Early this month, on Coming of Age day, where new adults across Japan return to their hometown to celebrate adulthood, one shop owner’s disappearance caused problems for many around the Tokyo and Yokohama area.
Hare no Hi, a shop specializing in kimono had been selling kimonos and taking orders for kimono dressing for the new adults as early as a year ago despite the company already facing financial trouble following declining sales and increased costs due to expansion then. The company is said to owe over US$10 million and when the owner found it impossible to continue running the business, he instructed staff at some outlets to stop running for business a day before Coming of Age day, leaving many new adults stranded, having no kimonos to wear despite having made reservations and paid for them. Staff at some of these supposedly closed shops actually voluntarily turned up to dress the customers for free despite not having received their salary for a couple of months. Such is the kindhearted Japanese people.
But the owner then disappeared and remained unreachable. That is until today, when he appeared, to hold a press conference and apologize for the trouble he’s caused. The company is in the midst of filing for bankruptcy and he said he had been staying at his friend’s place all this while.
It must have been quite disappointing for the new adults looking forward to that day and learn that they couldn’t don the beautiful kimonos and enjoy the day with their friends. While it indeed is a once-in-a-lifetime event, I think they will come to appreciate the silver lining in this incident, because they will be the ones with interesting stories to tell. After all, who wants to listen to stories of people with regularãdays?
Or perhaps I’m just the weirdo who appreciates having interesting stories over smooth events.