Kimono rental companies, photographers and individuals on social media are offering support to all new adults who couldn’t wear kimonos at their Coming-of-Age ceremony on Monday after Harenohi, a kimono rental company, failed to deliver the traditional wear to hundreds of women.
Police have so far received more than 700 complaints after Harenohi halted its operations on Jan 8 and its managers disappeared just before the ceremonies, Kyodo reported. Many victims paid more than 300,000 yen to the rental service firm, and were left distraught when they were unable to take part in ceremonies and have their photos taken with their family and friends.
In response to the situation, Kimono Hearts, which rents and sells furisode (kimono worn by single women) and hakama (for men), has offered to provide free kimono and assistance in putting them on to anyone who can prove that they had a contract with Harenohi for this year, NHK reported. While the service usually costs around 200,000 yen, the company -- which has stores across Japan -- said it will offer its services free of charge for the young adults who were left disappointed as a result of Harenohi’s scam.
“It is such a sad thing,” Kimono Hearts President Hiroyuki Fujibayashi told NHK. “This is something that should never happen. We would like to offer our support to all people who have suffered as a result of this.”
Makoto Kamizaki, a photographer based in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, also offered support by announcing that he will take free portrait photos of all victims of Harenohi.
“I can’t do anything else but take photos, but I would like to offer free portraits for those who wish to wear a furisode,” he wrote on his blog.
Among them is Inspire Space, a kimono rental company based in Tokyo's Hiroo, which is offering a completely free full package by providing kimonos, support on how to put them on, hair styling and makeup and photos for a limited time in January.
One Twitter user also posted that she is offering her own kimono to anyone who wishes to wear it.
“I can’t forgive Harenohi! I have only one kimono, but I can lend it for free to anyone (who has been deceived by Harenohi),” she wrote on her Twitter account along with a photo of her kimono.
Harenohi, established in October 2008, has stores in Yokohama, as well as Tokyo's Hachioji, Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, and the city of Fukuoka. All the stores are closed and the president's whereabouts are unknown. The company is reported to have more than 600 million yen in debts, according to a credit research company Tokyo Shoko Research.© Japan Today