It was Coming-of-Age Day(National Holiday) in Japan. We may have written about this ceremony in our past newsletter. On this celebration day, new adults(who become 20 years old during this year) attend the ceremony held by cities.
Most girls wear furisode and most boys wear suits-some wear kimono with hakama.
Most of them cannot dress in formal kimono like furisode for themselves, so they make appointment with professional dressors. Their mothers are in their forties, and they cannot dress their daughters. Usually hair salons have professional dressors, so girls come to be dressed and their hair done before the ceremony. It takes quite a lot of time to complete the dressing and hair to be done, so if you are late to make the appointment, you may be asked to come at 4 o'clock in the morning!(That was what happend to our daughter).
It used to be, furisode for the special day was tailored but rental furisode increased dramatically, and overcame tailored kimono.
Along with the decrease of tailoring, the average cost became less. About ten years ago, the average cost of furisode(including obi sash) was approx US $5000-$6000, but now, the average cost is approx $3000, which is not so different from rental fee for the full set.(we can imagine you must be so surprised to hear about the kimono rental fee).
Approx 80% use rental furisode actually. It may be quite shocking to hear that but acutally rental kimono has so much choice.
It seems revival designs such as royal cart, thread balls, traditional flower motives are popular. A few years ago, we could see rather modern colors and designs, such as roses on black back ground color was popular, so the trend is changing in Kimono field too.
The hair style too, piled-up hair style which looks a bit like a soft cream was very popular but it seems more natural hair or traditional Japanese style are becoming popular recently.
Wearing mother's furisode is now quite popular too. We hear 30 % of people who are anti-rental kimono wear mother's furisode.
On Coming-of-Age Day, we often hear some happenings- this year, a boy was arrested by carrying an imitation sword to the ceremony. Probably he wanted to pretend be a samurai by wearing kimono and hakama. He probably did not know carrying imitation sword is prohibited in Japan. Since he was 20 years old, his name was broadcasted, it is very ironical. His start as an adult had such a bad record.....
In any era, youngsters are immature-we cannot help wishing their bright future after the ceremony.
poto by Derek A., aka iMorpheus