Sarashi - Wrapping Your Body in Cotton Cloth for Health Benefits

Have you ever observed in some anime a character wearing a strip of cloth or gauze on his chest and abdomen looking like a mummy. The name of this accessory is sarashi (さらし) which consists of a thick cotton cloth that was historically used under a kimono in order to thin the body and hide the fat of Japanese women.

The sarashi was also used after the birth of children and also as protective clothing by men. Over time the cloth gained use in battles and appears constantly in anime and manga as a symbol of a warrior. Warrior women also use this cloth to keep their melons from wobbling during a fight (it would serve as a distraction).

Sarashi - wrapping body in cotton cloth

Interestingly, the name sarashi in hiragana (晒し) means exposing yourself (to the sun, public, danger...) and in some cases even public humiliation. The ideogram also involves whitening and often makes up words like whitening powder and the like. This garment probably got its name from the white cotton cloth called sarashimomen (晒木綿).

Who uses sarashi?

Today's women often wear a sarashi as a sports bra, and when they do some crossdressing (dressing up as a man) or really want to keep their boobs from sticking out, either because of men or to avoid envy of women. Since standing out and differentiating in Japan in certain areas can generate discomfort.

Sarashi - wrapping body in cotton cloth

You japanese delinquents like bosozoku, yakuza and yankii also often wear a sarashi under their blouse or shirt to look more rebellious and strong. In fact, sarashi can have several purposes and can be used by men, women, children or the elderly.

Wearing sarashi and exposing yourself when it comes to battle gives an appearance of strength and toughness. It also offers an injury and stab protection function in fights. This cotton cloth can symbolize strength and virility. Men can also use sarashi to hide their tummy.

Some guides say that to wear the sarashi you must cut it the way that suits your body. It should be rolled up below the armpits without wrinkling.

Sarashi - wrapping body in cotton cloth

Anime characters who wear sarashi

Several characters use this accessory, let's list some below:

  • Bleach - Various characters;
  • Urusei Yatsura - Ryuunosuke;
  • Gurren-Lagann Kamina;
  • Samurai X - Sanosuke Sagara;
  • FMAB - Ling Yao
  • Fairy Tail - Erza Scarlet
  • Love Hina - Motoko and Tsuruko Aoyama;
  • Tenjho Tenge - Aya Natsume;
  • Beelzebub - Aoi Kunieda
  • Nobunaga the Fool - Joana Darc (hide her breasts);
  • Vocaloids - Rin and Len Kagamine;
  • Touhou - Reimu;

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