Souvenir Kimono: Not genuine, but…

The 2nd Monday in January is Coming Of Age Day in Japan. 20-year-old celebration ceremonies are held all over Japan. Many girls gather and attend it in kimono, so you will see young people in kimono in streets on that day.

In Asakusa, and souvenir shops anywhere in Japan, I see a lot of souvenir kimonos.

But I must tell you the FACT from the viewpoint of a Japanese local. I must categorize those kimonos as “souvenir kimono.”

Souvenir kimonos in Nakamise Street, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan

Actually, their texture, style, colors and patterns aren’t… ANYTHING. Japanese, Taiwanese, Chinese and maybe Vietnamese are mixed, I think. I promise that any Japanese person feels so! If you are from foreign country, especially out of East Asia, you don’t assume that they are real Japanese things, and you can avoid embarrassing situations at home. You are lucky to find Tokyo Direct Diary, aren’t you?

How does a genuine kimono look like, then?

Today’s people go to Wikipedia in cases like this.

Credit: (By No machine-readable author provided. Lukacs~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY 2.5,

See the differences?

Genuine kimonos are made of silk and dyed by professional dyers. They are so beautiful, but the problem is that they are too expensive for a souvenir. (Expensive ones cost over 1 million yen!) Moreover, it is too difficult to put on a kimono by oneself, so a professional dresser is necessary.

Compared with genuine kimonos, souvenir kimonos are cheap (I’m not sure but around 5000 yen) and deadly easy to put on (of course I can put it on by myself).

MY conclusion is that both kimonos are OK in each way.
These days, souvenir kimonos are getting popular among Japanese 20-year-old guys attending the ceremony because they look kind of COOL. It is a great thing to be popular, don’t you think so?

When something is in front of me, I want to judge whether it is good or needless on my own. Not by whether it is genuine. Not by the price.

Thanks for reading!

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