Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Kimono – Traditional Japanese Clothing

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/13 Traditional Culture , , ,

As someone who is not from Japan, when I think of a Japanese traditional garment, I always think of a kimono. We usually see on media as worn by Japanese women during special occasions but did you know that the kimono is not as simple as it looks like? Or did you know that there are also kimono for men?

The word kimono or written as 着物 literally means “a thing to wear” but it has then been narrowed to call the Japanese traditional clothing.

History of Kimono

Kimonos that we know today came into being during the Heian Period (around 794-1192). Before that, the Japanese people wore either ensembles consisting of two-piece garments, upper and lower. Though there are already one-piece garments at that time, it was in Heian period that a new kimono-making techniques was introduced and developed. The method was known as the straight-line-cut which it involved cutting pieces of fabric in straight lines and sewing them together. Thus with this method, kimono makers are not concern with the shape of the wearer’s body.

Parts of a Kimono

1024px-Kimono_parts

Parts of a Kimono. (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • Dōura (胴裏): upper lining on a woman’s kimono.
  • Eri (衿): collar.
  • Fuki (袘): hem guard.
  • Obi (帯): a belt used to tuck excess cloth away from the seeing public.
  • Maemigoro (前身頃): front main panel, excluding sleeves. The covering portion of the other side of the back, maemigoro is divided into “right maemigoro” and “left maemigoro”.
  • Miyatsukuchi(身八つ口): opening under the sleeve.
  • Okumi (衽): front inside panel on the front edge of the left and right, excluding the sleeve of a kimono. Until the collar, down to the bottom of the dress goes, up and down part of the strip of cloth. Have sewn the front body. It is also called “袵”.
  • Sode (袖): sleeve.
  • Sodeguchi (袖口): sleeve opening.
  • Sodetsuke (袖付): kimono armhole.
  • Susomawashi (裾回し): lower lining.
  • Tamoto (袂): sleeve pouch.
  • Tomoeri (共衿): over-collar (collar protector).
  • Uraeri (裏襟): inner collar.
  • Ushiromigoro (後身頃): back main panel, excluding sleeves, covering the back portion. They are basically sewn back-centered and consist of “right ushiromigoro” and “left ushiromigoro”, but for wool fabric, the ushiromigoro consists of one piece.

Women’s Kimono

A complete set of a typical woman’s kimono consists of twelve or more separate pieces thus trying put it on alone can be difficult. There are also different types of kimono and choosing an appropriate type to wear requires knowledge of its symbolism and message. The most common type of kimono is probably the Furisode, which is worn by unmarried women during coming-of-age and wedding ceremonies. This kimono has colorful patterns that cover the whole garment.

3216938453_d37aeb9735_z

Furisode. A type of kimono usually worn by unmarried women. (Image by Nuria Monsó Tarancón on Flickr)

Men’s Kimono

Kimono for men is simpler than of that for women. It usually consists of five pieces. In the modern era, the principal distinction between that of men and women is the fabric. Men’s kimonos are usually dark-colored, black, dark blue, dark green and brown are common. It is made from matte fabric and have a subtle pattern.

Kimono for men is usually simpler than that of women. (Photo by Mr Hicks46 on Flickr)

Kimono for men is usually simpler than that of women. (Photo by Mr Hicks46 on Flickr)

Kimono vs Yukata

During summer festivals, the Japanese wear yukata instead of a kimono. While they look like a kimono, yukata is made from cotton while the kimono is usually made from silk; thus, yukata is cheaper. The sleeves of a yukata are never elongated, the collars are not wide or layered, and has repeated and symmetrical patterns.

People going to watch fireworks can be seen wearing Yukata. Food stalls are also present in these areas. (Photo by Javi Sevillano on Flickr)

People going to summer festivals can be seen wearing Yukata. Food stalls are also present in these areas. (Photo by Javi Sevillano on Flickr)

Kimono in Modern Times

These days, Japanese people rarely wear kimonos in a usual setting. They reserve it for occasions such as weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies, or other special events.

If you are wondering, how it is put on, you may get idea from this video:

 

Sources:

1. History of Kimonos, Kids Web Japan

2. Kimono, Wikipedia

3. Kyoto Kimono

The following two tabs change content below.

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

hatsuyume

New Year Holidays in Japan: Hatsuyume

As we mentioned in our hatsumoude post, everything you do in the first days of the New Year can mean something or will affect the whole year. Hatsu (初) or “first” of something are important according to Japanese culture: the first shrine visit, first dreams, and the first sunrise have impacts on how your year […]

Read Article

furisode

Seijin no Hi or Coming of Age Day

Coming of Age Day Today is Seijin no Hi (成人の日) or Coming of Age Day in Japan. It is a national holiday held every second Monday of January. It is held in order to congratulate all those who have newly entered adulthood or those who turned 20 years old in the past year and encourage […]

Read Article

shogi

Shogi, The General’s Board Game – Board and Gameplay

In our previous posts about shogi, we learned its history and the pieces that make the game. In this post, we will learn more about the moves of each piece. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June 3, 2015 […]

Read Article

208757307_bc0c31977d_z

Japanese Summer – A Season of Fireworks and Dance Festivals 2

In our previous post, we featured fireworks as one of the things you usually associate to a Japanese summer. But summer is not only about fireworks, it also means commemorating one’s dead ancestors and summer dance festivals. Obon In Buddhism, they believe that the spirits of their ancestors visit their living relatives yearly and it […]

Read Article

yomifuda

Karuta: Traditional Japanese Playing Cards – More Karuta Variations and Karuta in Popular Culture

In our previous post about the Japanese traditional card game karuta, we listed some of popular karuta variations. In this post, we will post more of these karuta variations and karuta in popular culture. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – […]

Read Article

Osafune Sword 3

Osafune in Okayama: Sword learning centre – Part 1 –

Bizen Osafune Nihon-tou Denshuu-jyo (Bizen Osafune Japanese sword learning centre) 1 Here, you can see swordsmithing on Saturdays, Sundays and National holidays for free. Note that they don’t demonstrate in summer because it is too hot for swordsmiths to forge. General information Open from 9:00 to 16:00, closed during lunchtime (12:00 – 13:00). On Sundays […]

Read Article

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Naoshima Art House Project – Part 1

After visiting the port of Miyanoura on the west coast of the island of Naoshima. We decided to visit the port of Honmura located on the islands east coast. Home to the Art House Project. To get around the island tourist could take various forms of transportation such as the bus or rental bikes. Rental […]

Read Article

MomoBooks_s

Momotarou, the Japanese old tale

Momotarou “Momotarou” is one of the very well-known folk tales in Japan, and it’s a quite popular character in Okayama where I live, so I felt this would be a good theme to start. Like many children’s stories, Momotarou is about “The good defeats the evil forces”. Outline Once upon a time, there was an […]

Read Article

sumo heya

Sumo: More Than Just a Martial Art – Professional Sumo

As noted in our previous posts about sumo, it is a Japanese style of wrestling and Japan’s national sport. It originated in ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto deities. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June […]

Read Article

Shogi_osho

Shogi, The General’s Board Game – Shogi Rules and Strategies

This will be the last part of the Shogi series. In case you missed the first posts about shogi, here they are: History and Origin, Shogi Pieces, Board and Gameplay. In this post, we will learn more about the shogi rules and strategies. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑