Check Out these Costumes from Kyoto University’s Cosplay-themed Graduation

Wait, is that guy...naked?

By 2 min read

You won’t find black graduation robes at most graduation ceremonies in Japan. Instead, graduating seniors tend to wear suits for men or a special kind of kimono called hakama for women. But at Kyoto University, you’ll discover a whole new dress code.

Located in Japan’s capital of culture, Kyoto University is the second oldest Japanese university and one of the top-ranked in all of Asia. But while Kyoto itself is known for its traditional aesthetic, Kyoto University students have one custom that goes against the grain: Cosplaying at their graduation ceremony.

This trend began in the 80s and has its roots in students performing in costumes or drag at their commencement. Now, it has become a tradition at Kyoto University for graduating students to dress up as fun characters.

And for 2019’s graduation ceremony, Kyoto University students took the trend to new heights of fun and chaos.

Kyoto University’s staff Twitter account posted this gem of a snapshot: Mami from Madoka Magica riding Thomas the Tank Engine next to God of War’s Kratos wearing Crocs. And yes, it’s just as weird as it sounds.

They wrote, “Kyoto University’s graduation ceremony is chaos, haha.” That is so very clearly an understatement.

They followed up by sharing a little extra magic about the Thomas the Tank Engine cosplay:

The staff explained, “If you put dry ice in the chimney, steam comes out!” That’s pretty genius and just what we would expect from a graduate from one of Japan’s top universities.

While these outfits look incredible in broad daylight, on the dimly lit stage where students collect their graduation certificates, it looks more like something out of a horror movie:

@sokuinfo posted these photos on Twitter and commented, “Kyoto University’s graduation ceremony is wild.”

While this next outfit might not qualify as cosplay, it sure is a great reason to show up to your own graduation ceremony almost naked:

Fellow Kyoto University graduate @herbivorous_hy said, “There was a legit bodybuilder at Kyoto Uni’s graduation ceremony.”

You can catch another glimpse of him here, surrounded by gorilla cosplayers and men in “T” t-shirts. At least he was considerate enough to bring a towel to sit on.


There was also this costume inspired by Kyoto’s long and deep cultural roots:

@usako_jizou remarked, “The thousand torii showed up at Kyoto University’s graduation ceremony.” The thousand torii are likely from Kyoto’s famous Fushimi Inari Shrine.

While there was plenty of silliness, in all honesty, graduating from Kyoto University is no easy feat. To all graduates—whether from Kyoto University or elsewhere—we couldn’t say it any better than these retro GameBoy Colors:

Via @kuutin_kyoto

They spell out 祝卒業, or “Happy Graduation.”

Happy graduation to all the graduating students of 2019!

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