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Published on 06.03.2016
In this video, Rachel and Jun discuss the recent controversy surrounding the Boston Museum of Fine Art's kimono-wearing event. The event was canceled due to protestors who claimed that trying on a kimono was a form of "cultural appropriation," and held signs that said things like: “Try on the kimono, learn what it’s like to be a racist imperialist !!!today!!!” or "decolonize our museums!" In America, it seems like when you do things like wear a kimono, in an attempt to try explore another culture, you have to constantly worry about people assaulting you for "cultural appropriation." But please be assured that you don't have to worry about such nonsense in Japan.
According to Jun, and the opinions of Japanese in the comment section, people living in Japan actually want you to wear kimono. Japanese people take great pride in seeing their people have fun wearing kimono and exploring other aspects of Japanese culture. Please don't be shy buy a Japanese kimono as a souvenir, or even go to a festival wearing a kimono while you are in Japan. Most Japanese people love it when people take interest in their culture and language, so there is a definite gap in what Asian-Americans find offensive, versus what people who are actually from Japan find offensive.
One of the Japanese commentors on Rachel and Jun's video said something interesting: "Am I, as a Japanese person, considered racist for wearing western-style clothes such as T-shirts and jeans?" Cultures are meant to be shared and exchanged, and those in Japan want their culture to be explored thoroughly by foreigners. Never hesitate to experience the unique culture of Japan, as doing just that is what makes the people of Japan happy and full of pride.