History[ edit ] The gakuran and sailor-style dress have always been a part of Japan's "growing modern" culture due to it appearing formal and has existed as a concept. An official from Tombow Co. Old-fashioned textbooks state that the uniforms were based on the Imperial Japanese Army uniform rather than the said stated of the European. The sides of the uniform had similarity to existing styles of Japanese dressmaking, and the collar had straight lines. Many home economics classes in Japan up until the s gave sewing sailor outfits as assignments.