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University Bans Cosplay


Kyoto University’s decision to ban its long-standing tradition of graduation ceremony cosplay has been the subject of some concern amongst disappointed students and the wider Internet.

Kyoto University’s impending graduation ceremonies, due on the 24th, traditionally and quite famously involved plenty of gaudy cosplay, but the university has just banned the practice.


In light of the recent quake (none of the effects of which have been felt in Japan’s western half), the university warned graduating students that “you must refrain completely from any inappropriate costume or related activities, and celebrate your graduation in a solemn and dignified manner.”

Students who disobey the missive are in danger of being thrown out – “entry may be refused to the inappropriately dressed.”

As a long-standing and popular tradition peculiar to Kyoto University, there has been some disappointment and discontent about the cancellation expressed online amongst students and others:

“Our university tradition…”

“What’s the worth of the ceremony without cosplay!?”

“I find the fact they’d even send a mail like this pretty weird.”

The wider Internet (and lately a number of companies) is becoming increasingly concerned with the latest boom in “self-restraint” cancellations, not least when they affect regions hitherto unscathed by the quake and have negligible to non-existent benefits for those actually suffering:

“The people hit by the quake are unlikely to care whether they graduate normally or cosplay or whatever else.”

“If they don’t cosplay, will it help the quake victims?”

“It has nothing to do with any of that – let ’em do it!”

“This is a really bad trend…”

“Why are they cosplaying in their graduation ceremony? Are they idiots?”

“They only get to graduate once in their life so it’s quite sad really.”

“At least give them that… it’s an important memory and has nothing to do with the quake.”

“This year Hanami is also cancelled.”

“This spirit of cancelling everything in ‘self-restraint’ over the whole nation is really pointless. In fact it’ll only backfire… if you keep robbing people of their pleasures nobody will be able to recover.”

“How about forcing them all to wear Japanese clothes?”

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  • I can see their point in wanting to keep things dignified. They don’t want other people saying ‘look they’re being disrespectful and silly while we’re working our butts off to recover!!(angry face and pitchforks)’. It’s silly, and stupid and peer pressure but that’s the way i see it.
    What i’m wondering is how long this is going to go for. If they’ve let this form of celebration go on for so long one would imagine that they don’t have anything against it. Hopefully they don’t get so spooked that they cancel it all together.
    Good on ‘m for sticking with the tradition for so long, though. I’m kinda disappointed that more Universities aren’t like this 😀

  • I imagine the deans at Kyoto U have some big, self-praising speech lined up about how compassionate they are to the folks of East Japan, and they’ll spend a few hours patting themselves on the back for that. They’re worried their self-congratulatory seriousness will be hamstrung by men dressed up as lolis in the crowd. A lot of the graduates will already be lined up for a job as a salaryman before the ceremy. It’s a damn shame their fun college days can’t go out in style.

  • this is all ishihara’s fault!! he’s like a fucking prophet and those idiot japanese deans or w/e those assholes are called are falling for him like flies!!! get a brain you old japs!! you’re not helping in these situations! the graduates wanna smile and work hard after this once in a lifetime event despite what happend, you wanna take that away?! go die!! fools!!!

  • All the restrains and bans are nothing more than government public control, something they can’t usual do before the disaster, a normal way of getting over a tragedy is moving on and acting normal however the higher ups have no gotten this message and are instead leaving ridiculous statements and restraints, guess this is how the cookie crumble =\

  • Someone tells me that due to the tsunami, all the trolls of Japan came out and are trying to make everyone feel even more shitty. Come on! It’s just cosplay! I mean the dead is dead, they will never return your show of respect whatever you do. Trying to be solemn is good but being an emo and all proper is counterproductive….

    You can still cosplay solemnly:Try wearing a gundam uniform of EAF or ZAFT. Or you can even wear something like Saito’s from ZnT.

  • That’s stupid!

    In times like these people need to keep their spirits up and banning anything and everything fun doesn’t help!

    It’s not disrespectful for people to have something to enjoy to make them feel happy, even if it’s only for a little while! This is a once in a lifetime thing in this situation. Let them have this little bit of normalcy!

  • Question. After a natural disaster the things a country should do is rebuild and make a return to normalcy as soon as possible, yes?

    If this is so, than all of these “self-restraint” bans are gonna do the exact opposite. If multiple things are being pulled due to “self-restraint”, it gives the public the opinion that things the situation is very bad. Whether or not the situation is bad is the truth, keeping public morale high during times like this is paramount. People want normalcy. When things are being pulled for arbitrary reasons like this, it gives the public the feeling that things are not normal, therefore things are bad. When the public feels a situation is going from bad to worse, you will start to induce public apathy. In essence, you need to maintain the illusion of normalcy even if the situation isn’t normal, because when the public believes that the situation is bad or going bad to worse, you risk inducing widespread apathy and public unrest, which by extension make a true return to normalcy even harder.

    But even on less of a socio-political level, what is wrong with this tradition? Piousness and ceremony will not help people who were actually affected by the tsunami/quake. The only purpose those things truly serve is to make yourself feel good. Wearing a tux and dress shoes will not rebuild the houses in Sendai, nor will it fix the problems with the Fukushima reactor. The only thing that will help them is food, water, shelter and money to rebuild, not a misplaced sense of dignity, much less a black tie dress code.

    What the students of Kyoto U decide to wear on their graduation ceremonies is not going to affect the ground zero areas in the slightest. If they want to cosplay, let them fucking cosplay is what I say.

  • I was just thinking that this “self-restraint” order is quite the welcome cop-out when it comes to silencing the masses and forcing them into line.

    What’s next? Will they completely forbid any form of entertainment because TEPCO is a fucking mess and the government can’t coordinate a proper relief for the refugees. Seriously, the situation for these people is just as much a catastrophe as the tsunami. Why are there no major food and goods convoys going back and forth? Why are the foreign helpers sent back home when they could help in the camps?

    But NO. Apparently it’s much more relevant to force cosplayers into obedience. The fuck.

  • Bah I would love to see goofy coustumes. Graduations are pointless boring affairs. I’d avoid the whole thing if I could especially if there was a precednt of them being fun and goofy which no longer the case.

  • “This spirit of cancelling everything in ‘self-restraint’ over the whole nation is really pointless. In fact it’ll only backfire… if you keep robbing people of their pleasures nobody will be able to recover.”

    At least someone over there gets it.

  • So sad. I bet a lot of students were looking forward to that and preparing for it, and now they don’t get to have that happy graduation memory. Tragic times like these are when small pieces of happiness like that are needed the most.

    Japan, remember to smile! Smile for those who can’t do it any more!

  • Those are cool costumes… But what if they DO cosplay at grad? Will they expel them after they’ve paid tuition, passed all the courses, earned all the appropriate credits, and everything else? I know it’s Japan, but I’d still expect them to be sued to shambles for a stunt like that.

  • I think it’s sad that they don’t get to cosplay. think about it. This is probably the last time they can openly display their otakuness and just be silly before they enter the working world forever where people see such activities more unfavourably once you are in the rat race. It’s like a bach’s party before the wedding, and it’s a shame this year’s batch won’t get to have that experience.

  • I kinda agree that this has the opposite effect, they should be allowed to have some fun in midst of things… I think even the quake victims might be a little “happier” if they saw people(like kids especially) still have fun despite everything. Not sure if they’d like cosplay but I mean “having fun” in general. And what’s the point of making everyone in the damn country depressed, I get a day of mourning and the like but… Sheesh…

  • “This spirit of canceling everything in ‘self-restraint’ over the whole nation is really pointless. In fact it’ll only backfire… if you keep robbing people of their pleasures nobody will be able to recover.”

    This is exactly what I think…
    What is there to do now except stay hulled up
    wherever you are and wait for the end~?

  • i consider graduations a fucking stupid ceremony to give you a damn piece of paper, its a useless loss of time, even more if you really dont care about it, imo just give me my damn paper and lets get over it. if the wanna cosplay, go naked or w.e at least its the only fun you’d get in that shitty procedure calle graduation

      • yo anon 8:08, having friends doesnt mean shit. Do you and your bros sit around in your garage for a few hours waiting to get up the nerve to profess love for eachother?

        Ceremonies are for people who put too much into the system. Get your fucking heads out of the matrix and take a look around. Your accomplishments are all the fucking things you did to earn that paper, not the ceremony. Who gives a shit about celebrating with people. PEOPLE didn’t finish school, I DID.

        I skipped my high school ceremony and when I graduate university next year I’m going to abstain too. I don’t go to school to pump myself up in front of a bunch of prick ass kids and their proud parents who paid for them so they don’t put them in a home. Top it off with the assholes who use my tuition to live like kings. I never see them, but now Im honoured to accept a paper from them.

        They should bow to us since we are the ones who support there lifestyles. Not to mention ceremonies always involve the kids who kissed as much ass a possible being the features. And guess what, the kids who never fit in sit like mooks and pretend like they matter, and no one gives a shit about them.

        graduation ceremonies are the topping off to years spent slaving to the system and feeding the system. Staunchly defending them means you support herding and egotistical attention seeking gratification as opposed to hardwork, sacrifice and humility.

        TL:DR version: graduating in silence is what real men do
        Boom, Winning

        • Oh ho ho, look who’s talking. I actually graduated a GOOD university and got a good job and i also attended the ceremony but i would never disgrace myself or my university with such an outfit. I did party AFTER the ceremony though.
          You mister actually look like some frustrated teenager or someone who never had ANYTHING to do with a GOOD university or you would be more relaxed, just as i am now XD

        • I didn’t work hard to graduate to sit for hours listening to some smartass valedictorian say a speech in three languages and then wait as people are slowly called on by one to walk in a damn circle and shake a hand… I did it to be better paid and hopefully better skilled.

          What would make this droll merry-go-round a bit more entertaining for all? Call a name and have Lelouch ala Zero stand up and take the stage followed by the thought, holy crap that’s them? Not only would it make people who had not as much to do with each other at least remember names a bit better, you’d have a whole slew of people doing this.

        • Damn, I think you stupid guys even hadn’t got the chance to finish a degree. Graduating is one of the most important highlight of life especially for Japanese, for they value education and honor almost over everything. It’s all the hard work -attending all those classes and cramming up to finish a term paper- getting paid off. If you are just someone who just envious of us who are privileged to study in a good university, then think again. Its not our fault why you shitty bastards got a low IQ or completely dependent on your parents like babies,but its your fault in the first place because you are born to be stupid.

          Ceremony is waste of time? No. Sitting on front of the computer and trolling in this site is surely the real waste of time.

      • Lol. I wagged my High School graduation and went the net cafe with my friends. Only to realize I got a award. Well it wasn’t important(1st in physic) because it didn’t mean anything and the teachers didn’t care too much either. I think they knew there were lots of wagers.

        Anyway, it was a 5-6 hour long ceremoney, 4 previous years I was there(all student must attend senior student graduation ceremony), felt like my ass loss blood flow and went numb.

      • Personally, I found high school graduation pointless for me. I could have picked up an extra shift at work and made some money, and it was a small class anyway, so I saw no point.

        Until my teacher told me off for wanting to skip it. “It`s not for you, dumbass, it`s for your parents to see you finish something. For most of the kids up there, this is it for them, so at least their parents can see them accomplish *something* with their lives.“

        So I went.

        • In my case even this does not apply.
          My parents went to high school graduation.
          But bachelors and master graduation?
          Fuck that. It’s just some sitting around and waiting for you name to be called.

          I can go celebrate with my friends later on.
          I guess they will come when I finish my PHD.

  • no cosplay graduation but cosplay party after graduation rites would be nice…

    they have reason to celebrate a solemn graduation more than any time. And hey, those guys should be honored that they’re celebrating their graduation rites in a special manner. It’s already going to be written in their history books.

  • These people have spent years and a crap-ton of money at your university trying to get degrees and such, and the one time where they can goof off, have some fun, and enjoy their last few moments of fun with their class mates, and you want to ban it from them!?

    Fuck you Kyoto University.

    • I’m a bit more concerned with some companies (Nintendo as an example, their HQ ironically situated in Kyoto as well) expecting employees to attend drinking parties. What joy is there in drinking when you are “forced” to do it on your “free” time? Doctors also seem to be rather eager in prescribing stimulants to anyone having issues keeping up and, if you’re American, the typical diagnosis they might (maybe more than might?) give you is “you’re fat”. The source I’m using includes but is not limited to someone I know that works for Nintendo. I forgot where the other sources come from…I wonder if I had other sources…yes, I think I did, let’s say I did.

  • Whats next? Self flagellation with chains?
    Looks more like the bureaucrats are more concerned over appearances and “what it would look like” than anything else.
    Doing what you normally would do shows the country is strong and resilient.
    Say YES! to Cosplay!

  • They don’t say any word regarding Ishithara and the rest of the “It’s Karma” faggots as insulting the Tsunami victims yet they take this as being insensitive to the tragedy? Way to go, “We just want to be Normies like the rest of the world” University.

  • Kyoto U is famous for it’s freedom and now they are banning shit? That isn’t cool.

    Trying to act like shitty East Japan now?


    • Not that any of us have ever had a graduation like this, but it sucks that they’re cancelling their unique tradition in a misaimed attempt to be respectful. Yes, the disaster was horrible, but completely cutting off fun isn’t helping those that need it in the least, and makes life worse for those who weren’t affected.

      Then again, I’m generally of the opinion that people take life far too seriously, so maybe I’m an outlier with my views.

    • Man that sucks no cosplay means a boring old ceremony full of “don’t do this” and “don’t do that”…



        • the area might not be affected but most of the student there might suffer some loss from the quake.

          so what makes them think adding restriction on one of the student’s most awaited day would make them feel delighted?

        • So let’s get this straight: What if I was a Japanese student from Kyoto Uni. who at the time of the earthquake was in one of the affected areas. Life is a piece of sour-shit nowadays and the one thing I’m looking forward to is to graduate and have fun with my friends cosplaying during the ceremony but they’re gonna take that away from me too?

          You’re an idiot. Graduating from university IS a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

  • “How about forcing them all to wear Japanese clothes?”

    Hmm…smells like Japan is going to become the next North Korea in the light of the quake and Tokyo loli ban. Hope I’m wrong.

  • I love the old “something bad happened so we’ll shit on all of you so you’re all fucking miserable and have no hope of a positive event to lift your hope.”

    The students just shouldn’t bother turning up, if it’s like most countries you can just get the certificate sent to you afterwards anyway. Go to be a big fucking party outside the hall instead.

    • Always done that myself. Those events around here aren’t meant to be fun, but long and boring instead. I had more fun grabbing a celebration pint with my pals in the local pub instead.

  • The logic of some comments here are grossly incomprehensible, I mean there is no point going to your graduation ceremony because there is no “fun” really?

    If you have no respect for your university and aren’t willing show up for 1hr to pay your thanks than clearly your university is a shithole and you shouldn’t be there in the first place.

    • i take it you’ve never graduated from university before.

      because if you had you’d know how out of touch with reality your comment is versus a lot of university graduation ceremonies in this world.

  • well maybe this quake awoke a lot of people, and their message with all these increasing “restrains” as you call them is just a message: it’s time to grow up, and to be more mature in life, 1 of the things japan is known is cartoons as the unknowing call them, other things would be, it has a high rate of rapes and there was a post sometime ago with “1 of 500 women is a whore” or something like that and “10% of japans population is an otaku(i can’t really remeber the procentage now but it was a post on this site)” all these are happening in japan. so put away your “anime needs”(which are just a way to run away from life) and go out and do something productive…you creeps

    • You sir are a fucking ignorant moron, who clearly has no idea wtf he is talking about or even know, so you are right about 2 things someone needs to wake up and get mature and that clearly is you, so please do and while your at it go and ACTUALLY learn some real statics and how life really works as you clearly are not using yours properly.

    • even though the facts are that Japan has the lowest violent crime rate in the world, and an equally low rape rate that none of you xenophobic feminist groups have EVER been able to prove otherwise (meanwhile your bastion European nations have THE HIGHEST rape rates outside of Africa); right, Japan needs to wake up.

      1 thing they’re known for is cartoons.

      the other things MOST people know them for is producing 40% of the world’s electronics components.
      and being the 3rd largest economy in the world.

      Japan’s wallowing in lazy non-productivity.

      put away you ignorance needs, it’s only a way to run away from the fact that you’re an idiot who refuses to stop being an idiot.

      the worse type of moron in this world, and unfortunately there are a lot of them, are the ones that try to justify their stupidity instead of educating themselves and not being stupid anymore.

      ignorant morons like you are the ones who need to spend some time actually being productive.
      a good place to start would be to actually learn about the world around you, that way when you try to do something good for the world you actually have a clue what you’re doing… you retard

      • World rape rate statistics tend tbe a little… off.

        For instance you have large numbers of rape reported in places like Sweden where not wearing a condom during consensual sex can later be reported as rape and low numbers in African countries where people don’t report it because rape is like their way of saying hello over there.