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Japanese Clothes

Japanese people today usually wear similar Western cloths.
Men wear trousers and women wear skirts. Not only young people but also elderly people like jeans.

"Kimono" is well-known to foreigners as the traditional and beautiful Japanese clothes.
Now, it is generally worn for such occasions as special ceremonies and parties.

Until the early 20th century all Japanese had worn the kimono.
But a person wearing kimono is difficult to move or run quickly, so many people had fallen victim to the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.
After that common Japanese have become to wear western clothes and we have decreased the chance that we wear the kimono.

I think you are surprised that few Japanese people wear the kimono in the city.

Basics about kimono

Furisode Kimono is generally the long clothes from neck to foot and is fixed at the waist with "obi" which is the belt of cloth.
The sleeves are large, and they are like pouches.

The formal kimonos are very expensive. It isn't sporty and how to wear is complicated.
But kimono for women is colorful and gorgeous, so it is the fashion which all Japanese ladies long for.
On the other hand, kimono for men generally have muted colors.

When we wear the kimono, we put on a pair of "tabi" instead of socks and wear a pair of "zori" instead of shoes.

Tabi is Japanese socks and the toes are separated into a part for a big toe and a part for the other four toes.

Zori is a traditional footwear and it's like sandal. It has a flat sole and a clog thong, and which is chiefly made of leather or vinyl.

As casual footwear there is "geta".
Geta is the wooden sandal. The clog thongs are tied to a wooden base under which two wooden supports are attached.

Variety of kimono for women


Wedding ceremony Furisode is the most beautiful and gorgeous kimono and has very long sleeves.
The color is brilliant and Japannish pictures are drawn.
This is generally worn for formal social functions such as the tea ceremony or wedding ceremonies of relatives.
Commonly this is for unmarried young women.


Tomesode is the formal kimono for married women.
The sleeves are short and the color and pattern are elegant.
Especially black tomesode is most formal kimono and is worn at wedding ceremonies of relatives.


"Homon" means "visit", and "gi" means "clothes", so this means visiting dress.
This is more casual than tomesode and the color and pattern are glamorous.
Both married and unmarried women can wear this.


Yukata Yukata is the casual summerweight kimono.
Generally it is worn directly on the underwear, so it is used as a nightwear.
If you stay a ryokan or hotel, you probably can wear it.
In summer young women recently wear the colorful yukata when some summer events are held.
When we wear the yukata, we put on geta instead of zori with bare feet.

Variety of kimono for men


"Nagagi" is the word that the style of general kimono is identified.
The form of kimono for men is almost same as one for women.
The difference is that the color is quiet and it has no colorful patten.
So we have no classified word. Commonly we call this kimono for men "kimono".

Haori and hakama

"Haori" is like jacket and is worn on kimono.
Especially, Haori that the color is black and some family embrems are on the position of chest and back is called "montsuki".

"Hakama" is like trousers and is also worn on kimono.
These are generally worn for formal social functions. But many men today wear the formal suits and only some men wear kimono.


"Samue" is originally work clothes of Buddhist monk.
It is similar to Judo uniform and the color is generally dark blue or brown.
Of course you can find it in any temple. And recently some men wear it as lounge wear.


Men also wear yukata in summer.
Generally he wear it when his partner wear.

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