Yukata – Japanese clothing for summer

You've certainly seen the yukata (浴衣) in anime or something related to Japanese culture. This garment is generally worn in summer as it is more comfortable and has a lighter fabric. The yukata can be used by both men and women, changing little in style.

The yukata is a casual style for the kimono, which is worn by men, women and children alike. The yukata fabric is cotton or synthetic fabric. It is like an elegant robe, attached to the body with a sash called an obi (fabric belt). But how did this style come about? What is the difference between kimono and yukata? Let's see more details of this outfit.

Yukata - yukata - Japanese clothing for summer

How and when did yukata come about?

The yukata is a more traditional costume, however on certain occasions, festivities are common. The clothing originated from the yukatabira (湯帷子), a garment made from hemp (cannabis sativa species) and commonly worn by people belonging to the nobility to bathe in hot springs (onsen).

This already happened in the Heian period (794 – 1185), but became popular in the Edo Era (1603 – 1868) with the growth of the use of cotton in Japan. It is believed that the cotton in the fabric was around 799 when it was taken to Japan by shipwrecked Chinese. Cotton cultivation has only increased. becoming the largest producer of traditionally made kimonos.

Yukata literally means, “swimsuit” and at first that was supposed to be the goal. The yukata was used for a while just as bedroom clothes to wear after bathing or sleeping. But clothing ended up taking over at festivals as well. The traditional yukata had its fabric dyed with indigo leaves (the plant that gives rise to the indigo blue color) similar to jeans, it varies between blue and a little white.

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But nowadays there are a wide variety of models to use and it is possible to make different combinations using accessories and much more. There isn't much of a pattern to follow these days with this outfit. Male yukatas are darker in color, while female yukatas are more colorful and usually have flowery designs.

It is still common for people to use yukata in japanese festivals and at fireworks festivals (Hanabi Taikai). Also in other traditional events that take place during the summer. In places that have hot springs they walk freely with the yukata. Also, in traditional ryokans hotels and onsens.

What is the difference between yukata and kimono?

Kimono literally means “clothing” and is usually worn on more formal occasions such as weddings, funerals and so on. In the past it was common to be used by men in their daily lives. However, it is now more focused on certain formal events.

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The kimonos, both male and female, are usually in more discreet prints, to wear the gi it is necessary to follow some rules of etiquette such as occasion, season, sex, degree of kinship or marital status of the person wearing it.

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The modeling of the male and female kimono has a slight change in relation to the sleeves. The male kimonos are sewn under the arm and in the female the forearm is open. Fabrics can be cotton, silk and various synthetic fiber options.

The difference with yukata already starts with the nomenclature, yukata originated from the words yu (bath) and katabira (underwear). In addition to everything that has already been mentioned regarding clothing, the traditional yukata, usually made from the standard cotton fabric, is used for summer festivals and even as pajamas. The ways to dress are also different and the yukata is much lighter.

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Yukata - yukata - Japanese clothing for summer

How to wear yukata?

The Japan House São Paulo website (www.japanhousesp.com.br) took you step by step on how to use yukata.

You will need:

• Yukata : casual summer kimono.
• Obi (帯): ornamental band used to tie the kimono.
• two himos (紐): bands measuring, in general, 240 x 4.5 cm (can be adapted using bands of other widths or thick elastic, as long as they are comfortable and do not slip)
• Shitagi (下着): underwear used to protect the kimono from body sweat. This item is optional and can be fitted with a cotton t-shirt with a low back neckline to show the skin through the opening of the eri (衿), the collar.
• Geta (下駄): Japanese clogs. This item is also optional and can be fitted with flip-flops.

1. align the senu (背縫い), vertical seam in the center of the back, with the center of the body.

2. join the ends of eri to ensure the seam is in the center of the body and adjust the height of the bar.

3. Check the height of the bar on the left side of the yukata, because, in the end, this part will be on top.

4. Position the right side so that it is not visible after the left side overlaps. Overlap the left side. The ideal length should hide the ankles or allow it to subtly show when moving.

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5. tie the koshihimo (腰紐), hip mooring. Twist the body around twice and tighten enough to hold the fabric in place comfortably.

6. put your hand through miyatsukuchi (身八つ口), opening below the sleeve existing only in women's kimonos, and straighten the ohashori (おはしょり), double the excess tissue also present only in female kimonos. Arrange fabric at the back and front.

7. fix the eri in the front near the bones below the neck in a “Y” shape and leave an opening in the back of approximately a fist.

8. Machete munahimo (胸紐), the chest strap. Twist it around, take a deep breath, and squeeze to secure the fabric's position. This way you ensure that you can breathe comfortably while wearing the kimono.

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9. Smooth the fabric on the back and front of the munahimo It's from ohashori, also on the front and back, as they will be apparent after tying the obi.

10. If possible, align the seams on the front, sides and back of the kimono. This part requires training, but don't be discouraged if you can't. Use it in the way you can wear it and improve with time!

how to tie the obi

1. Fold the strap in half and leave a spare to secure the tie, passing a little diagonally past shoulder height.

2. Open the sash in an arrow, lining up the top of the sash at a height close to mid-bust or just below it, depending on body. Take two turns by squeezing the strap and breathing in the same way you did with the munahimo.

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3. diagonally fold the obi to facilitate node execution.

4. Loop the front of the body. Use the shoulder measurement to start the bending of the tare (たれ), the longest part that remains after the knot, and fold as many times as possible, aligning the edges.

5. Position approximately the center of the tare above the node. Fold in half crosswise and fold by folding the top and bottom halves again in half, forming an accordion.

6. Pass the leftover strip folded in half left at the beginning of the process, and pass under the previously made knot. Take one more turn to fix, roll up what's left, hiding inside the obi, and center the sides of the loop.

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7. Carefully rotate the obi, from left to right, so as not to clumsy the eri and position the loop in the center of the back.

8. put the geta – the Japanese clogs – and other accessories.