China: Why a woman in kimono was arrested by police

China: Why a woman in kimono was arrested by police

A young Chinese woman was arrested in Suzhou, near Shanghai, China, for wearing a kimono, The Guardian reports on Tuesday. The mere wearing of this traditional Japanese outfit was enough for the local police to suspect the woman of “disturbing public order”. This accusation is widely leveled by the Chinese authorities against those identified as political dissidents.

During the intervention, which was filmed by a bystander, an officer made several remarks against the young woman: “If you had come here with a hanfu, I wouldn’t bother you, but as a Chinese you dare to wear a kimono! ‘ he was annoyed. In response, she claimed that this kimono was actually a “cosplay” (disguise) of the manga heroine Summer Time Rendering.

Strong tensions

According to the Guardian, however, this explanation would not have convinced the officers because the young woman was taken to the police station for almost five hours of questioning. Her phone was searched and her kimono was confiscated. The police then tried unsuccessfully to cover up the case. The video of the procedure has been viewed tens of millions of times.

In the comments, some netizens denounced the attitude of the young woman, who was accused of wearing this kimono to draw attention to himself a few days before the anniversary of Japan’s surrender. Other Internet users, however, found these reactions exaggerated. In any case, this arrest seems to highlight the tensions that remain between China and Japan over rising nationalism in China and Japanese support for Taiwan.