Arama They Didn't

6:52 pm - 01/28/2013

Girls’ Courtesan Kimonos Cause Coming of Age Controversy


(Woman on actual Coming of Age Day)

In Japan, the second Monday in January is a holiday known as ‘Seijin no hi’, or ‘Coming of Age Day’, when those who have reached the age of 20 in the past year celebrate the completion of their transition into adulthood with ‘seijin shiki’ [coming of age ceremonies].
Although the ceremony is usually held at a local government office, for many girls, preparing their hair and clothes for the event is of utmost importance. Usually, girls will wear a ‘furisode’ kimono, a style with long falling sleeves, that should only be worn by young, unmarried women. It often features bright floral patterns that represent the blossoming of youth.

This year, some girls from Shizuoka Prefecture have caused an online controversy by wearing furisode in an ‘oiran-style’, as popularised in some fashion magazines. The oiran were the high-class courtesans of Edo Japan, many of whom achieved celebrity during their lifetimes. Still, as the women were effectively prostitutes, netizens have reacted negatively to this new style, feeling it is inappropriate for a coming of age ceremony. As a result, the unsuspecting oiran-style girls are now at the centre of an online controversy.

Netizens Have Their Doubts About ‘Oiran-Style’ Furisode At Coming Of Age Ceremonies

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Opinions?
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jennyhime 29th-Jan-2013 07:53 am (UTC)
I think for a official event like Seijin no hi it's not appropriate to dress like a oiran. (Kyoto high class courtesans were called tayu)
Otherwise I actually think the oiran look is gorgeous and am a fan of the women in Kyoto who preserve the arts (Kisaragi tayu)
But I would never dream to official event dress like that, I always wear formal kimono and obi, if you want to be different go kimono hime style instead.
I didn't see any oiran styles when I was in Japan but I saw plenty of wasted 20 year olds puking their guts on the street wearing suits, dresses and furisode.
exdream1999 29th-Jan-2013 08:35 am (UTC)
Talking with my co-workers, wearing your kimino in a hime style is just as out there as dressing like an Oiran to them.

I was talking with them about this post and they were saying how they don't get girls coming with their hair piled up high and even some of the patterns on their kimono. Also, they said Oiran style is better than those mini-skirt yukata.
jennyhime 29th-Jan-2013 08:42 am (UTC)
I think kimono hime done in the right way can be quite nice, or take some tips from Mamechiyo and go vintage, I think the style in the taisho and early showa was really nice and it was a time when people wore kimono everyday.
I don't get some of the modern furisode, they are quite garish and then paired of with the hairstyles lot's of glitter hairspray it makes quite the combo.
exdream1999 29th-Jan-2013 08:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, at least this year the trend for giant hair seems to be on the down trend, but really some of these girls go over the top.

Like my co-workers were first kind of shocked about girls dressing in the Oiran style, but then they're were like, "Well, they're already doing crazy stuff with their kimono, so it's not that surprising."

Also, according to the history teacher, while not the Oiran style, but the more basic obi tied in the front that lower level courtesans wore was actually mimicked by the general population during the Edo period, so really, this isn't actually something unprecedented.

I hope to wear a proper kimono someday, I've worn yukata and I've done the whole "dress up as a Maiko and get your picture taken" thing, but I've never had a chance to wear a proper kimono. And I agree, a lot of the more traditional prints are gorgeous.
jennyhime 29th-Jan-2013 09:18 am (UTC)
That's true, I saw some interesting hairstyles and furisodes and combined with the fact that many don't know how to walk in kimono.
I've seen some nice oiran looks but they have always been for fashion shoots and for fun. Of course the oiran were fashionistas of their day, when they started to wear their hair up soon others followed.
I've done the dress up as a geisha and I admit it was super fun, I have a small kimono collection that I wear and I have a friend who has a absolutely stunning Taisho kimono. The traditional prints are stunning, that's why I like kimono designers who are looking to the past for inspiration ^^
exdream1999 29th-Jan-2013 09:27 am (UTC)
And don't forget the mini-skirt yukata in the summer. :/

There's actually a kimono classroom/academy in my town that advertises around the station for a free trial lesson, but I never can get up the courage to ask about it, but all this talk is really making me want to at least see what it's like to wear a proper furisode (especially while I'm still unmarried), even if I have no place to wear it to.
jennyhime 29th-Jan-2013 09:47 am (UTC)
I would love to take proper kitsuke classes but not living in Japan makes it challenging. I learned from friends and other members from my sado group on how to dress myself. The only obi I can tie is the taiko though.
You should go and try, it could be really fun :D
I would love to wear furisode just to maybe go visiting temples if I'd have the chance ^^ and maybe new years.
citrine047 29th-Jan-2013 07:54 am (UTC)
"ayamare! apologize to the oiran!"

lol, this!

i agree it is inappropriate. well since i've always gone for simplicity and class, i guess i'll never understand some girls' urge to spazz out like this
senshicalico 29th-Jan-2013 07:55 am (UTC)
lol this post.

why the fuck do we care.
helsings 29th-Jan-2013 08:03 am (UTC)
+1
helsings 29th-Jan-2013 08:01 am (UTC)
In a highly religious country like the Philippines where I've been told off and once full on reprimanded for wearing things like pentagram necklaces or crucifix earrings, it doesn't deter me from still continuing to express myself. I'm not wearing it for the purpose of offending anyone, only because I find it interesting to wear as it goes with my personal style. Simple as that.

Though I can see and understand how people would get offended by what the girls chose to wear for such an important occasion, especially considering the history of it all, I still say: who cares? Let them wear what they want and let them express themselves. I'm pretty sure a lot of them are well aware of the history, and if they don't care, why should you? It's not like ALL the girls are wearing it. No one is telling you to focus on them anyway. If you don't like their choice of fashion for it, ignore them.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I do get irritated when I see, for example, someone wearing something too garish or loud for a particular event or occasion, but eh, what can you do? Let them be and just move onto something else.

PS. I'd love to wear that kind of look if I could for my own coming of age day and idgaf.
inachan89 29th-Jan-2013 09:49 am (UTC)
The girl in the first pic looks pretty cool!!
Then again i wouldn't go for this kind of outfit myself
turtle_yurippe 29th-Jan-2013 10:59 am (UTC)
I've had people at (university) events in the "western" world show up dressed like hookers (mini skirt, fishnets, very loud make-up), and nobody wrote anything about that. Same thing?
buyme_arashi 29th-Jan-2013 11:49 am (UTC)
Depends on what kind of event, where it was held and the culture they live in. Not the same thing.
buyme_arashi 29th-Jan-2013 11:46 am (UTC)
If I'm their mother and provided money to buy those damn kimonos on their formal coming of age day, I'll be fuming and will demand my money back with interest.
Personally I love oiran style but as an adult, TPO please.

However, if they bought it themselves and their parents don't mind how they dress, they can do whatever.
merii_hydeist 29th-Jan-2013 12:43 pm (UTC)
well, if you're up for cosplaying oiran, then there's no problem wearing such styles. But bear in mind that coming of age ceremonies are, indeed, serious stuff so these kids should observe proper dressing, aside from proper decorum, of course.

I'm not saying what they wore is wrong, it's just that, they should know the appropriate clothing to wear in such ceremonies.
bleed_peroxide 29th-Jan-2013 03:11 pm (UTC)
A lot of the comments in this comm reek of slut-shaming.

While it's not ~traditional~ and all that jazz, I'm pretty sure the girls who chose to dress as oiran knew perfectly well what they were doing and had their own reasons for wearing what could be considered a more risque outfit. They look stunning and, when all is said and done, the "worst" thing they've done is show their shoulders. It's THEIR coming-of-age ceremony, they can do whatever the fuck they please.

It's like telling a bride what she can or can't wear on HER goddamn wedding day. There's rules with tradition and the like, and she can follow them if that suits her. But if she wants to wear a more risque dress or even an outfit that a Victorian courtesan was known to wear, that's her own goddamn choice.
nova_usagi 31st-Jan-2013 10:40 am (UTC)
You totally missed the point. They`re being slut shamed because they`re dressed like traditional high priced prostitutes. Not "courtesan" but prostitutes. The girls purposely dressed like that, knowing fully well what Oiran are.

No a day, women can earn a couple hundred dollars a night if they work hard at a sex shop. Prostitutes (while prostitution is illegal) can earn some more. But back in the day, a dude had to pay the equivalent of thousands if not much more to get with an Oiran just once and Oiran were said to be able to choose their customers (thought that probably was only true for the very few top ones).
bleed_peroxide 31st-Jan-2013 12:54 pm (UTC)
Uh, the oiran were just that. Originally, oiran were a very distinct class from the average prostitute - they were the precursor to the geisha, the obvious difference being that they offered sex as well as art. You couldn't just open your legs and be called an oiran - you had to be knowledgeable in the arts and be able to hold intelligent conversations with clients. A stupid but pretty girl wouldn't have been able to be one. So yeah, they were courtesans in the fact that they had to offer more to their clients than sex - that was part of their services but not the only thing that men came to them for. It wasn't until the geisha started to rise in popularity in the mid-1700s that all women who worked in this industry, whether they were the elite tayu or an average prostitute, were classified as such.

But besides all that? Would we do the same if a woman decided to what was considered a traditional prostitute's clothes in the West? Would we still have the right to give her shit for wearing an outfit like that? Hell no. We have no right to slut-shame at all, least of all for something as mundane as clothing.
nova_usagi 7th-Feb-2013 05:26 pm (UTC)
Oiran worked in high priced brothels. They were high priced prostitutes that were trained to be talented in other fields...in order to impress customers.

Would we do the same if a woman decided to what was considered a traditional prostitute's clothes in the West? Would we still have the right to give her shit for wearing an outfit like that?

Would we do the same what? Disapprove if women purposely dressed as high priced prostitutes for high school or college graduation ceremony or something? I think if it wasn`t a common practice, I would disapprove. If I had a daughter attending something like that, I would disapprove of an outfit like that as well.

It`s not an issue of "slut shaming." People aren`t criticizing their sexual behavior so much as that these girls consciously/purposely chose to dress like that. People are disapproving of them purposely dressing up like high priced prostitutes for their adult day ceremony. Dressing in skimpy clothing isn`t viewed as inherently bad in Japan. It`s a time, place, and meaning issue.For example, Bulgarian prom outfits can be ridiculously skimpy, but most women do it, so I don`t think it`s such a shocking thing.


Edited at 2013-02-07 05:27 pm (UTC)
ogoediamond 30th-Jan-2013 08:11 pm (UTC)
It was snowing in Tokyo that day...

I was happy that I took my picture with my kimono a different day because I couldn't get through the snow with a kimono
nova_usagi 31st-Jan-2013 10:33 am (UTC)
"Courtesan" is not what an Oiran was. You should change "courtesan" to "high priced prostitute." Because Oirans were very high priced prostitutes. Most not out of choice, they were sold to the Oiran establishments as children and either worked in the place as one of the many workers or eventually became Oiran themselves. Just watched a program on Oiran the other night on TV.

Oiran have the bows in the front so they can easily untie it for sex. Men of any class cough sleep with one so long as they had the money (and she was willing to sleep wiht him).

The girls are aware of what Oiran are, but they are gyaru and attracted to the idea of men spending heaps just to get with them. They wore 花魁風 kimono because they are attention whores, wanted to piss off their parents who paid for it, and/or because they`re the sort of "gyaru" who are in it for the money.

Back in the day, guys saved up for years just to sleep with an Oiran for once or for a few times.So it`s no surprise that the one girl said her dream was to become rich.
stole_away 31st-Jan-2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
looks nice, but perhaps should consider the TPO. but ah well, their make-up makes them look older tho hmm shld have done lighter make-up instead?
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