Kimono – All about traditional Japanese clothing

Do you know the traditional Japanese clothing called Kimono? In this article we will see a little about the famous traditional Kimono dress and its parts and accessories, as well as some other similar clothes.

Japan maintains an ancient culture, even with westernization, Japanese fashion differs from all over the world. Fortunately, traditional clothing from previous centuries remains in fashion, being worn on many occasions.

Which country has the kimono as a traditional attire?

Despite the artigo making it clear that the Kimono is a traditional Japanese garment, both Japan and other countries in Asia have been influenced throughout their history. Today, it is possible to find these traditional garments in both countries.

Of course, each country has a traditional dress that differs a lot, but has similarities. In China we have Hanfu and in Korea we have Hanbok.

The traditional Chinese clothing Hanfu has wide, large sleeves like a Kimono, as well as some extra and stylish details, while the Hanbok has thinner sleeves and a different kind of skirt.

Kimono - everything about the traditional Japanese garment
Japanese Kimono, Chinese Hanfu and Korean Hanbok

Dress up thing - Kimono or Kimono?

The right one is Kimono or Kimono? What is the meaning? Let's start the article by answering these two small questions. Kimono is a Brazilianized version of the word Kimono. Both are correct, but I prefer to write in the original way.

Its meaning is quite simple and means something to wear. In the word Kimono, we have the ideogram dressing [着] and thing [物]. It is a simple word that is currently used to refer to a specific type of traditional Japanese clothing.

Nowadays, it is common to associate the Kimono with clothes used in martial arts such as judo, jiu-jitsu, etc. Even though they share the same name, they are different types of clothing. In fact, the word was once used to refer to any type of garment or article of clothing.

Kimono - traditional Japanese clothing and accessories
Japanese women wearing traditional clothes

What is the Origin of Kimono?

The Kimono was created with the influence of Chinese clothing "HAN" or "Hanfu" but it has developed over the centuries, being part of traditional clothing between the years 794 to the 19th century.

With time the Kimono was replaced by western clothes and Strawhatz - Kimono for greater comfort and easy mobility. Today, they are used more by women, and on special occasions. The Kimono has a long history, and has undergone several changes during the millennium.

In 1903, the first clothing variation inspired by the traditional kimono cutouts appeared. This variation was made by Paul Poiret and became popular throughout Europe. Soon other variations appeared, one of them was made by Brazilian Nívia Freitas and became popular around 2016.

Kimono - traditional Japanese clothing and accessories
A traditional Japanese clothing store

The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:

What are the parts of a Kimono?

Before we get to know the pieces and accessories that make up the Kimono, we need to know the PArtes of this great piece.

  • Doura [胴裏] - top coat in the woman's part;
  • Eri [衿] - necklace;
  • Fuki [袘] - hem guard;
  • Sode [袖] - sleeve below the pit;
  • Obi [帯] - a belt used to fold excess cloth;
  • Maemigoro [前身頃] - main part of the front, excluding sleeves.;
  • Miyatsukuchi [身八つ口] - opening under the sleeve;
  • Okumi [衽] - front inside the panel on the left and right front edge, excluding the sleeve;
  • Sode [袖] - Manga;
  • Sodeguchi [袖口] - sleeve opening;
  • Sodetsuke [袖付] - pits;
  • Susomawashi [裾回し] - bottom lining;
  • Tamoto [袂] - sleeve bag;
  • Tomoeri [共衿] - [collar guard] along the collar;
  • Uraeri [裏襟] - inner collar;
  • Ushiromigoro [後身頃] - main part at back, excluding sleeves;
Kimono - traditional Japanese clothing and accessories
Parts of a Kimono

Different type of Kimono

The Kimono can vary greatly and change depending on age, season, occasion, and various other factors. There is a whole etiquette behind Kimono and even a correct way to wear them. Now let's see some types of kimono.

Furisode [振袖] are long sleeve kimonos (70 to 90 cm) that swing. It is formal and worn by unmarried girls, richly patterned, closed with an obi in bright, multicolored brocade tied in large bows at the back.

Furisode kimono can be worn by the bride's single friends at wedding ceremonies. Young girls also often use Furisode in their coming of age ceremony (20 years old) called Seijin Shiki.

Kosode [小袖] is an expression that derives from the custom that when women got married they wore Kimono with short sleeves or cut sleeves as a symbol of fidelity to their husband, giving rise to Tomesode [留袖].

Generally these Tomesode type Kimono are used in wedding ceremonies and are very formal. They usually have 5 or 3 Kamons (shields) of the family printed and embroidered on the sleeves, chest and back.

Read also: Kamon - The coat of arms of the Japanese clans

Kimono - everything about the traditional Japanese garment
Japanese women in a temple

Tomesode They are manga kimonos usually separated by:

  • kurotomesode [黒留袖] - Black and formal;
  • irotomesode [色留袖] - Black and less formal;

The parents of the bride or groom often use kurotomesode, while the bride's relatives and friends often use irotomesode. Usually this type of kimono uses a brocade and gold obi. Sleeves are 50 cm to 70 cm long.

Houmongi [訪問着] – A plain kimono of one color, usually with pastel tones. This type does not have kamons (family shields) and is considered less formal than the Irotomesode, but can be used at parties and wedding ceremonies.

Tsukesage [付下げ] – An exquisite kimono worn by single or married women. It usually has a more discreet decoration and is less formal than the houmongi, and can be used daily on different occasions.

Iromuji [色無地] - Kimono of only one color, which can have textures, but without decoration in another color, used mainly in Tea Ceremonies. It may have a small decorative embroidery or a Kamon (family shield) on the back.

Kimono - traditional Japanese clothing and accessories
Different types of traditional Japanese clothing

What are the differences between Kimono and Yukata?

Yukata is one of the most similar to kimono items and is often confused by people who do not know their differences. One of the main differences is that the traditional kimono is made up of several pieces, while Yukata is simpler and thinner.

Yukata is a more casual and thin type of Kimono, usually composed of just one piece and a belt. It is often used after bathing in traditional Ryokan and Onsen hotels. The word Yukata literally means bathing suit.

Yukata [浴衣] is a popular Japanese dress in summer. Usually people wear Yukata at Japanese festivals and fireworks festivals (Hanabi Taikai) and other traditional summer events.

To learn more about traditional Japanese summer clothing, we recommend you also read:

Kimono - traditional Japanese clothing and accessories
Japanese Yukata

What are the Parts and Accessories of a Kimono?

There are several other accessories and related clothing pieces that were created specifically to be worn with Kimono. If you do not use some of the pieces we will mention below, you can't even say that you are wearing a Kimono.

Obi [帯] -Ornate wide belts that are wrapped around the waist of the Kimono or Yukata. Depending on the outfit, these obi can cost more than the kimono itself.

Eri-sugata [衿姿] – False collar that can be used with the kimono to simulate more layers;

Haori [羽織] – Types of coats that can be worn over kimonos on cold days. Happi [法被] is a type of Haori used by shopkeepers, which is currently widely seen as team uniforms at festivals.

Kimono - traditional Japanese clothing and accessories
See some parts and differences from traditional clothes

Koshihimo [腰紐] – A narrow sash used to aid in dressing, often made of silk or wool. They are used to keep virtually anything in place during the dressing process, and can be used in a variety of ways.

Nagajuban [長襦袢] – Kimono-shaped cloak worn by men and women under the kimono. As they are made of silk, they are delicate and difficult to clean, the nagajuban helps keep the kimono clean by preventing contact with the wearer's skin.

Zori [草履] – Traditional sandals similar to flip-flops. There are formal and informal zori, they are made of many materials including fabric, leather and vinyl and can be embellished.

  • Geta [下駄] – Wooden sandals worn by men and women with yukata;
  • Waraji [草鞋] - Straw sandals used by monks;

Women's Kimono parts and accessories

Hiyoku [ひよく] A type of under-kimono, historically worn by women under the kimono. Today they are only worn on formal occasions, such as weddings and other important social events.

Kanzashi [簪] – Hair ornaments worn by women. There are many different styles, including silk flowers, wooden combs, and hair clips.

  • Juban [襦袢] and Hadajuban [肌襦袢] – A fine garment similar to a sweater;
  • Susoyoke [裾除け] - An inner skirt, a feminine underwear;
Kimono - traditional Japanese clothing and accessories

Men's Kimono parts and accessories

Hakama [袴] – Traditional Japanese clothing. It is usually worn over the kimono covering the lower part of the body and resembling wide pants. Hakama are traditionally men's clothing.

Originally it was only used by samurai men to protect their legs while riding horses. On foot, the Hakama hides its legs, making it more difficult to predict movement, thus giving it an advantage in combat.

Nowadays, Hakama are only used in extremely formal situations, such as tea ceremonies, weddings and funerals. Attendants at Shinto shrines and practitioners of certain Japanese martial arts such as aikido, kenjutsu, kendo, and kyudo also wear Hakama.

  • Fundoshi [褌] – Traditional Japanese underwear [loincloth] for male adults, made from cotton;
  • Netsuke [根付 ou 根付け] – Consists of a worn ornament suspended from the obi;
  • Jittoku [十徳] Type of haori worn only by men;
  • Jinbaori [陣羽織] - Made specifically for a samurai to wear;

These were some curiosities about the kimono and its accessories. If you liked the article, don't forget to share and leave your comments. Thank you very much and until next time!

Kimono - traditional Japanese clothing and accessories
japanese traditional wedding

The Kimono of the West

Strangely, whenever we search for Kimono on Western clothing websites, we come across pieces with absolutely no relation to the traditional Japanese Kimono. We only find some short and even low-cut blouses, completely the opposite of a kimono.

I don't know for sure, but this is Western invention. In 1903, French stylist Paul Poiret created a version of a short kimono coat, which generated a lot of controversy, but became popular in Europe.

A Brazilian fashion designer named Nívia Freitas also created her version of the kimono as a dress in 2016, which also became a trend. When researching kimono, we also come across a lot of martial arts uniforms, which in Japan have various names.

It seems that in Brazil any overlayer shirt with a belt ends up being dubbed a Kimono. Here even Yukata are sold in the store under the name Kimono, but don't be fooled.

Kimono - everything about the traditional Japanese garment
kids fighting karate

What occasions to wear a Kimono?

Kimono [着物 Kimono] is a traditional Japanese garment composed of silk clothes, belts and various accessories. Because it's a traditional, expensive and complex outfit, no, it's something common to wear day to day.

Despite all the difficulties and different types of kimonos for each occasion, they are very dear to the Japanese. Below we will see some of the main situations or occasions where one should wear a kimono:

Kimono with Hakama skirt at graduation ceremony

A great opportunity to wear the kimono is during graduation ceremonies at universities and colleges. For women, it is one of the only opportunities to wear the Hakama over the Kimono (a type of skirt worn by samurai).

Kimono - everything about the traditional Japanese garment
Graduation wearing a traditional outfit with hakama

the wedding kimono

Western-style weddings are very popular in Japan, but some prefer to wear kimonos in traditional Shinto weddings. Those who marry in the Western style also often wear the bridal kimono during the wedding reception.

In Shinto weddings, the groom typically wears a traditional dark-colored outfit with five family crests, known as kurotomesode. The groom also wears a hakama.

Wedding guests also often wear traditional Japanese clothing. Single and young women often wear brighter colors, older guests often wear darker colors.

Kimono - everything about the traditional Japanese garment
traditional shinto wedding

Kimono used in Funerals

At funerals it is customary to use the Black kimono, unfortunately this custom has been replaced by suits that are cheaper.

Wearing Kimono in stores

The employees of stores that sell traditional items, such as wagashi, often dress in kimono. Cleaning the street in front of the store in kimono is a tradition. There are many other types of businesses that often choose traditional clothing as their uniform.

Restaurants are some of the businesses with an implicit dress code. The easiest way to see Japanese people wearing their traditional clothing in a modern and technological city is by visiting such traditional shops and restaurants.

Read also: 18 Wagashi – Japanese desserts

Kimono in the art of Kyudo

Kyudo is a Japanese archery practice in which it is common to wear Kimono along with Hakama. It is quite different from the Kimono clothing used in other Japanese martial arts, also because Kyudo has more female participation.

Read also: The translation for "marciais japonesas" is "Japanese martial arts"

Kimono - everything about the traditional Japanese garment
Kyudo Art Practitioners

Wearing the Kimono at Festivals and Hanami

Japanese festivals often involve performances or parades of people wearing yukata, or Kimono. In many cases, people also attend the festivals in traditional Japanese clothing.

However, it is much more common to go to a matsuri in a yukata (a type of summer kimono, cheaper). In addition to the festivals, during the months when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, the Japanese often wear a Kimono or Yukata to watch the cherry blossoms bloom.

See too: Hanami Guide - Appreciating the flowers in Japan

Kimono - everything about the traditional Japanese garment
Girls enjoying the hanami festival

Other situations where the Kimono is worn

Those who participate in the tea ceremony wear a Kimono. Geisha and Maiko, in addition to the traditional clothing, often wear additional layers, such as a shiny inner layer known as a hiyoku.

Traditional Japanese inns are a great opportunity for you to use a Yukata. It is common to wear kimono to training and events in traditional Japanese arts such as Ikebana, musical performances or traditional wrestling.

See too: Ikebana - The Japanese art of floral arrangements

These are some of the occasions that the Japanese use this traditional clothing. There are many others, in addition to many details that were not mentioned in each occasion. What did you think of the article? Leave your comments and share with friends.

Where to Buy a Kimono?

To purchase traditional Japanese clothes, you may need to import from Japanese websites, but there are alternatives such as having them made or buying cheap imitations inspired by famous stores like Amazon.

We also recommend reading: Amazon - The largest online store in Japan and in the world

Maybe your case is just a Kimono to practice martial arts. If that is the case, the options below will help you:

videos about kimono

Below we will leave some videos related to traditional Japanese clothing:

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