“kimono wearing” man got into a scuffle with security guards at Wuhan University on Sunday after he was stopped from entering the campus on his way to view the school’s famed cherry blossoms.
The campus of Wuhan University is known for having some of the most beautiful cherry blossom trees in all of China. Each March, tourists flood onto the campus to take photos with the blossoms. The number of visitors is capped at 15,000 on weekdays and 30,000 on weekends. In order to gain entrance, individuals have to register ahead of time.
In case you doubt the seriousness of these restrictions, a viral video clip that was posted online on Monday shows the man in a kimono-style gown being shoved to the ground by guards outside of the university’s main gate while his friend is held in a choke-hold.
The reason behind this scuffle is not completely clear. The university has said that one of the men had not made an advance booking and that the pair had been verbally abusive to one of the guards, resulting in the escalation caught on camera following a 6-minute dispute.
However, more attention has been drawn to the man’s choice of wardrobe as wearing traditional Japanese dress is actually banned on the Wuhan University campus. Though the cherry blossoms may be the highlight of the campus, they are also a bit of sore spot for the university, being first planted by occupying Japanese soldiers in the late 1930s. Therefore, some see the trees as a symbol of national humiliation rather than a source of pride.
Complicating matters further, the man at the center of this whole controversy has said that he was not wearing a kimono but a traditional gown worn in China during the Tang dynasty (618-907) which may have inspired the creation of the Japanese kimono.
“I am patriot and didn’t wear a kimono,” he declared to reporters afterward. “I’m Chinese and the guards are Chinese. Chinese should not beat up fellow Chinese.”