Archives for the day Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Kimono

 When you hear “Japan”, many people would imagine “Kimono”, “Geisha”, “Samurai”,”Ninja” etc. When you actually visit Japan,you would find many people wearing western style clothing.

 Interesting thing is that, people still wear kimono on special occasion,but most of the time, they wear western style clothing and,most likely the clothe that has English phrases on it. Sometimes, such phrases don’t make sense. One time,I have seen a girl that wore orange colored T-shirt that said ” I love carrots”. It was really weird.

 One point time, very tall heel boots was hot item in Japan. Maybe heel was about 5 inches tall or so and foot point area was about at least 3 inches from floor,and if you wear it,the boots were really heavy when lifted. Girls who wore these type of boots looked really tall. This hot item was really popular among girls but it also was a problem maker if they wanted to run to catch the train. I have seen many girls stumbled over because of such tall heavy boots.

 If you visit Japan when there is no special occasions, you still can see Kimonos. Visit “Toei Kyoto Studio Park” (it is called “Eiga Mura” in Japanese). It is just like Universal studio in sense. TV station use the area to shoot samurai dramas and you get to see actors or actress that wear kimono or wearing samurai costumes. And, you get to see buildings they use for the dramas. If you were lucky,you can ask actors/actress that are in samurai costume or in kimono to take a picture with you. This studio park is located in Kyoto prefecture and the area has so many historical buildings and you probably get to see Geisha too if you were lucky. To see what studio park is like,please click here.

 So, Kimono is for special occasion. There are more than one type of kimono.

 One is called Furisode, and it has long sleeves and it is worn by unmarried women on “coming of age day” etc. Another one is called “Tomesode” and it is for attending wedding in general. Color is usually black and it has family crest on it. Often times, people that wear Tomesode has fan as accessory. Other type of kimono is called “Ho mongi”. People wear Ho mongi for formal visit such as New years day.

 This Japanese website has picture of kimonos I wrote about above. So, black one on top is tomesode, one picture down is furisode,one more picture down is Ho mongi. Then,one picture down that looks like lady’s skirt is actually for men and it is called Hakama. If you were familiar with samurai drama,often times,actors wear it just like you wear jeans. It is kind of like traditional wear for men.

 By looking at those pictures,you may notice that kimono is not just one layer clothing. Usually,under kimono,you wear underwear for top and bottom, and there is Japanese style traditional socks called “tabi”. It is white colored and it is just like oven mitt,it has just one area that separate foot fingers:toe vs rest foot toes. Then, you wear thin layer of clothing called “nagajuban”. Then there is under belt called “datejime”. Then,finally,you have real kimono over to wear. There are so many ways to tie “Obi”.
Obi is thick kimono belt around your waist. And then, so many ways to knotting obijime too. Obijime is kind of like thing string that goes over “Obi”. It is there to keep the knotted Obi in shape. Here,you can see how Obi is tied. This is just one way to tie it and there are many more ways to tie it.

 Then, if you wear kimono,you would not wear sneakers. You would wear foot wear called “zouri”. Zouri has 2 strips goes over your foot,and string comes between big toe and second toe and you may find it interesting to know that there is no left zouri,Right zouri like your usual foot wear. Here,you can see in picture how you wear kimonos.

 If you had a chance to visit Japan, explore some of our culture and it will be fun for you to wear Kimono and take a picture of you in Kimono. It sure would make your friends go “wow”.
 

 
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Oct 01, 2009 | 0 | Uncategorized