Kimono rental shop that went bust had significant debt amid fierce industry competition: sources
Japan Times -- Jan 11
Details emerged Wednesday about significant debts faced by a kimono rental firm that went bust just before Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies, leaving scores of women celebrating adulthood without their formal attire.

The Yokohama-based company, Harenohi, was behind on payments, a credit research firm said, with a sharp increase in delays over the last six months. Unpaid bills were said to go back as far as a year.

“Harenohi’s finances must have worsened well before the payment delays,” said an official from the credit research company. “The firm should have been able to predict its bankruptcy, so it seems malicious that it waited” this long to cease operations.

A Kyoto kimono trading firm which had been supplying Harenohi suspended the relationship around the summer of 2016 due to late payments. Despite repeated requests for payment, the Kyoto firm says it has an irrecoverable debt of more than ¥10 million due to its business with Harenohi.

In addition to its Yokohama shop, Harenohi had locations in Hachioji, Tokyo; Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture; and the city of Fukuoka.

The Kanagawa Prefectural Police and Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department have received approximately 380 complaints claiming that Harenohi failed to provide kimono that had already been paid for. Police are investigating the firm’s financial status on suspicion of fraud, with damages possibly totaling tens of millions of yen.

In recent years, it has become customary in the industry to take reservations for purchasing or renting kimono for Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies two years in advance of potential customers reaching 20 years old, the legal age of adulthood. Competition has become increasingly fierce. Amid a scramble to win customers, Harenohi’s unstable finances were an open secret within the industry, sources said. Industry officials say they will have to work on winning back the confidence of customers.

News source: Japan Times
Apr 20
The world's smallest baby boy, who was born in October in Japan weighing as much as an apple, is now ready for the outside world, his doctor said Friday. (Japan Today)
Apr 20
A woman and her young daughter have died after being struck by a passenger car driven by an 87-year-old man in downtown Tokyo. (NHK)
Apr 20
A law recognizing the Ainu ethnic minority as an indigenous people of Japan has been enacted. (NHK)
Apr 20
An agreement has been reached at an international conference on managing Japanese eel resources to more effectively clarify the distribution routes of young eels. (NHK)
Apr 19
Those hoping to watch a tennis match featuring No. 1-ranked Naomi Osaka at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games will likely face long odds in the upcoming ticket lottery. (Nikkei)
Apr 18
Can the country welcome 60 million visitors a year without losing its culture -- and its mind? (Nikkei)
Apr 18
A pharmaceutical science professor at a university in Shikoku was referred to prosecutors Tuesday for allegedly instructing his students to produce the synthetic drug MDMA without a permit, the university said Tuesday, in an echo of hit TV series “Breaking Bad.” (Japan Times)
Apr 18
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a pair of hostesses over the alleged theft of the wallet of a drunk pedestrian in the Ueno entertainment area of Taito Ward last year, reports TV Asahi (
Apr 18
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are in the city of Ise in central Japan on their last trip to a local region before the Emperor's abdication on April 30. (NHK)
Apr 18
A senior manager with Japan Airlines Co. was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of committing an indecent act with a female junior high school student in exchange for money, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. (Japan Times)