Graduation ceremonies are typically a formal affair. In American universities, students wear caps and gowns, and sometimes add a little flare to their attire by embellishing the cap. But, it doesn’t go much further than that.
Kyoto University is one of the top-ranked universities in Japan. It’s the second-best global university in Japan and the seventh-best global university in Asia. You would think that for being such a prestigious school, their graduation ceremony would be very proper. However, the officials at Kyoto let their students have some fun on their graduation day.
Kyoto University lets their graduating students dress up in cosplay for the ceremony. There’s a wide range of costumes, from manga characters to inanimate objects to favorite superheroes. Unfortunately, I have no idea what these guys are dressed up as. [Editor's note: Please let us know in the comments. Educate us!]
Kyoto University attracts some students solely based on this graduation tradition.
“When my daughter was in high school, she learned that the graduation ceremony at Kyoto University looked very fun, so she chose to go there,” said the mother of a student who dressed as Queen Amidala. “Because of this, she’s been saying from the first day of her university: ‘Since I was able t get into Kyoto University, I want to dress up on my graduation day.”
Speaking of Queen Amidala, there she is sitting in the front row. As you can see, there is a mix of students in costume and the majority of students are wearing traditional graduation clothing.
“I think there are many opinion of wearing costumes at a solemn ceremony, but as a parent, it was fun to see how everyone – both students in suits or hakama and costumes – seemed to enjoy,” said Queen Amidala’s mom.
However, the tradition was briefly banned in 2011. School officials sent out an email warning students that wearing “inappropriate costumes” would be denied entry to the ceremony. However, many students protested, and the ban was repealed.
While the tradition is fun, does it seem to go a bit overboard? Graduation ceremonies are usually formal. It's honoring the hard work grads have put into four years of studying. You’re honoring the academic institution. Does this seems to make a bit of a joke out of the whole thing?
See? This just seems like it’s going too far. You’re going to walk up and get your diploma completely shirtless and with a big mascot mask over your head? First off, you can’t be properly identified. Second, how is the person handing you the diploma supposed to take you seriously in that getup?
Some of the costumes are rather complex and bulky, too. These guys look like they made their own elaborate beer bottle costumes out of cardboard boxes. I hope they at least took them off for when they were sitting and waiting to be called up for their diplomas. Otherwise, it sucks for the people sitting behind them.
Even Jesus made it to the Kyoto graduation ceremony. I wonder what his degree was in. Probably religion or philosophy, right? But by the looks of this cosplay, Jesus is really into gaming. So maybe something more technical?
What’s good about this costume and the above costumes, is that you don’t have to fully commit to them if you don’t want to. These guys are all wearing formal attire under their costumes, so that if they wanted, they could leave the cosplay for the cameras outside, and look more proper for the actual ceremony.
Unlike real life, where you have to look proper 24/7...stupid life.