Companies, individuals offer free kimono wear, portraits to victims of Harenohi scam


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.

A number of other individuals and companies are also offering support in various ways on social media through the hashtag #harenohi or #はれのひ in Japanese.

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.

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Heartwarming response from these companies and individuals; it will go a long, long way to removing the disappointment of their 'Coming of Age' day.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

I am moved by the offers put forth to make sure these victims have an opportunity to enjoy a special right of passage. Cheers!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not all the parents could afford or even rent such a gorgeous kimonos for their daughters on the coming of age day. When I think about their feelings, my mind is mixed.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This is nice of others to pick and make attempts to brighten a young girls dreams, unfortunately the reality being is that no amount of sympathy, yen or attempts can turn back that clock to that young girls eyes, hopes and dreams. It is very dishonorable and shameful to do this to someone's daughter and the cower and run rather than brave the backlash and face punishment. My best to the girls and if I had a time machine I would gladly change back the clock and find a way to make things better for them.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

THIS is what charity looks like. THIS is what giving looks like. THESE are the types of actions that should be celebrated!! Individuals and businesses stepping in to help.


13 ( +13 / -0 )

How can we all help? Is there a gofundme page?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

BJ: Your point is well received. However, we cannot unring a bell. We can offer support to ease the pain and disappointment.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Where are the managers of harenohi hiding? Fled abroad? They need to be caught and punished. They obviously already spent the money.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Wow! That is true Japanese 'omotenashi'! A huge kudos to these companies!

However, what about the scumbag president of Harehoni? Where is he? Has he done a NOVA and skipped off to the Canary Islands with the cash?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Owners better hope that none of the the girls affected were daughters or grandaughters of Yakuza bosses!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I very much doubt a yak boss would actually be renting a kimono. My wife's late grandfather was one and he didn't rent anything.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm glad they'll eventually get their happy ending. I hope we can all come together on issues like this, and more serious ones as well.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Kimonos are no longer so popular in Japan. Usually customers are old or tourists and weddings. Many are struggling and living in debt. It’s a shame. Nothing is greater than the shuffle of beautiful women in traditional clothes, or men too.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There is nothing worse then have a one off special day ruined like this, If I was the police I would be on the case of the boss of Harenohi, I would find out his name, where he lived, etc then I would check out to see if he's skipped the country by checking all of the air ports flight details, or if he's not at home, ask NHK to put out for an appeal to find out where he is. its pretty obvious what his game plan was.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nice gesture by all involved.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Things like this really restore confidence in human nature.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

KniknaknokkaerToday 05:58 pm JST

I very much doubt a yak boss would actually be renting a kimono. My wife's late grandfather was one and he didn't rent anything.

My comment was a joke.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Very classy for decent people to step up and try to take some of the sting out of what those Harenohi crooks did.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It looks like the president of Harenohi company successfully run away with their money, but he can't run away and hide somewhere forever. It seems only matter of time for him to get arrested. His nice photos and informations we can see are all over Japan. He may kill himself before arrested as he probably can't apologize in font of people too shamefully.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow, really nice how people are helping. So generous.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

warm my heart.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good PR.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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