Year after year, new graduates of prestigious Kyoto University eschew the traditional suit or kimono in favor of their school's own custom: showing up at graduation in cosplay.

Whether it be game, anime, manga characters or just simply wearing silly outfits, the tradition is very much part of Kyoto University lore. This year, that tradition is coming to an end. Kyoto University is banning cosplay.

J-Cast reports that in an email sent out on March 18, the university stated that graduates will be prohibited from wearing "inappropriate costumes" and celebrate the graduation in a solemn and dignified fashion.

Those who show up in costume will be denied entrance to the graduation ceremony. Obviously, this won't affect the majority of grads, who typically show up in a suit or kimono. Those hoping to dress as Power Rangers, well, that's another story.


The decision to ban cosplay is causing a vocal reaction online, with many wondering what cosplaying at a university graduation has to do with the earthquake and tsunami. "Banning cosplay makes Kyoto U's graduation ceremony meaningless!" wrote one netizen. Others feel that the recent events are being used as an excuse to make changes.

The university's graduation will be held later this week on March 24. Certainly, at this point, Mario's overalls and hat or Char Aznable's helmet and cape must be considered part of Japan's national dress and not simply "cosplay"?


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