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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