Why do Japanese kids, especially girls, wear hakama when they graduate college?

I really should have guessed the answer to this, but it's basically the same phenomenon as Western academic regalia. According Wikipedia, hakama were a common designated uniform for female college (ish) students from the Meiji to early Shouwa period, and they've managed to linger on until now as graduationwear.

Incidentally, although this is also from Wikipedia, the world-famous sailor suit high school outfits date back to the late 1800s for male students (the collar a few years earlier) and the early 1920s for their female counterpart -- which is to say, as militarism really began to get a-chugging, the nation clad even its female young in navy uniforms.

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A lot more interesting than the western black tents - mind you probably a lot more work to get up in.


Yeah, cause you wear them OVER kimono. That means they're kimono hassle + extra hakama hassle.. no wonder they stopped being for everyday.

It's interesting that originally they were just plain old brown or purple hakama, maybe striped, and nowadays they're basically as decorative and/or gaudy as you want to go... kind of like if at western graduations the rule was that you had to wear a big tent and a square hat, but it could be any color or pattern you like.

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