Kimono – Traditional Japanese Clothing
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
- 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.
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.
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 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.
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:
3. Kyoto Kimono
Kamishibai (紙芝居, literal meaning: “paper drama”) is a form of storytelling that originated in Japanese Buddhist temples in the 12th century, where monks used emakimono (picture scrolls) to convey stories with moral lessons to a mostly illiterate audience. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing […]
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 […]
As we learned about the history of Judo in our previous post, this time we will learn more about the sport and martial art, particularly on the practitioners (called judoka). 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 […]
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, […]
As we learned in our first post about Hanafuda (花札), they are Japanese playing cards that are used to play a number of games. The name comes from two Japanese words hana (花) which means flowers and fuda (札) which can mean cards. Some call it “flower cards” in English. In this post, we will […]
Today is Autumnal Equinox Day or 秋分の日 (Shuubun no Hi) in Japan. It is a public holiday which usually occurs on September 22 or 23 or the date of southward equinox in Japanese Standard Time (UTC+09:00). Automnal Equinox Scientifically speaking, the autumnal equinox is the day when the sun crosses the equator from the Northern […]
Kendo techniques are divided into shikake-waza (to initiate a strike) and ōji-waza (a response to an attempted strike). Kendoka who wish to use such techniques during practice or competitions, often practice each technique with a motodachi. This is a process that requires patience. First practicing slowly and then as familiarity and confidence builds, the kendoka […]
The Go board game became popular not only in Asia but also in other countries. It also spawned many work of art and fictions. 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 Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text – […]
Continuing our feature about Japan’s Golden Week, this post will feature the second and third holidays, the Constitution Memorial Day and Greenery Day. Constitution Memorial Day The Constitution Memorial Day, or Kenpō Kinenbi (憲法記念日) as it is known in Japan, is a national holiday in Japan that is celebrated every May 3. The date signifies […]
The Bicchuu Matsuyama Castle in Takahashi city(2) When I reached the top, I found a tea server. “Bicchuu Uji-cha”, a local tea was served and it was free. “Thank god, I can cool my throat”, I thought, but surprisingly it was steaming hot! I didn’t want to waste my tea, so I waited until it […]