Traditional Japanese garments are very unique and beautiful. The most famous for the rest of the world is Kimono worn by Geishas but not only. So today Let’s take a look at this beautiful traditional dress.
- Nagajuban – about ¥1500
- Kimono – about ¥2000
- Zori – Can be a bit more expensive to find one that fits. Anything around ¥2500 is bearable though
- Tabi – ¥300 – Try and score a pair at a ¥100 shop
- Obiage – ¥1500 – It’s quite difficult to get these cheap; the cheaper versions are often quite scrubby. You can always dye them a darker colour if you don’t like the colour.
- Obijime – cheap, non-scrubby versions from about ¥500
- Obi – from about ¥1000
Total: about ¥6000.
However you can buy cheaper kimonos for less then ¥1000
Kimono the word itself refers to “thing to wear” or “dress”. Nowadays are kimono worn for important festivals or formal occasions.
The kimono was in history called “Gofuku” which can be translated as a dress. And the look of kimono was highly influenced by chinese culture. Kimono look was inspired after chinese clothes “hanfu” (picture below) in the 5th century. In 8th century at women’s kimonos became popular and more stylized, though one still wore a half-apron mo, worn over it. The style of wearing kimono changed through the centuries and the last and one of final changes was when the belt obi was bound around kimono. During the Edo period (1603-1867) the sleaves began to grow on length and the obi belt became wider for women.
The aristocrats have worn the garments with many layers of the kimono the most inwards layer, which had narrow sleeves was taken as an underwear and it is the todays kimono. In the 14th century, when the samurai gained on a power this part of kimono started to be worn on a top and became a traditional form of a dress for men and women. In the 16th centuries the expensive and extraordinary kimonos mainly among th women in the upper class became a trend. In the year 1683 the shogunate made a prohibition against showy display of luxury and so was the expensive kimonos forbidden. The new Kyoto dying technique could get around the rules, because kimonos were painted straightly on the fabric and it wasn’t needed to embroider the complicated patterns.
>Finally I did the "8 kimono-parts" diagram in english combined with japanese (rômaji and kanji). Enjoy! >> Hier ist endlich das "8 Kimonoteile"-Schaubild auf Englisch mit japanischer Schreibweise. Viel Spaß damit! (© V. Nagata, http://www.kimono-kimono.de)”>
Kimono’s are made from silk, chirimen, satin and silk brocade. Of course traditional and modern kimonos are sewn from cheaper fabrics like Silk, cotton or synthetic fabric. Complete kimono is made out of eight pieces.
Rules for wearing a kimono:
- The most common mistake made by those who wears kimono is how they tied it. The right way is to tie the left side over the right side of the kimono. So kimono’s left side will show on top. In Japan, only a corpse will wear a Kimono with the right side covering the left side. In Japan, female corpses are usually dressed up in Kimono. The corpse is purposely dressed up this way to indicate that the person is already dead. Thus, if you don’t want to be mistaken as the walking dead, please cover your body from the right side first, then the left.
- Walk slowly when you are wearing kimono.
- Carry bag in the left hand and your right arm have slightly bent
There are many other rules, for example, what kimono should married and unmarried women wear and so on. At the picture below you can get an idea what kimono to wear to what occasion.
There are over 220 traditional colours and over 500 official colours which can be worn. In Japan, there are serval rules which colors and in what combinations can be worn in each season.
WINTER: Dark blue, violet, lavender, crimson, sprout green, dark red or wine
SPRING: Peach, white, red, orange, violet, deadleaf yellow, burgundy, khaki and light purple
SUMMER: Sprout green, yellow, lily, red, orange, sky blue also cream
AUTUMN: Light purple, red, pink, blue, green, burgundy, vermillion and grey-green
Colors of your kimono can also be a sign of your social status:
Today you won’t see many Japanese women wearing kimono unless it’s a festival or some occasion, but kimonos are still popular and their lighter and more modern versions are often worn in summer as a light cardigan.