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:

Kanpai

Gaijin Chronicles : Kangeikai and Edamame

Japanese companies usually hold 歓迎会(kangeikai or welcome party) to welcome new employees and 送別会( Soubetsukai or farewell party) for those leaving. In some cases, the welcome and farewell parties are combined into one — 歓送迎会(kansougeikai). These are usually dinner parties held in nice restaurants.The party is usually started with speeches by the company president or any […]

Read Article

Japanese old hour system

Jyuuni-shi : Chinese Zodiac in Japan -Part 2- (For hour)

Japansese old hour system and “Jyuuni-shi” In the old times, “Jyuuni-shi” was more commonly used, for directions, dates and hours. In addition, Japanese hour system was totally different from the present one. Now those customs are gone, but you can find the traces of them in some words.   [The word “oyatsu”] If you have […]

Read Article

Katana blade

Katana : Japanese traditional sword – Part 1-

Katana : Japanese sword (1) At first, I was going to post an article about “Muramasa”, a very famous cursed “katana”, but I thought it might be better to write simple explanations of Japanese traditional swords beforehand.   “Unbreakable, unbending and very sharp” sword A sword has to be hard to be unbending and sharp, […]

Read Article

Rabbit

We are ninjas : Walk like a ninja!

Ninja walk : “Ashi-nami Jyukkajyou” (Ten walking methods) There is a ninjutsu-sho (a book about ninja’s tricks) entitled “Shouninki” or “Seininki” (literal meaning is “The notes of correct ninja”), written by a military expert in the “Kishuu” domain (the present Wakayama and a part of Mie area) in 1681. In this book, there are ten […]

Read Article

Firefly watching - upclose

Japanese Seasonal Events: Firefly Watching 2

Firefly watching in Shirochi, Takahashi In Okayama prefecture, there are at least seven places listed on the website that I visited. I decided to pick one with easy access and free parking area. The viewing spot is located in Ochiai-cho, Shirochi, Takahashi-shi. In other viewing spots, artificially-reared fireflies are released to join other wild fireflies. While in […]

Read Article

bunkasai

Culture Day or Bunka no Hi

As what we know from our previous posts about holidays in Japan, almost every month in Japan has a national holiday. November is not an exception of that. There are two holidays for the month of November and those are the Culture Day or 文化の日 (Bunka no Hi) on November 3 and Labor Thanksgiving Day […]

Read Article

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Okayama Castle: A unique blend of the old and the new

Okayama Castle they say is one of the must see places here in Okayama City, Japan. Well if you have been around cities here a number of them have their own castle. I believe there are about hundreds of them scattered all over Japan. But what then sets this castle apart from the rest of […]

Read Article

Chinowa featured image

Summer Ritual at Shinto Shrine: “Chinowa-kuguri”

When I visited my wife’s parents’ home, I also went to a nearby shrine called Kibitsu shrine. At that time, an interesting ritual was being held. I’m going to introduce about it on this post. “Chinowa-kuguri” The ritual that has been held there is called “Chinowa-kuguri”. “Chinowa-kuguri” is one of the rites of “Nagoshi-no-harae”, which […]

Read Article

Hinoe uma

Jyuuni-shi : Chinese Zodiac in Japan -Part 1- (For age and year)

Jyuuni-shi : Chinese Zodiac in Japan The word “Eto” means a combination of the ten Celestial and the Chinese Zodiac, but in Japan it is quite often used to refer only to Zodiac. “Jyuuni-shi” is the correct word for the Chinese Zodiac. …Hey, I didn’t know that! I had believed “Eto” meant the same as […]

Read Article

20141011_133610

Omihachiman and the man named William Merrell Vories – Part 3

Who is William Merrell Vories? William Merrell Vories was an american from Leavenworth, Kansas who at a young age of 24 left his country and moved to Japan to teach English at Hachiman Commercial High School and since his arrival at Omihachiman on February 2, 1905, he has called this place his new home. He quickly […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑