So, cherry blossoms have started to whirl and twirl on my web site.
< http://www.jmode.com >
That means that wave after wave of graduation ceremonies are surging.
If there are any out there coming to Japan during March, I assure you'll see a bunch of beautiful young ladies wrapped up in elegant traditional clothing for graduation called "hakama". I think, in a way this is a great "chance".
But it seems that this hakama is not something that every female student actually owns. Most of them are rental costumes.
Ladies used to have one for each in the old days (decades ago), but today when ordinary clothing has shifted to Western clothes there is only like one chance of wearing a hakama all through your life.
And it's super expensive, too.
But even if you rent one it still costs you quite a bit - something like 20,000 to 30,000 yen (approx. 200-300 USD) for a 2to3-hour-long ceremony seems to be the minimum. This is quite something, isn't it? So why is it so expensive? Partly b/c almost no one can really wear a hakama by herself (it's an ancient piece of sophisticated clothing, I guess), each of them are made with special techniques, you have to have a certain set of bags and shoes to go along with, and even hair and make-up too. What a hakama looks like: it's better to search for an image of it on the web, but to verbally explain it it's something like wearing a long, skirt-like flared and pleated pants over a kimono. Did that help? lol
Guys are easier and lucky too. We just wear Western suits and appreciate the beauty of the ladies ;-)
It seems like most girls wear hakama just because others do.
So it's not like they're really dying to wear one.
In my opinion, I think that universities should financially support the students since they squeexe out so much tuition. I know it kind of contradicts with the idea above (wearing b/c you really want to), but I think that there are many who'd want to wear one if it was free.
Well that makes it sound like guy's don't get much privilege, but it's okay, our eyes do.
Click here for the image of a hakama.