+Whitney Yee I went to go research about Hakama, like I promised. There's a wikipedia page, but it has the "additional verification" thing needed so I searched in Japanese instead. According to this page: a hakama is something worn over the kimono (for girls). There are two types of hakama like 馬乗袴 (umanoribakama) and 行灯袴 (andonbakama). The hakama for males are different too.
As for its history, it was first worn in the 古墳時代 (kofun era) as a sort of trousers. In the Heian period (平安時代), girls of high status started to wear them. And then it was banned in the Edo period, except for court ladies. And then I think it started trending in the Meiji era. And now it's what most girls wear for their graduation.
Luckily, I had my own kimono, so all I needed to do was to rent the Hakama (which was more like a skirt than pants) and have my hair done. Final version:
I just realised that I only asked one friend if I could upload the photos I took to this blog, so I guess it'll be scant on photos of people wearing Hakama >< Sorry everyone!
The ceremony was held at this hall and only students were allowed in. Family and guests had to go to lecture hall to watch from the TV screen.
|Luckily my bear made it in! It's a present from my cousin :D|
The ceremony was split into two sessions. The morning one was for everyone and the reason why I didn't get enough sleep (because it's held at Ito campus, thus adding to the travel time). The ceremony started with a performance by the philharmonic orchestra. Next, we "received" our degrees, with one person (the one with the highest GPA) from each faculty representing all the students in said faculty. After that, the principal made a speech that was basically "here is what happened in the past and here is what we're aiming for" and then one student rep made a speech on our four years of uni life. After that it was time for the various awards for extra-curricular activities and special programs and the entire thing was done in an hour!
Also, my friend looked really pretty and we all gathered to take photos of her (and then with her) and she said I could post the photo here!
The afternoon "ceremony" was really just us getting our certs and the school making sure we returned our student IDs and filled out the "what are you doing after graduation" forms. Oh, and we were heavily encouraged to join the Old Boys/Girls' Association, and I have no idea if I did or did not.
I actually thought it was pretty nice of the school to give me an English copy of my graduation cert, since everyone else only got the Japanese version.
And this marks the end of my university journey. I can't believe that it's been five years in total - it feels like I just started this blog last year or something (and then I get asked something about my application to MEXT, realise I've forgotten and then I feel the five years). I have been extremely lucky to meet tons of amazing people who have been incredibly supportive and friendly. If it weren't for them, I probably would not have done as well in school and I probably would have had a pretty miserable time as well. And though it was pretty tiring to take two zemis at one go, I am glad to have taken them and worked with my classmates and I would absolutely do the same thing again in a heartbeat.
To end things on a practical note: I rushed to the immigration office right after the ceremony (arrive 20 minutes before it closed) because I needed proof of graduation to change my visa status and my company wanted me to change it as soon as possible. Luckily, I managed to get it done and I'm getting ready to start working in Japan!