Photo/IllutrationAkihiro Nishino, a member of the comedy duo King Kong, stands at the tip of a phalanx of new adults wearing kimono or dresses on Feb. 4 in Yokohama’s Naka Ward. (Koyuru Kinoshita)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

YOKOHAMA--A celebrity comedian hosted a party on a ship Feb. 4 for victims of the Harenohi debacle, which left many young women all at sea with no special kimono to wear on Coming-of-Age Day.

Harenohi, a kimono sales and rental company based in Yokohama, shut down outlets on Jan. 8, the day in question.

The closures ruined the event for many new adults who could not get hold of a traditional long-sleeved “furisode” kimono and enjoy the accompanying “kitsuke” dress-up service.

So Akihiro Nishino, a member of the comedy duo King Kong, hosted the special event at Yokohama Port.

About 100 victims of the Harenohi debacle attended the event.

They were dressed up in rental kimono and dresses and had their photos taken--all free-of-charge.

Nishino put on the event in collaboration with kimono rental retailers and cruise ship operators.

One example of a woman let down by the closure of Harenohi was a 20-year-old woman from Tokyo's Hachioji city. She attended the ship event with her partner who is also a new adult.

She had placed an order for a white kimono with a green design with an outlet of Harenohi two years ago.

Around 6 a.m. on Jan. 8, the woman received a call from her acquaintance saying the Harenohi outlet had been shut down and could not provide her with the kimono. Although her mother and others asked around and managed to borrow a kimono, she was only able to attend the once-in-a-lifetime ceremony for the last few minutes.

At the special event on the ship, she chose a yellow kimono and had her photograph taken.

“I was glad to be able to wear a different kimono (from one in the official ceremony). Many people helped me at both the official ceremony that day and today,” she said, smiling.

Nishino told the new adults on the ship: “Many people were thinking about doing something to help the situation, and I kind of became the catalyst. That incident was not good news, but the (nightmare) ended today. Let’s smile with joy.”

On Jan. 26, the president of Harenohi apologized at a news conference in Yokohama after 18 days in hiding.