You probably have seen someone wearing a geta - wooden shoe, even if it's in movies. Ever wondered why? What is the need? What is it for? In this article we will take away all those doubts.
Geta [下駄] is considered a sandal, with a wooden base, similar to a clog, it serves to prevent the foot from coming into contact with the ground. They are used with traditional Japanese clothing, such as kimono or yukata, or during the summer months.
What is Geta for?
His goal is to prevent his foot from coming into contact with snow or rain and keep his foot dry, it also prevents the kimono from dragging on the ground. In its simplest form, geta is a thick wooden sandal supported on a single piece of wood. The bottom piece of wood is called a tooth (there is [歯]). Using with only 1 tooth requires a lot of balance, so today most have 2 teeth.
As geta are usually worn only with yukata or other informal clothes, there is no need to wear socks, in some more formal cases who wear the gi, prefer to wear the sandals zori made of rice straw or other fibers.
The reason for wearing these high platform shoes is not because of fashion, but for practical reasons. If you wear an expensive kimono you won't want to get it muddy.
Curiosities involving Geta
Karankoron - Geta makes a noise when you walk. In Japanese, this sound is called "karankoron".
Geisha - At geishas and maiko (apprentices) usually use a type of geta called okobo (or “pokkuri” and “koppori”), okobo are very tall and generally made from a block of willow wood instead of having teeth.
Breaking the thread - Breaking the geta wire is considered bad luck. For this reason, many people avoid buying cheap shoes, but they are surprisingly easy to break. It is still possible to find places to repair it when broken.
Tetsugeta - They are iron gauges, weighing 3 to 5 kilograms. They have been historically used by students of martial arts like karate, to strengthen the legs.
Types of Geta
There are different types of geta, are usually categorized by some special feature in each of them. Now let's list the existing Japanese clog types:
Ashida [足駄] - Tall clogs; rain clogs;
Yamageta [山下駄] - Mountain geta, gross geta, usually made from Japanese cedar;
Kōshi [厚歯] - Clogs with thick teeth in the anterior-posterior direction. Called Bunkara by some students.
Yanagigeta [柳下駄] - low geta made of willow.
Umageta [馬下駄] - ancestor made of cedar with different teeth and square. Similar to a horse shoe.
Komageta [駒下駄] - a clog that can be used in any climate. Introduced in the late 17th century and widely used. for all.
Kirigeta [桐下駄] - Initially painted black, it was used as a luxury item;
Tetsugeta [鉄下駄] - Iron clogs instead of wood.
Takageta [高下駄] - Tall clogs with long teeth in the vertical direction.
Tageta [田下駄] - The oldest footwear in Japan, which was extracted from traces of the Yayoi period. They are believed to have been used in rice paddies and wetlands.
Ipponba [一本歯] - Used for mountain walking, used by monks who practiced in the mountains. It is said to be the origin of the tengu called also tengu clog.
Yoshiwarageta [吉原下駄] - Almost the same as Yamashita, but made of cedar. The thong is made of bamboo skin.
Sukerokugeta [助六下駄] - The clog that the main character is wearing on Kabuki 18 “Sukeroku”. It became popular at the time of its debut (1713).
Ukongeta [右近下駄] - A toothless obstruction with a curved surface. The area around the foot is excavated.
Hiyorigeta [日和下駄] - geta to use in dry weather.
Toshihisageta [利久下駄] - It is said that Senrikyu invented it.
Azumageta [吾妻下駄] - type of geta for women with tatami insole.
Nikkōgeta [日光下駄] - Nikko traditionals.
Odawarageta [小田原下駄] - From Odawara, the roots of the teeth do not appear and can be replaced.
Shinshoku-yō geta [神職用下駄] - Round white synthetic leather clogs used by sarcedotes.
Pokkurigeta [ぽっくり下駄] - It got this name because of the sound, they are used by geisha and maiko.
Getasukēto [下駄スケート] - geta with skating blades.
Robou [露卯] - Clogs with different teeth, where you can see the hozo of the teeth on the table.
Hachitsuwari (yatsuwari) [八ツ割 （ヤツワリ）] - Clog without teeth.
Videos about Geta
To finish the article I will leave a video for you to see the sound that the geta makes, how it is used and walks with it. See that it is not a 7-headed bug.