and proved to be successful enough to spawn a stand alone program.

The Significance of Yuyake Nyan Nyan, All Night Fuji and Onyanko Club

The opening of an episode of All Night Fuji

All Night Fuji had turned female university students into fetish in Japan. With the creation of Yuyake Nyan Nyan, this fetishism was turned towards an even younger age group, the High school girl. In this way, Yuyake Nyan Nyan, and Onyanko Club, contributed greatly to the outrageously fetishsed image of the Jyoshi kosei (JK) image of the high school girl which remains popular to this day.

About セーラー服を脱がさないで sailor fuku wo nugasanaide (don’t take off my sailor-style school uniform)

Onyanko Club performing Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide on Japanese TV

The lyrics to Sailor fuku wo nugasanai de were written by Yasushi Akimoto, who would later become the producer mastermind behind AKB48 and the 48 franchise of mega-girl-groups. We’ve done a post, youtube & podcast about Yasushi Akimoto’s lyrics here.

It expresses a school-age girl’s blossoming, but uncertain and conflicted, desire to explore her sexuality.  The song opens with the protagonist exhorting a potential lover not to undress her – at least for the time being.

セーラー服を脱がさないで

今はダメよ 我慢なさって

セーラー服を脱がさないで

嫌よダメよ こんなところじゃ

Don’t take off my sailor-style school uniform

Not now! Please be patient

Don’t take off my sailor-style school uniform

I don’t want you to, no, not in a place like this

But by the third stanza of the song, we see the protagonist making something of an about face to express an unabashed desire to have sex:

友達より早く

エッチをしたいけど

キスから先に進めない

憶病すぎるの

I want to have sex

Before my friends do

But I’m just so timid

That I find it hard to get past kissing

But even here, there is some ambiguity in the use of the word エッチ ecchi.

エッチecchi can mean sex. But it can also mean “fooling around” or “playing” in a sexual way. 

Further, it has been argued that in 1985 the term エッチ ecchi, which is a Japanisation of the English letter “H”, was even more ambiguous term at the time. Indeed, this song seems to have lodged it further in the public consciousness as a word that fairly explicitly refers to intercourse.

Either way, it is fairly clear that the song is about a young girl’s sexual urges being expressed in the context of her innocence and larger social context.

The fact that the song is written by a male much older than the imagined protagonist, to be used on a show that revelled in the fetishisation of the school girl, make the lyrics uncomfortable in the post #metoo era. 

Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide Lyrics in Japanese and English

セーラー服を脱がさないで sailor fuku wo nugasanaide Japanese lyricsセーラー服を脱がさないで sailor fuku wo nugasanaide lyrics in Englishセーラー服を脱がさないで sailor fuku wo nugasanaide Romaji lyrics
セーラー服を脱がさないで今はダメよ 我慢なさってセーラー服を脱がさないで嫌よダメよ こんなところじゃ

女の子は いつでも“MI・MI・DO・SHI・MA”お勉強してるのよAh- 毎日

友達より早くエッチをしたいけどキスから先に進めない憶病すぎるの

週刊誌みたいなエッチをしたいけど全てをあげてしまうのはもったいないから…あげない

セーラー服を脱がさないでスカートまで まくれちゃうでしょセーラー服を脱がさないで胸のリボン ほどかないでね

男の子はその時どうなるの?興味津々 しちゃうのよAh- 不思議ね

デートに誘われてバージンじゃ つまらないパパやママは知らないの明日の外泊

ちょっぴり恐いけどバージンじゃ つまらないおばんになっちゃう その前においしいハートを…食べて
Don’t take off my sailor-style school uniform
Not now! Please be patient
Don’t take off my sailor-style school uniform
I don’t want you to, no, not in a place like this

Girls are always 
Mi mi do shi ma (acting like they know all about sex)
Everyday

I want to have sex
Before my friends do
But I’m just so timid
That I find it hard to get past kissing

I want to have sex
Just like the weekly magazines
But going ahead and giving it all to you
Just seems such a waste. So I won’t.

Don’t take off my sailor-style school uniform
You’re going to even lift up my skirt, aren’t you?
Don’t take off my sailor-style school uniform
Don’t untie the ribbon on my breast

How do boys get at times like these?
I get so intrigued!
It’s such a mystery

It’s such a bore to be a virgin
When someone asks you on a date
Mum and Dad don’t know
About where I’m staying tomorrow night
I’m a slightly scared
But it’s such a bore to be a virgin
I’m going to be an old maid!
Before I do
Eat out my tasty heart
sērāfuku o nugasanaideima wa dameyo   gaman nasattesērāfuku o nugasanaideiyayo dameyo   konna tokoro ja

onnanoko wa   itsu demo“ MI MI DO SHI MA ”o benkyō shiterunoyoAh -  mainichi

tomodachi yori hayakuecchi o shitaikedokisu kara saki ni susumenaiokubyō sugiruno

shūkanshi mitainaecchi o shitaikedosubete o ageteshimau no wamottainaikara … agenai

sērāfuku o nugasanaidesukāto made   makurechaudeshosērāfuku o nugasanaidemune no ribon   hodokanaidene

otokonoko wa sono tokidō naru no ?kyōmishinshin   shichaunoyoAh -  fushigine

dēto ni sasowaretebājin ja   tsumaranaipapa ya mama wa shiranainoashita no gaihaku

choppiri kowaikedobājin ja   tsumaranaio ban ni nacchau   sono mae nioishī hāto o … tabete

Who Sang on Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide?

The solo singers on sailor fuku wo nugasanaide comprised four people:

Eri Nitta 新田恵利 (Group member number 4) 

Miharu Nakajima 中島美春 (Group member number 5) 

Satomi Fukunaga 福永恵規 (Group member number 11)

Kazuko Utsumi 内海和子 (Group member number 13)

Who Wrote & Produced Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide?

Lyricist: Yasushi Akimoto 秋元康

Composer:Hitoshi Sato 佐藤準 (keyboardist/arranger)

Producers: Hiroshi Ishida and Kazuji Kasai  (笠井一二)

Arranger: Hitoshi Sato(佐藤準) 

Who played on Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide?

bass guitar and electric bass guitar:

Shigeru Okazawa (岡沢茂)

drums:

Jun Aoyama (青山純)

electric guitar:

Masaki Matsubara (松原正樹)

keyboard:

Hitoshi Sato (佐藤準)

Vocabulary used in Sailor Fuku Wo Nugasanaide

セーラー服 (セーラーふく)

sailor suit; middy uniform

脱がす (ぬがす)

to strip someone; to help someone remove (clothes)

(いま)

now; the present time; just now; soon; immediately; (one) more

駄目 (だめ、ダメ)

no good; not serving its purpose; useless; broken; hopeless; wasted; in vain; purposeless; cannot; must not; not allowed

我慢 (がまん)

patience; endurance; perseverance; tolerance; self-control; self-denial

為さる (なさる)

to do

(いや、や)

disagreeable; detestable; unpleasant; reluctant

こんな (こんな)

such (about something or someone close to the speaker (including the speaker), or about ideas expressed by the speaker); like this

(ところ、とこ)

place; spot; scene; site; address; district; area; locality; one’s house; point; part; space; room; whereupon; as a result; about to; on the verge of; was just doing; was in the process of doing; have just done; just finished doing

じゃあ (じゃあ、じゃ)

then; well; so; well then; combination of ‘de’ and ‘wa’ particles; plain copula

女の子 (おんなのこ、おんなのコ、おんにゃのこ)

girl

何時 (いつ)

when; how soon

勉強 (べんきょう)

study; diligence; discount; reduction

毎日 (まいにち)

every day

友達 (ともだち)

friend; companion

より (より)

than; from; out of; since; at; on; except; but; other than; more

早い (はやい)

fast; quick; hasty; brisk; early (in the day, etc.); premature; (too) soon; not yet; (too) early; easy; simple; quick

(エッチ、エイチ)

H; h; indecent; lewd; frisky; sexy; sexual intercourse; copulation

キス (キス、キッス)

kiss

進める (すすめる)

to advance; to promote; to hasten

臆病 (おくびょう)

cowardice; timidity

過ぎる (すぎる)

to pass through; to pass by; to go beyond; to pass (i.e. of time); to elapse; to have expired; to have ended; to be over; to exceed; to surpass; to be above; to be no more than …; to be excessive; to be too much; to be too …

週刊誌 (しゅうかんし)

weekly publication; weekly magazine

全て (すべて)

everything; all; the whole; entirely; completely; wholly; all

上げる (あげる)

to raise; to elevate; to do up (one’s hair); to fly (a kite, etc.); to launch (fireworks, etc.); to surface (a submarine, etc.); to land (a boat); to deep-fry; to show someone (into a room); to summon (for geishas, etc.); to send someone (away); to enrol (one’s child in school); to enroll; to increase (price, quality, status, etc.); to develop (talent, skill); to improve; to make (a loud sound); to raise (one’s voice); to earn (something desirable); to praise; to give (an example, etc.); to cite; to summon up (all of one’s energy, etc.); to arrest; to nominate; to give; to offer up (incense, a prayer, etc.) to the gods (or Buddha, etc.); to bear (a child); to conduct (a ceremony, esp. a wedding); (of the tide) to come in; to vomit; to do for (the sake of someone else); to complete …; to humbly do …

勿体ない (もったいない)

impious; profane; sacrilegious; too good; more than one deserves; unworthy of; wasteful

(まで)

until (a time); till; to; up to; to (a place); as far as; to (an extent); up to; so far as; even; only; merely

捲れる (まくれる、めくれる)

to be (get) turned up (inside out)

(むね、むな)

chest; breast; breasts; bosom; bust; heart; lungs; stomach; heart; mind; feelings

リボン (リボン)

ribbon

解く (ほどく)

to unfasten; to untie; to unwrap (e.g. parcel)

男の子 (おとこのこ、おとこのコ)

boy; male child; baby boy

成る (なる)

to become; to get; to grow; to be; to reach; to attain; to result in; to prove to be; to consist of; to be composed of; to succeed; to be complete; to change into; to be exchanged for; to play a role; to be promoted; to do …

興味津々 (きょうみしんしん)

very interesting; of absorbing interest; having a keen interest (in); being immensely curious (about)

不思議 (ふしぎ)

wonder; miracle; strange; mystery; marvel; curiosity

デート (デート)

date; go on a date

誘う (さそう、いざなう)

to invite; to ask; to call (for); to tempt; to lure; to induce

バージン (バージン)

virgin

詰らない (つまらない)

dull; uninteresting; boring; tedious; insignificant; unimportant; trifling; trivial; worthless; absurd; foolish; silly; stupid; useless; pointless; disappointing

知る (しる)

to be aware of; to know; to be conscious of; to cognize; to cognise; to notice; to feel; to understand; to comprehend; to grasp; to remember; to be acquainted with (a procedure); to experience; to go through; to learn; to be acquainted with (a person); to get to know; to concern

明日 (あした、あす、みょうにち)

tomorrow; near future

外泊 (がいはく)

spending night somewhere else (usu. away from home); sleepover; sleep over

ちょっぴり (ちょっぴり、ちょぴり)

very little bit; just a smidgin; wee bit

怖い (こわい)

scary; frightening; eerie; dreadful; (I’m) afraid

美味しい (おいしい、オイシイ)

delicious; tasty; sweet

ハート (ハート)

heart

食べる (たべる)

to eat; to live on (e.g. a salary); to live off; to subsist on

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts doing a Masters Degree, have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1). I’ve written songs in Japanese and have released several albums through Tokyo label Majikick Records. You can hear my music at my bandcamp page:

ピータージョセフヘッドです。4年間京都市立芸大の大学院として日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

僕の音楽はBandcampで聞けます。

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