If you would like to wear a kimono for yourself or dress someone else in a kimono, you will need to learn how to put on a kimono correctly. There are many kimono schools in Japan that teach students how to correctly put on a kimono depending on your desired level of attainment and your purpose. Each class and school has their own curriculum and style of teaching. For example, some are held by individual kimono dressers and some are large organized chain schools. Some are more casual etc. than others. In addition, some schools even provide you with ‘omenjyo’ after you complete all required curriculum.
What is Omenjyo?
A diploma for kimono dressing is called “Omenjyou” (お免状) in Japanese, which is the topic for this article. There are many types of diploma for kimono dressing depending on the kimono schools and organizations one attends. As far as I know, there are more than 15 different types (names) of diplomas. There are also diplomas which are issued by both the private sector and government sector. However, what is common in all types (names) of diplomas for kimono dressing is that you can prove your skill in kimono dressing no matter what kind of diploma you have. Each diploma is divided more or less into 3 levels; beginner course (level 3~5), intermediate course (level 2 ) and advanced course (level 1).
The diploma for a beginner course proves that you have the required skill to put on a kimono by yourself. The diploma for an intermediate course proves that you can dress a kimono on someone else and for an advanced course, it proves that you have the skill to be a teacher, open your own kimono dressing classes or school and work as a professional kimono dresser.
If you would like to work as a kimono dresser in the future, it’s a good idea to get a diploma for kimono dressing. As I mentioned above, the diploma proves that you have a certain skill level in kimono dressing and knowledge about kimono. Thus, having a diploma can be your strength when you apply for a job or even open your own business. Depending on the diploma type, you could even open your own kimono dressing school or hold classes.
Similar to many other diplomas, it normally costs money in order to get the diploma for kimono dressing – and it isn’t cheap. The cost is varied and it depends on the schools but it’s usually in the range of 30,000yen for the beginner level, which is a diploma for self-dress. If you want to get a higher level diploma, you will likely need to pay more. Don’t forget that this is the cost for just issuing your diploma and does not include the tuition fee. Moreover, you cannot really refuse to receive the diploma once you complete your kimono dressing course in some schools, even though you don’t need the diploma or you don’t want to pay for the diploma. However it is also true that those systems help the kimono school industry to survive nowadays.
Do we need a diploma for kimono dressing?
I would say ‘yes’ if you want to work as a professional kimono dresser and want to get a teaching position or open your own kimono dressing school. In other words, if you want to make your career in kimono or kimono dressing, the diploma is really useful and getting a diploma is actually a great investment for your future career. However, if you just want to enjoy wearing kimono by yourself or dressing a kimono on your friends or family members, you probably don’t need to get a diploma. Thus, you should look for the kimono dressing class or school according to your aim and goals in order to avoid some troubles. I recommend that you attend the kimono dressing school which has well organized curriculum to become a professional kimono dresser and issues a diploma. For those who just want to enjoy wearing kimono or dress a kimono on someone casually, there are many diploma-free kimono dressing classes and schools you can attend.
Hope my article helps to understand the ‘omenjyo’ system!
From Kyushu, Japan, based in Germany. Obsessed with the beauty of kimono. Wearing my grandmothers’ and mother’s kimonos when I go back to Japan is becoming a routine activity. I especially love the unique and cute antique kimonos!