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

On the January 15 broadcast of ‘Mezamashi TV’ (Fuji TV), girls who attended their coming of age ceremony in off the shoulder ‘oiran style’ furisode kimonos were featured, but Twitter users had their doubts.

In the same programme, young people attending coming of age ceremonies that were being held in the heavy snow in places around Tokyo was also broadcast. As a ‘fashion check’ of this year’s furisode kimonos, girls who had backcombed up-dos decorated with huge flowers and who wore platform zori were shown on the programme, but what particularly stood out was a group of oiran-style ‘gyaru’ [gals] with both shoulders exposed and their kimonos undone.

One girl who was interviewed, said, ‘It’s like an oiran style. I’m soooo cold, but I saw it in magazines and stuff and I fell in love with it.

One of the oiran girls from Shizuoka being interviewed. The captions read: ‘What is your dream?’ ‘To be rich.’

The interviewer then asks: ‘How rich?’. She replies, ‘So rich that I could buy Shizuoka.’

A representative magazine which featured this oiran-style furisode kimono is the ‘mook’ [magazine/book] ‘Kimono ageha’, published by the ‘gyaru’ fashion magazine ‘‘Koakuma ageha’‘ [literally 'little demon butterfly']

On the ‘Kimono ageha’ website ( it states, ‘Your once-in-a-lifetime coming of age ceremony. Colour the memories of that precious day with a sparkle. With styles like oiran, cosplay, or royal legends, from the modern to the ancient, leave the cutest Sweet Angel furisode in the universe to us!’

The 2013 edition of the magazine-book ‘Kimono ageha’.

But many Twitter users felt uncomfortable with these ‘oiran-style’ furisode that were created by
gyaru magazines, saying:’To wear an ‘oiran-style’ kimono for a coming of age ceremony is weird, no matter which way you look at it lol. I wonder if anyone around them stopped to look at them. If I did that to myself, my parents would cry for sure’; ‘I guess they don’t really know what kind of work the oiran did. I’d be way to embarrassed if my first steps as an adult were taken like this’; ‘I can understand if it was for the commemoration picture or whatever, but to do this in public is just a disgrace. It’s not that the oiran-style is bad, but they really should think about TPO [time, place, occasion]‘.

On the same day, at a coming of age ceremony in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu appeared, and gained attention for showing off a pink furisode kimono that featured unicorns and planets, but even Kyary, who has gathered support for her unique fashion, seemed normal in comparison to the oiran-style furisode girls.

Comments from


They just look cold

Wow, twenty year olds these days look pretty aged…she looks way older.

Strong smell of kyaba kura [hostess clubs] coming off those girls.

Before long they’ll be having their coming of age ceremonies in their underwear.

I guess that this kind of idiot won’t even regret it if they look back on the photographs in years to come…

She has the skin of a woman in her late thirties…..whatever. Yup, doesn’t matter.

I acknowledge their guts for baring their shoulders in that much snow.

Their poor parents…

If this is an adult, then they’re so retarded they should be thrown into a facility.

This is the perfect Japanese woman, Yamato Nadeshiko (・ω・)

Do they actually know what an oiran is? If they had that kind of knowledge, then they definitely wouldn't be going out looking like that.

This is Shizuoka. It’s totally in the middle of nowhere. Though I’ve never seen girls baring their shoulders, I have actually seen a girl with her hair dyed dark green, all backcombed up like that, with rhinestones and white ribbons in it. Her furisode was black with red flowers scattered on it, so I really thought that she looked so much like a Christmas tree.

Apologise! Look, just apologise to the oiran!!!

Well, I think that fashion is an individual thing, and that it doesn’t matter what you wear, but to say such as stupid thing in public, well, you really know where these girls’ hometown is.

Would have been better if an actual beauty had done this…

This is the result of having lived for twenty years.

Hmmm, they haven’t grown up yet, have they?

Sorry to break it to you, but oiran were the highest class of prostitute. This is just so disrespectful to the oiran lol. No matter how you look at these girls, they’re from the lowest class.

Damn….Japan is fucked

So she’s a mother who brought along her child, right?

I saw her on the street but I thought she was a hostess.


(no subject) - Anonymous
katokathy 29th-Jan-2013 03:06 am (UTC)
Right? It's not as if they showed up naked -.- I mean if it was an occasion for someone ELSE then yea ok please dress appropriately. But this is like their "grad" sort of thing so let them do whatever they want. It's as if a bride at her own wedding decided to dress a bit revealing, everyone goes batshit crazy. K, it's her moment, not yours. You can pipe up when it is.
window_girl 29th-Jan-2013 05:44 am (UTC)
DING DING DING we have a winner!

So sick of this. I mean quite literally everything on them is covered aside from shoulders and people still find a way to slut shame.

Because risque from the 1800s is totally risque for today right?

Ugh just stop with this crap, folks.
cuizy 29th-Jan-2013 06:52 am (UTC)
Totally agree
exdream1999 29th-Jan-2013 10:17 am (UTC)
So, in my mind I was digging and digging to find something to relate to dressing in the fashion as an Oiran to show how over the top the slut-shaming was, because I knew there was something.

Then I remembered. Make-up! While make-up has been used through out history, there were times when either just certain kinds of make-up where seen as something "whores" wore, or times like the Victorian period where any make-up was not something that "proper" women wore. That why we have expression like, "painted whore".

So, really, these girls a no different than the women in our past who wore lipstick to be daring.
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