Meiji Shrine and Harajuku

Tradition and Westernization, 7 October 2018, Meiji Jingu

Meiji Shrine and Harajuku

We thank many guests joining this tour. On that day we welcomed 20 guests from UK, Australia , USA, Belgium, Spain, Nederland, and Indonesia and then we divided into 4 groups.


It was really a hot day, unbelievable in this time of the year. So the groom and the bride we saw should have felt very hot. Their costumes are typical Japanese Shinto Shrine wedding style.


However, a groom costume, black suite and gray stripe trousers is kind of, western. Black was never used as formal ceremony cloth color, even for funerals before modern period. In late 19th century when Japanese officials held western type ceremonies or parties, to get along with westerners attending ceremonies, black and gray color kimono became standard for men. Then black turned formal clothes color for every occasion in modern time. Some kind of adaptation of the West was seen, just like Meiji Emperor memorized in the shrine was actively acquiring western customs. Meiji Emperor was the first man who cut off folded hair on head to look after western men. In those days men without folded hair was considered outcast. So he became a model for modern Japanese men. Westernization was modernization in those days.

Let’s see and enjoy traditional and westernized Japan!