Crowd in China Harasses Women for Wearing Kimonos

March 26, 2009 Updated: March 27, 2009

A crowd of students and others at Wuhan University in central China shouted abuse at a pair of ladies posing for photographs in Japanese kimonos, on March 23

The students yelled such things as, “Don’t take photos in kimonos at Wuhan University!” and “Japanese in kimonos: get out of here!”

A photographer and a young woman accompanied the ladies, according to the Changjiang Times. They all spoke with a Wuhan accent. The group stayed in a grove of cherry trees for about ten minutes, taking photographs. Their attire quickly drew attention from the public.

Suddenly one young man shouted at them, “Don’t take photos in kimono dress at Wuhan University!” … “Japanese in kimonos: get out of here!” A young woman then joined in the shouting. Their shouts caught the attention of passersby, and a crowd gathered.

The two females were intimidated, so they fled the arera. The hecklers followed them.Within minutes, dozens of young people started to criticize and taunt them. Other citizens also joined in, expressing their anger. The denouncing voices escalated and grew more agitated.

A Changjiang Times reporter asked on of the women why they wore kimonos in the cherry tree grove. The women, who would not reveal their names, replied: “We just thought it would look good to take photos in kimonos. We had no other thought or intention.”

The reporter interviewed a young woman who had participated in shouting at the two, She remarked, “Although the kimono has its beauty, it is after all Japanese dress. So it made us uncomfortable, causing strange feelings.”

Some students viewed the incident as just a personal, random act and felt that others should not have interfered.

Read this article in Chinese.