Fundoshi - Japanese wearing Tanga on the street

fundshi [褌] is a traditional loincloth mentioned in Japan's early historical records. In the 19th century it was the primary clothing for men. This kind of loincloth, leaves the thighs and buttocks naked.

Fundshi was very successful before World War II, before Western influence, clothes were considered comfortable, and today they are still popular in Sumo fights, swimsuits and festivals.

Fundoshi Festival and Ritual of Passage

Tokyo is a formal city. In the morning, trains are packed with black suits. You will feel uncomfortable if you are only wearing shorts. At the time of the festival, the streets are suddenly filled with funds. Many men who never wear shorts are now from Fundohi.

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In some parts of Japan, as a passage ritual, there is a private festival called fundshiiwai [褌祝] which is the first test for reaching adulthood. As fundshi covers the pubic area, it is treated as a symbol of something with sexual function.

If you dare wear shorts in tokyo, wear short shorts

Fundshi benefits

  • Unlike Americanized clothes, the fundshi does not have that elastic that keeps squeezing your belly, thus causing a feeling of comfort and well-being;
  • Fundohi also supports the genitals, and in the case of mawashi it also supports the spine;
  • Due to its simple appearance the fundshi will give a sexier and more masculine appearance;
  • By leaving your legs free, the fundoshi gives you greater freedom of movement and in the water helps you float more easily;
  • It is made with natural fabrics and dyes, which does not cause allergies and skin irritations;
  • Because it is tight to the body, the fundshi sucks the sweat, thus preventing diaper rash in the summer;
If you dare wear shorts in tokyo, wear short shorts
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Types of fundshi

There are dozens of types of fundshi many different. Some have drastic changes in the way of placing, size and details. See below the three main types of fundshi and some others that go unnoticed.

Rokushaku Fundoshi [六尺褌]

O rokushaku it is 16 ~ 30 cm wide and 130 ~ 190 cm long, its size varies from person to person. The rokushaku is indicated for dynamic people at parties or for children who are learning to swim.

That fundshi it is characterized by exposed buttocks, but looks like a loincloth in front of it. It was used as underwear by most Japanese adult men in the Edo Period until the end of the Meiji era.

There is an intermediary between the Rokushaku and Echuu called Warifundoshi. Where one end of the cloth is cut from the center by about 55 to 60 cm and the cut part is wrapped around the waist. 

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If you dare wear shorts in tokyo, wear short shorts

Mokko fundshi [畚褌]

Mokko it is the simplest style of all and its design is similar to a thong or underwear. It received this name because it resembles a mokko that carried soil in civil engineering works in the past. Popular with girls from kabuki.

The advantage of Mokko is that it has good breathability and comfort. As it does not hang, it does not interfere when you put your pants on or you are in danger of getting up and showing things. O mokko it is about 70 cm long and 34 cm wide with ropes.

There are species of mokko that were used in swimming lessons before the war. He appeared in the Showa Period and earned the name of black cat or kuroneko fundshi [黒猫褌] because of its usually black color.

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Ecchuu Fundoshi [越中褌]

The fundshi of the type echuu [越中] has a simpler format and a similar design there is a thong “slap sex” which gives a more manly appearance. That echuu it is recommended for people with a more peaceful life.

Underwear is about 100 cm and a width of about 34 cm is sewn into a cylinder and a string is passed through the cylinder. Some are also called classic pants and samurai pants. It's a T-shaped banner.

Fundoshi - Japanese wearing thong on the street
Echuufundoshi

Other types of fundshi

We cannot forget to briefly quote the Mawashi [廻し], used by sumo wrestlers and some other festivals. The color, material and tightening method are different from others fundshi, your belt is heavier. Others fundshi are:

  • Sarashiichitan [晒一反] - Often used as underwear for kimonos;
  • Kushaku fundshi [九尺褌] - Unique shape that pulls the cloth from the groin to the chest;
  • Saiji [サイジ] is generally used by a maiden at sea on the island of Takekura;
  • Sagari [下がり] or Matagi [マタギ] - A special hood made as a costume for Kabuki;
  • Hantako [半タコ] - It looks like a short, also used in Kabuki;
  • Rokukoshi fundshi [六越褌] -
Fundoshi - Japanese wearing thong on the street
Mawari and Kushakufundoshi

Is there female fundshi?

It is rare for women to use fundshi, even in Japanese history. Only a few pearl collectors and divers known as Love used to wear this type of loincloth. Nowadays it is rare to find women with fundshi.

Some women tend to use the Mokkofundoshi in a sensual way, since it looks a lot like panties. There is also fundshipantsu, if you search on google you will come across several images. We also briefly mention the Saiji in types of fundohi.

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Of course, Japan would not fail to invent this, although it is very rare to find, they invented the Women's Fundohi. The lingerie brand Wacoal put on the market several colors of backgrounds for women.

In the last years, Echuu and Mokko for women maintained a certain level of sales in the market. Unlike shorts, fundshi does not put pressure on lymph nodes, it is well ventilated and it is not clogged, so it is popular with women, at least in homes.

Fundoshi - Japanese wearing thong on the street
Some examples of women using fundshi today

Anime Backgrounds

In order to preserve the traditional culture and also make a joke, we can see several anime characters that use a fundohi. Below see some characters that constantly appear with backgrounds, try to remember them.

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  • Ishikawa Goemon (Lupine III);
  • Echizen Minamijirou (Prince of Tennis);
  • Satoshi Isshiki (Shokugeki no Souma);
  • Kaze Daizaemon (General Inawasaemon);
  • Todoroki Ichiban (Todoroke! Ichiban);
  • Suwahara (Yaki-tate !! Japan);
  • hibachi (mushibugyō);
  • Nihon (Heta Ria);
  • Clain Necran (Fractale);
  • Shigure Kousaka (Kenichi);
  • Isao Kondou (Gintama);
  • Hibachi (Mushibugyou);
  • Pesche Guatiche (Bleach);
  • Tsuruko Aoyama (Love Hina);
  • Matabei Gotou (Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls);

Notice in the list above that we have several female characters, usually wearing some samurai clothes. When we find that dental floss like a rope, we can call it backgrounds.

Fundoshi - Japanese wearing thong on the street
Anime characters using fundshi

Videos about Fundoshi

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I could describe more about FundoShi, showing more videos, describing how to use it, or assembling it. but it is kind of uncomfortable to go into these details, if you are interested in it, go on youtube and search for fundshi (I do not recommend) ...

And what did you think of this Japanese tradition?