About Kimono - Japanese traditional clothes
Basics about kimono
Kimono is a Japanese word meaning simply "clothes".
In fact, Japanese people of all classes had worn "kimono".
Samurai and rich people worn high-class kimono made from silk and the other people worn kimono made from cotton and hemp until the modern times.
Now, kimono became the clothes which the people wear mainly for the special day in the life.
Kimono is generally the long clothes from neck to foot.
And it is fixed at the waist with obi which is the belt of cloth.
The sleeves are large, and they are like pouches.
Kimono and obi are basically made of silk.
There are various methods of weaving and dyeing, and they are Japanese traditional arts.
So, the formal kimonos are very expensive.
Kimono isn't sporty and how to wear is complicated.
But kimono for women is colorful and gorgeous.
So, it is the fashion which all Japanese ladies love.
On the other hand, kimono for men generally has dark and chic colors.
Obi is an important partner of kimono.
Obi is a wide and colorful long cloth.
It is put around the waist and the edges are tied artistically on the back.
So, it is the point of dressing up to combine kimono and obi.
When we wear the kimono, we put on a pair of "tabi" instead of socks and wear a pair of "zori" instead of shoes.
(Kimono and "shoes" do not go together.)
Tabi is Japanese socks and the toes are separated into a part for a big toe and a part for the other four toes.
Zori is a traditional footwear and it's like sandal.
It has a flat sole and a clog thong.
As casual footwear, "geta" is used.
Geta is the wooden sandal.
The clog thongs are tied to a wooden base under which two wooden supports are attached.
By the way, shoes never suit with kimono.
Variety of kimono for women
Furisode is the most beautiful and gorgeous kimono and has very long sleeves.
The color is brilliant and Japannish pictures are drawn on whole clothes.
Commonly, this is for unmarried young women.
This is generally worn for formal social events such as the tea ceremony or wedding ceremonies of relatives.
Tomesode is the formal kimono for married women.
The sleeves are short and the color and pattern are elegant.
Especially, black tomesode is most formal kimono and is worn at wedding ceremonies of relatives.
"Homon" means "visit", and "gi" means "clothes", so this means visiting dress.
This is more casual than tomesode and the color and pattern are glamorous.
Both married and unmarried women can wear this.
Yukata is the casual kimono for hot season.
Generally it is worn directly on the underwear, so it is also used as a nightwear.
If you stay in Japanese ryokan or hotel, you probably can wear it in all season.
In summer, young women recently wear the colorful yukata when some summer events are held.
Therefore, yukata is made of cotton, hemp or chemical fiber.
When you wear the yukata, you usually put on geta with bare feet.
Variety of kimono for men
"Nagagi" is the word that the style of general kimono is identified.
The form of kimono for men is almost same as one for women.
The difference is that the color is quiet and it has no colorful patten.
So we have no classified word.
Commonly we call this kimono for men "kimono".
Haori and hakama
Haori is like jacket and is worn on kimono.
Especially, black Haori with some family embrems is called montsuki.
Hakama is like trousers and is also worn on kimono.
These are generally worn for formal social events.
But many men today wear the Western formal suits in such events.
Only some men wear haori and hakama.
Samue is originally work clothes of Buddhist monk.
It is similar to Judo uniform and the color is generally dark blue or brown.
Of course, you can find it in any temple.
And recently some men wear it as lounge wear.
Men also wear yukata in summer.
Generally, he wears it when his partner wears.
Try to wear kimono in Japan
For foreign tourist, there are some studios to rent kimono in Asakusa of Tokyo and Kyoto.
If you want to wear kimono, please check the following studios