Saturday, July 11, 2015

Japanese people talk about whether it's okay for foreigners to wear kimono

Found some videos on YouTube last night that I had to share. I don't know if all Japanese people would agree but it seems like Japanese people may not have a sense of cultural appropriation as a thing.

American Rachel and her Japanese husband Jun discuss when, where, and how it's appropriate for foreigners to wear kimono. Conclusion: anytime, anywhere, and even "incorrectly" is okay. Jun pointed out that many Japanese people don't know much about kimono history or even how to put them on and go to photo studios to be professionally dressed and photographed. Check out their blog here. Video is in English.

Zach didn't get all the facts straight but he got some interesting comments from Japanese friends at Sophia University in Tokyo where he goes to school. Kyosuke pointed out that in Japan people don't wear kimono regularly so when they do, they take a picture, so he thinks it's understandable that foreigners would want to do the same and he thinks that's fine.

Sachiko brought up Katy Perry's AMA performance and said she didn't think it was racist. I hadn't given any thought to what Japanese people would think of her performance before I wrote my critique, but after I'd finished, I emailed a Japanese friend and asked her. She was not at all offended by the performance.

Video is mostly in English with English subtitles when Japanese is spoken.

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