Traditional Japanese garment? What is a Japanese KIMONO?

      2017/02/02

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You probably know what Kimono is. What about Wafuku?

This posts summarizes information of Kimono and Wafuku.

 

 

 

It’s difficult to understand Japanese way of thinking → How do Japanese Express their Love?

 

 

What is a Kimono and Wafuku?

 

Have you ever tried Kimono?

Kimono is Japanese clothes and also called Wafuku (和服).

 

After introduction of world commerce, Japanese received more and more products from European countries.

One of the notable products was Western style clothes.

To distinguish Western clothes and Japanese clothes, Japanese started to use words “Wafuku” and “Youfuku” (洋服), which meant Western clothes.

 

Wafuku literally means “Japanese clothes.”

Kimono (着物) literally means “thing to wear.”

 

Today I’m going to introduce Kimono.

 

Kimono has various colours and designs.

Women tend to wear gorgeous ones, while men tend to wear simple ones.

 

It is a T-shaped piece of clothes and you need to know how to wear and adjust properly because it doesn’t have any buttons or zippers.

 

what-is-kimono

 

History of Kimono

 

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It is said that Japanese started to wear Kimono during Heian period (794-1192).

 

Before Heian period, people wore 2 pieces of clothes just like ancient Chinese.

 

During Heian period, men started to wear Sokutai (束帯), while women srated to wear Hare shouzoku (晴れ装束). Those garment had big sleeves.

 

oosode

big sleeves (Oosode)

 

During Kamakura (鎌倉時代 1185-1333) and Muromachi period (室町時代 1336-1573), men wore Hitatare (直垂), whereas women wore Kinubakama (衣袴).

The size of those kimono became smaller and less layered.

 

 

kosode

small sleeves (Kosode)

 

 

During Edo period, its size and design became pretty similar to the current kimono we have now.

Women used Japanese belt or sash (Obi 帯) and made it into ribbon or other shapes.

 

 

When to Wear Kimono?

 

When you go to Japan, you don’t really see people wearing Kimono.

When do they wear?

 

Some people wear more often than others because they teach traditional Japanese arts such as Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), or Sadou (Japanese tea ceremony).

 

Others, like myself, wear kimono only for special occasions.

It includes wedding, special party, graduation ceremony, events such as Coming of Age Day (成人式) or festivals for kids (七五三).

 

 

Summary

It’s quite expensive to collect all the items for kimono, so you might want to try rental one first if you are interested.

Lots of Japanese rent kimono and wear it for special occasions.

 

I would like to wear Kimono more often. But the problem is that I need to learn how to wear.

It’s just layers but you need to know how to do it correctly.

 

 

 

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 - Kimono