Coming-of-Age ceremony held for victims of bankrupt kimono rental firm

JIJI

A group in Hachioji, Tokyo, held a fresh Coming-of-Age ceremony for young people whose planned ceremonies were affected by the sudden shutdown about a month ago of kimono seller and rental firm Harenohi.

The event on Monday was planned by Maki Nishimuro of Kimono no Nishimuro, a kimono firm in Hachioji, and supported by the Hachioji Municipal Government. About ¥2.54 million was donated from across Japan for the event, according to its organizing committee.

Harenohi, based in Yokohama, suddenly ceased operations on Jan. 8 — this year’s Coming-of-Age Day — forcing many clients to abandon plans to wear kimono at ceremonies marking what is typically a once-in-a-lifetime event. The firm is now in the process of bankruptcy liquidation.

Together with their relatives and friends, 10 new adults attended Monday’s ceremony, which was held at Olympus Hall Hachioji. Volunteers helped the new adults dress in the kimono prepared by the organizers, who wanted to make victims of Harenohi’s bankruptcy smile.

After the event, a 20-year-old female university student who participated said, “I’m very grateful to the organizers, and I enjoyed the ceremony.” At the same time, the woman also said she still feels angry at Harenohi.

“I could choose a kimono, so I attended the ceremony in a cheerful mood,” said another female student, aged 20. “Today, I really felt a (new) sense of responsibility.”