Girls revive previously male-dominated cheering squads
Japan Times -- Dec 07
Typical cheerleading clubs in schools, known as ōendan, consist of men clad in black gakuran stand-up collar uniforms yelling vigorously and performing synchronized, dynamic choreographed moves to support sports teams.

While the traditional activity is becoming less popular among male students, many ōendan across the nation have been attracting girls in recent years.

At Aichi Prefectural Toyohashi Minami High School in the city of Toyohashi, 10 out of 11 ōendan members are female students.

On Nov. 17, the members wore black uniforms, white headbands and white gloves as they performed at an event held at a community center in the city, shouting “Osu!” — a common exclamation in Japan — and “Hooray, hooray!” amid loud applause from local residents.

The school’s ōendan had been active since it was established in 1978, but the number of members eventually began to decline, finally dropping to zero in 2008.

In 2015, the school recruited new members so it could revive the club following requests from the club’s alumni, who said it was sad not to have any squad to cheer the school’s baseball team. And those who volunteered to join were all female students, meaning girls belonged to the club for the first time in its history. Since then, members of the club have been increasing year by year, with most joining being girls.

News source: Japan Times
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