Japanese kimono are traditional Japanese clothing that are famous around the world for their beauty and style. Kimono is a long T-shaped robe with long sleeves and a decorative belt, worn by both men and women.
In Japanese, the word “ki” means to wear and “mono” means to dress, so when it comes to “Kimono”, in Japanese, people simply mean wearing clothes. Experiencing ups and downs in history with changes in shape and color, the name Kimono has become a familiar and famous name worldwide when talking about Japanese costumes. Kimono not all people, all ages, all social classes wear the same but there will be distinctions by age, social class and even by season.
When talking about Japanese Kimono, people immediately think of Phu Tang with the image of a beautiful and beautiful Japanese woman with delicate cherry blossom petals. And Kimono is indeed the most unique among traditional Japanese clothing. In the past, both men and women used Kimono as everyday wear.
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What is the traditional Japanese clothing? Japanese Kimono
Japanese Kimono (Kanji: 着物; Kana: きもの; Pinyin: “Truth”, meaning “thing to wear”) or also known as Wafuku (和服; わふく; Sino-Vietnamese: “Harmony”, meaning ” Japanese clothes”), is a type of traditional Japanese clothing. For Japanese culture, Kimono is not only a traditional costume but also considered a work of art.
The Japanese kimono has long sleeves and is long from shoulder to heel. Different types of Kimono are worn depending on the occasion; Kimono for everyday wear is much simpler than for formal occasions. Kimonos are usually made of silk and they are tied with a wide belt called an obi.
Where did the Japanese kimono come from?
History and Tradition of Japanese Kimono
The Japanese kimono or gofuku is derived from the clothing worn in China during the Wu dynasty. Han Chinese costumes or silk robes greatly influenced the original Japanese traditional clothing. It’s an old style of dress worn before China’s Qing Dynasty in the mid-1600s. As the rulers changed, so did the Japanese kimono. From the 8th to 11th centuries, the unique Japanese style of layered silk robes was established after being inspired by Chinese costumes.
Who invented the Japanese Kimono?
The first ancestor of the Japanese Kimono was born in the Heian period (794-1192). Straight cuts of fabric are sewn together to create a garment that fits every body shape. It is easy to wear and infinitely adaptable. By the Edo period (1603-1868), it had evolved into a men’s outerwear known as the Kosode.
What does the Japanese kimono represent?
Said to have a lifespan of thousands of years and live in the land of the immortals, the Japanese Kimono is a symbol of longevity and good fortune.
Specific motifs are used to signify virtues or attributes of the wearer, or to relate to seasons or occasions such as weddings and festivals, where it brings good luck to the wearer.
History of traditional Japanese clothing – JAPANESE KIMONO
Traditional Japanese Clothing of the Jomon Period
During this period, clothing was used for the purpose of preventing cold and heat and protecting oneself from enemies, wind, and rain. Clothes are not meant to be decorative. After humans did agriculture, fabric fibers were born. Hemp fiber was first used in the making of clothing.
Yayoi Era Japanese Traditional Dress
During the Yayoi period, fabrics began to be dyed. A rudimentary outfit also comes with a belt. Many consider it quite similar to the Indian sare.
During the Kofun period, the Yamato Imperial Court made a lot of exchanges with the continent, and greatly influenced from China. The girls wear similar Korean costumes. The upper part of the sleeve is quite similar to the Chinese dress.
During the Heian period, traditional Japanese clothing had many changes. The costumes were influenced by the climate in Kyoto and the development of court culture.
Kamakura / Muromachi . Era
This was the height of the Samurai. Therefore, the costume is of a combat nature. Short sleeves, not underwear.
The Momoyama period was peaceful and war free. Momoyama culture – arts and crafts was born. In this era, there are many items that are precisely handcrafted such as embroidered leaves, slip leaves, etc. Dyeing and weaving technology has developed tremendously.
The culture of other countries is conveyed by the openness of the country. Westernized lifestyle and dress style.
Traditional Japanese clothing Showa Heisei Period to Present
In everyday life, the chances of wearing a kimono are decreasing day by day. Japanese kimonos are usually only used during weddings, festivals, or funerals. There are many traditional events in Japan that go well with kimono, including New Year’s Day, New Year’s Day, Adult Celebration, Shichigosan, and more, throughout the four seasons. Nowadays, people are looking for more opportunities to wear kimono such as opening ceremony, graduation ceremony, alumni association, summer festival, Tanabata, theater, shopping, lessons like tea, flowers, dance dance,…
Materials for making Japanese Kimono
The Japanese kimono is colored in one of two ways: the fabric is woven from threads of different colors or the textile is dyed.
The advantage of woven fabric with colored thread is that it has an even color on both sides, so if the front side of the fabric is faded, it can be flipped to the other side to use. The advantage of dyed fabric is that if the color fades, it is easy to dye a new color.
Unique design of Japanese Kimono
To have a beautiful and unique Kimono, the designer must be meticulous in every step. From choosing fabrics, choosing colors, decorating patterns to choosing accessories. Japanese Kimono is designed with 8 pieces that can be adjusted to fit the wearer and decorated with patterns or dyed. The colors of Kimono costumes often represent the seasons of the year and each class of society has its own color.
Kimono for women often has natural symbols, floral motifs. Depending on your age, choose the right color. For children and unmarried women often choose bright colors like red. As for ordinary people, on holidays, when wearing Kimono, they have to wear a small piece of cloth on the sleeve decorated with the family’s seal.
Types of Japanese Kimono
– Traditional Japanese clothing – Men’s Kimono
For men, kimono is usually only used on holidays. They wear Japanese kimono at weddings or tea ceremonies. Men’s Kimono usually has no pattern, dark color, printed with the family crest, usually black is the most luxurious color. A Kimono outfit for men includes:
Haori: is a type of traditional Japanese shirt, shaped quite like a kimono but with a length of only the wearer’s waist or thighs. Haori is worn as an overcoat, for a natural look, without a belt.
Hakama: is a type of traditional Japanese clothing. Hakama is like half pants and half skirt, with very wide pants, worn over a kimono. These days, Japanese men often wear hakama pants over the kimono to make it easier to move and more comfortable.
– Traditional Japanese clothing – Kimono for women
Furisode: mainly used for young unmarried girls, with vibrant colors, wide sleeves, many decorative patterns to create a youthful and feminine look.
Shiromaku: used in traditional Japanese weddings. This long, elegant color almost pure white symbolizes the purity of the bride. Shiromaku is quite cumbersome, so when moving, he needs help from others.
Houmongi: different from Furisode, it is used for married women.
Tomesode: usually black for married women. Its recognizable point is the short sleeves, the skirt is decorated with simple patterns to create accents.
Yukata: made of ordinary cotton cloth, usually used in the summer and found in many traditional Japanese inns. Yukata can also be used in traditional Japanese summer dance festivals and festivals. Both men and women can wear this.
Mofuku: black color used in funerals.
Tsukesage: worn at parties, tea parties, flower arrangements and friends’ weddings.
Tsumugi: simple, even for casual occasions.
One point you cannot forget that comes with the Japanese Kimono set is the rather high wooden clogs. Even if you don’t wear it, you may experience foot pain. Wearing a traditional Kimono is time-consuming and often requires help.
Necessary items for wearing Japanese kimono
You can’t wear a kimono by yourself, you always need other accessories.
• Japanese Kimono: Main costume. Fabrics made from cotton, hemp, wool, silk, etc.
• Obi: An oblong cloth wrapped around the waist from above the kimono.
• Hiramugi: Underwear for kimono only.
• Lapse Strap: A kimono belt fixed to the body.
• The belt is wrapped under the belt: The purpose is to prevent the shape of the belt from collapsing.
• Japanese traditional shoe socks
• Clogs and sandals: traditional shoes to match the kimono.
How to Wear Traditional Japanese Clothing – Japanese Kimono
• Before wearing a kimono, first put on kabushi and socks. Next wear the seams of the back of the kimono to the center of the spine. Then pull the right body of the kimono on the left side and wrap the body tightly. Next, bring the left body to the right, the shape of the kimono should overlap.
• Adjust the hem to the ankle. Japanese kimono is made of long fabric. The important point is to adjust the length to fit your height and figure. If you’re bending an extra layer of fabric on each belt, thread the waistband from front to back through it. Cross over your back and tie. After tying the waistband, straighten the upper fabric. Next, rotate around the waist and tie the front.
• Then it’s time to connect the straps. After winding the belt around your belly, fold the excess fabric and make a knot in the shape you like. The process of making a knot is complex and sophisticated.
• Finally, shoes. You can choose depending on the kimono you wear. Hairdressing to match the kimono is also a necessity.
Events wearing traditional Japanese clothing – Japanese Kimono
The Japanese are extremely sensitive to the four seasons and their clothes always follow the weather. The Japanese are also often informed about the stages in their lives. For example, special events are held to mark important milestones in a child’s growth and people change their Japanese kimonos to suit both the weather and the event.
– Children’s Day 753, this day is considered the first day to wear a kimono in the life of Japanese babies.
– Coming of age ceremony. This is one of the pretty big holidays in this country. This holiday takes place to wish the best luck to young Japanese who have just turned 20 years old.
-The third time must be very unforgettable, it is the wedding ceremony. On this day, the bride can wear Kimono, which can be said to be the most beautiful in her life, unforgettable.
-That’s the funeral, the Japanese will wear Kimono, but with motifs and designs suitable for the funeral day, it will not be as colorful as regular Kimono.
Nowadays, in daily life, Japanese people no longer wear Japanese Kimono as much as before, but they only wear it on important holidays of the year such as funerals, weddings, parties, Tet or special events. is different. Hopefully, this article has helped you gain more information about traditional Japanese clothing. Come to Japan to experience these special features with family and friends!