“Hare no hi” incident which occurred in 2018 in Japan

What does “Hare no hi” literally mean?

Hare no hi is said to have been defined by a folklorist named Kunio Yanagita. The phrase “a fine day” also appears in the speech at the graduation ceremony. It means “a special day when you feel honored by being noticed by many people”.

Who is Kunio Yanagida?

Kunio Yanagita was a Japanese sociologist, anthropologist and folklorist who is best known for his work on the study of Japanese folktales. Born in 1875 in the northern prefecture of Yamagata, Yanagita studied at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he received his PhD in 1916. He later became a professor at the University of Tokyo, where he taught for many years.

Yanagita is best known for his work in the field of Japanese folklore, particularly for his study of the folk tales that were passed down orally from generation to time. He saw the value in these stories as a way of understanding the cultural and historical context of Japan and also the way of life and values of its people. He wrote many books on Japanese folklore and also developed a system of categorization for folktales.

Yanagita’s work on Japanese folklore has been highly influential in the study of folklore and has been recognized for its contribution to the preservation and understanding of Japan’s cultural heritage.

What is Seijin-shiki in Japan?

Seijin-shiki, also known as Seijin-no-hi, is a Japanese coming-of-age ceremony that is held for people who have reached the age of 20. It is celebrated on the second Monday of January each year and is the equivalent of the “Sweet 16” celebration in the United States.

The Seijin-shiki is a formal event and is attended by family members, friends and teachers, where the attendees dress up in traditional kimono and formal wear. The ceremony is marked by giving speeches, serving food and tea or sake, and often including entertainment such as music. The Seijin-shiki ceremony is seen as a rite of passage for the individual to enter adulthood and take on more responsibilities in society.

What happened in 2018 Seijin-shiki in Japan?

On the day of the coming-of-age ceremony in 2018, an unexpected event happened to a new adult who was planning to attend the coming-of-age ceremony wearing furisode. Surprisingly, the vendor, “Harenohi”, who had made a reservation for the furisode dressing did not show up at the dressing venue on the day. The venue became noisy, and new adults who couldn’t wear furisode for the coming-of-age ceremony, which they were looking forward to, appeared one after another. After all, some people could not attend the coming-of-age ceremony.

Sudden store closure of “Harenohi”

On January 8, 2018, Coming-of-Age Day, Harenohi closed all its stores except Fukuoka Tenjin, and could not be contacted by phone (there was a voice message stating, “We are currently out of business hours.”). It just flows), and it became a situation where the president Yoichiro Shinozaki could not be found. According to the person in charge of managing the commercial facility in which one store is located, it was operating as usual until January 6, but on January 7, employees stopped coming to work.

The furisode was not delivered to the dressing venue for the coming-of-age ceremony on the same day, and it was closed without permission, so it developed into a situation where customers who had reserved dressing for the coming-of-age ceremony by purchasing or renting from Harenohi could not wear festive clothes. More than 200 calls were made to police. Only the Fukuoka Tenjin store ignored the instructions of the executives and remained open on the same day, and the dispatch company also dispatched staff free of charge to wear the kimono at the coming-of-age ceremony. However, the store was closed the next day, and business was suspended.

According to an official from another company that lives in the same building as the head office, there have been no employees from Harenohi since the beginning of 2018. However, it is not clear at this point whether this is a business suspension due to bankruptcy (bankruptcy, including planned bankruptcy) or a voluntary business suspension (including voluntary closure). Shinozaki has been missing since before the coming-of-age ceremony. A survey conducted by Tokyo Shoko Research until January 9 revealed that in the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016, the company had a deficit of approximately 360 million yen and an excess of debt of approximately 320 million yen. One of our business partners commented, “Since 2017, we have been delinquent in payments such as accounts receivable, so we have been trying to reduce transactions.”

president Shinozaki

Suspicious kimono trade 2 month earlier

In addition, about two months before the incident, there was a person who put up a large number of furisode on the free market apps “Mercari” and “Frill (currently Rakuten Flea Market)”, and there was suspicion that this exhibition had been made by a person who related to “Harenohi” and the two companies had been investigating the relationship. In addition, even if that person was not related to “Harenohi”, both companies had taken measures to keep their listings private because the rules stipulate that “corporations are prohibited from listing”. On the other hand, it was revealed on January 22 that some of the kimonos that Harenohi left for washing and tailoring had been kept by a dealer in Kyoto Prefecture. In addition to purchased and rented items, it also included personal belongings and other personal belongings of customers because Harenohi didn’t finish payment for the dealer. However, as for kimono and furisode for the coming-of-age ceremony in 2018, the dealer said they were sent to the Harenohi without payment in order to prevent trouble on the day.

Reaction of other Japanese people

There was the kimono shop, Kimono no Nishimuro in Hachioji City, that rushed to the venue on the day of the event and helped them put on the kimono for new adults who suddenly couldn’t contact the vendor and were at a loss. There were many victims because there was a store of “Harenohi” in Hachioji City. Kimono no Nishimuro just saved victims some of whom were even in tears on the day of their coming-of-age ceremony and retrieved their smile again.

Also thanks to other cooperation of kimono-dressing companies, kimono shops, beauty salons, and volunteer staff, there were many new adults who were able to participate in the coming-of-age ceremony wearing festive kimono, even though they had suffered from sunny weather. Also on the same day, the Kyoto City publisher “Kimono and Jewelery”, which publishes kimono industry magazines, launched “Hare no Hi Co., Ltd. Victim’s Association” with the aim of reducing the burden on victims.

Shunsuke Matsuo, the company’s editor-in-chief, told Career Connection, “The kimono industry is vulnerable to rumors, and one store’s bad reputation affects the entire industry. I wanted you to know that not all the vendor was doing that kind of things.” In addition, in an interview with the Asahi Newspaper, he said, “I heard that some people have paid for university graduation ceremonies and coming-of-age ceremonies next year. I would like to expand my support, including litigation.” “Hare no Hi” (with a photo studio) in Saga Prefecture complained on their blog, “As a company with the same brand name, I would like to say something to the president. Wasn’t there any intention of staying until the end?”.

Additional Supports

Since then, the movement to support the victims has spread, and on January 12, Akihiro Nishino of the comedy duo “King Kong” called the “Revenge Coming-of-Age Ceremony” and covered the operating funds with crowdfunding, On February 4th, they announced that they would lend out furisode for free and invite them to a dinner on board at Yokohama Port, and which was actually carried out. On the same day, the “Hachioji Coming-of-Age Ceremony Gift Executive Committee” consisting of more than 100 volunteers, including hairdressers and kimono store owners, was formed, and on February 12 it was announced that at Olympus Hall Hachioji (the same venue as the coming-of-age ceremony on January 8) another coming-of-age ceremony for the victim would be held. In fact, Hachioji City also offered supports, and the mayor came to the event on the day.

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