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  • Writer's picturejuju925

Kosupure Graduation at Kyoto University

Updated: May 3

Kosupure has become one of the most well-known Japanese words in the last years and there are many cosplay festivals around the world nowadays.

Maybe you think Kosupure is something common among Japanese and it's not. That is why the graduation ceremony of Kyoto University is as curious as you are for Japanese people.

Kyoto University is one of the top universities in Japan. It's ranked at 46th of 1,497 universities in the world according to QS World University Rankings in 2024. Also Kyoto University is one of the most old universities in Japan (Founded in 1897 as the Kyoto Imperial University). In a way, it's a quite traditional university. And how come this university has become gone wild with their graduation ceremony?

Kyoto University consider creative thinking as the core of universities and its policy is freedom. It has a long tradition of anti-authoritarianism. Therefore, the university encourages students to express themselves as they like, The graduation is the reflection of this way of thinking. Even if the university prohibited Kosupure, the students would do it anyway if they have learnt the principle.

The freedom doesn't just be expressed in Kosupure but on the statue of Orita Sensei (折田彦市), the first principal of the Third Higher School in old system, which was the former Kyoto University. I wonder if Orita sensei would be happy to see his statue vandalised.

Graffiti got escalated in the late 80s and alternative figures have been introduced in the late 90s. The real Orita statue has been kept in a safe place now.

So this is the story behind Kosupure graduation ceremony in Japan. There are a few universities where allow students to disguise and Kyoto University is one of the most known one. However this is not yet an usual graduation style in Japan. Even some students of Kyoto University don't feel the need for it. But it's definitely fun to see and give us some smile for sure!


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