The kimono (着物, きもの) is a traditional Japanese garment. The word kimono literally means "thing to wear on the shoulders"; ki comes from the verb kiru (着る), a gender-neutral verb describes clothing worn on the shoulders or on the entire body, and mono (物) means "thing".
"Kimono" in kanji
Over time, the kimono has come to be a T-shaped wrapped garment with set sleeve lengths, variations and a set way of construction. The plural of kimono is kimono, as Japanese does not distinguish plural nouns, though the English plural kimonos is also used. Kimono are often worn for important public holidays and festivals, and for formal occasions such as weddings and funerals.
The kimono is usually worn ankle-length, though women's kimono are longer as their kimono are folded at the hip. The collar is attached flatly, and always worn left over right (unless the person wearing kimono is deceased). The kimono's sleeves reach the wrist, and variations of kimono may have sleeves long enough to touch the ground.
Kimono are tied with a sash called an obi, knotted at the back, though it is a series of ties called koshihimo ('waist cord/wrap') that actually keep kimono closed, as modern obi are too stiff to keep kimono in place. The obi is tied in a knot known as a musubi at the back, and there are many varieties of musubi based on formality, obi type and age. Kimono are generally worn with traditional footwear such as zōri or geta, and split-toed socks called tabi.
Today, kimono are most often worn by women, particularly on special occasions. Unmarried women traditionally wore furisode ('swinging sleeve') kimono, with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions, though even their casual kimono would have longer sleeves with rounded edges at the front. In modern times, a woman generally only wears furisode to special occasions, and stops wearing furisode in her early 20s, married or not. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions.
The people who tend to wear kimono the most on a daily basis are older men and women, geisha, and sumo wrestlers, the last being required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.
Chinese fashion had a huge influence on Japan from the Kofun period to the early Heian period as a result of mass immigration from the continent and a Japanese envoy to the Tang dynasty. There is an opinion that Kimono was basically derived from the Chinese clothing in the Wu region. During Japan's Heian period (794–1192 AD), the kimono became increasingly stylized, though one still wore a half-apron, called a mo, over it. During the Muromachi age (1336–1573 AD), the Kosode, a single kimono formerly considered underwear, began to be worn without the hakama (trousers, divided skirt) over it, and thus began to be held closed by an obi "belt". During the Edo period (1603–1867 AD), the sleeves began to grow in length, especially among unmarried women, and the Obi became wider, with various styles of tying coming into fashion. Since then, the basic shape of both the men's and women's kimono has remained essentially unchanged. Kimonos made with exceptional skill from fine materials have been regarded as great works of art.
The formal kimono was replaced by the more convenient Western clothes and yukata as everyday wear. After an edict by Emperor Meiji, police, railroad men and teachers moved to Western clothes. The Japanese began shedding kimonos in favor of Western dress in the 1870s. The Western clothes became the army and school uniform for boys. After the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, kimono wearers often became victims of robbery because they could not run very fast due to the restricting nature of the kimono on the body and geta clogs. Also, kimono produced by traditional methods have become too expensive for the average family. A common price for a kimono- and-obi ensemble is over $1,000, according to the Tokyo Wholesalers Association. Many cost far more. Even on some special occasions such as wedding day, an elaborate kimono is de rigueur, most people choose to rent one. The Tokyo Women's & Children's Wear Manufacturers' Association (東京婦人子供服組合) promoted Western clothes. Between 1920 and 1930 the sailor outfit replaced the undivided hakama in school uniforms for girls. The national uniform, Kokumin-fuku, a type of Western clothes, was mandated for males in 1940. Today most people wear Western clothes and wear the breezier and more comfortable yukata for special occasions.
In the Western world, kimono-styled women's jackets, similar to a casual cardigan, gained public attention as a popular fashion item in 2014. Kimonos are also worn on special occasions such as coming of age ceremonies and many other traditional Japanese events.
Textiles and construction of kimonoEdit
Over time, the proportions of kimono have evolved differently for men and women. Men's kimono should fall approximately to the ankle, with no hip fold – the ohashori. A woman's kimono, however, should be as tall as she is, in order to allow the correct length for the ohashori to be formed. An ideally tailored kimono has sleeves that fall to the wrist when the arms are lowered; however, in informal situations, this is not strictly necessary, and indeed, kimono are worn casually by some women without the ohashori.
Kimono textiles can to be classified into two categories: Gofuku(呉服), which indicates silk textiles in general, for luxuries and cotton/hemp Futomono(太物) for everyday wear. Gofuku was named after 呉 (Wú) in ancient China, where the technology of silk fabrics originated from. Cotton clothing is called Momenfuku (木綿服) whereas hemp clothing is called Asafuku (麻服) in Japanese. Cotton/hemp fabrics are generally called as Futomono (太物, Thick materials) as the fiber of these materials are thicker compared to that of silk. Till the end of the Edo period, tailoring of these fabrics were handled respectively at Gofuku store (Gofuku Dana) and Futomono stores (Futomono Dana), however, after the Meiji period, kimono was not worn as daily wear very often and Futomono stores eventually went out of business.
Kimono are traditional made from a single bolt of fabric called a tanmono, which varies in size and shape for both men and women. Tanmono are roughly 36cm wide and 11.5m long for women, and the entire bolt is used to make one kimono. Some men's tanmono are woven especially long to include enough fabric for a haori, juban and kimono as well, as men's kimono can come in matching sets of the same fabric and colour.
The finished kimono consists of four main strips of fabric – two panels covering the body and two panels forming the sleeves – with additional smaller strips forming the narrow front panels and the collar. Children's kimono commonly consist of just three main panels, as only one width of fabric is needed for the body.
Historically, kimono were often taken apart for washing in separate panels, and were resewn by hand. Because of the standardised method of construction, and the fact that no fabric is wasted, the kimono can easily be retailored to fit the changing body, or indeed another person.
The maximum width of the sleeve is dictated by the width of the fabric. The distance from the center of the spine to the end of the sleeve could not exceed twice the width of the fabric. Traditional kimono fabric was typically no more than 36 centimeters (14 inches) wide. Thus the distance from spine to wrist could not exceed a maximum of roughly 68 centimeters (27 inches). Modern kimono fabric is woven as wide as 42 centimeters (17 inches) to accommodate modern Japanese body sizes. Very tall or heavy people, such as sumo wrestlers, must have kimonos custom-made by either joining multiple bolts, weaving custom-width fabric, or using non-standard size fabric.
Traditionally, kimono are sewn by hand; even machine-made kimono require substantial hand-stitching. Kimono fabrics are frequently hand-made and -decorated. Techniques such as yūzen dye resist are used for applying decoration and patterns to the base cloth. Repeating patterns that cover a large area of a kimono are traditionally done with the yūzen resist technique and a stencil. Over time there have been many variations in color, fabric, and style, as well as accessories such as the obi.
The kimono and obi are traditionally made of hemp, linen, silk, silk brocade, silk crepes (such as chirimen) and satin weaves (such as rinzu). Modern kimonos are widely available in less-expensive easy-care fabrics such as rayon, cotton sateen, cotton, polyester and other synthetic fibers. Silk is still considered the ideal fabric.
Customarily, woven patterns and dyed repeat patterns are considered informal. Formal kimonos have free-style designs dyed over the whole surface or along the hem. During the Heian period, kimonos were worn with up to a dozen or more colorful contrasting layers, with each combination of colors being a named pattern. Today, the kimono is normally worn with a single layer on top of one or more undergarments.
The pattern of the kimono can determine in which season it should be worn. For example, a pattern with butterflies or cherry blossoms would be worn in spring. Watery designs are common during the summer. A popular autumn motif is the russet leaf of the Japanese maple; for winter, designs may include bamboo, pine trees and plum blossoms.
A popular form of textile art in Japan is shibori (intricate tie dye), found on some of the more expensive kimonos and haori kimono jackets. Patterns are created by minutely binding the fabric and masking off areas, then dying it, usually by hand. When the bindings are removed, an undyed pattern is revealed. Shibori work can be further enhanced with yuzen (hand applied) drawing or painting with textile dyes or with embroidery; it is then known as tsujigahana. Shibori textiles are very time-consuming to produce and require great skill, so the textiles and garments created from them are very expensive and highly prized.
Old kimono have historically been recycled in various ways, depending on the type of kimono and its original use. Kimono were shortened, with the okumi taken off and the collar re-sewn, to make haori, or would simply be cut at the waist to create a side-tying jacket. After marriage or a certain age, young women would shorten the sleeves of their kimono, and extra material taken from kimono could be used to lengthen it at the waist, create an obi, or was used to patch similar kimono.
Kimono were also used to create dounuki, underkimono worn on top of the juban, and the material would show at the sleeve, hem and collar. Kimono were also used to create juban themselves, and after wearing layered kimono fell out of fashion, create a false underlayer – a hiyoku – was another use for old kimono. They could also be resewn into kimono for children.
Historically, skilled craftsmen would laboriously cut old silk kimono into strips roughly 1cm wide to weave into obi, called saki-ori obi. The technique was a kind of rag-weaving, creating a mostly one-sided obi that was relatively narrow and informal. Saki-ori obi are prized for their craftsmanship and rustic quality today, as they would have taken many hours to create, and saki-ori obi often feature patterns of stripes, checks and arrows. The technique is kept alive to this day by craftspeople interested in rustic arts.
These terms refer to parts of a kimono:
- Dōura (胴裏): upper lining on a woman's kimono.
- Eri (衿): collar.
- Fuki (袘): hem guard.
- Furi (振): sleeve below the armhole.
- Obi (帯): a belt used to tuck excess cloth away from the seeing public.
- Maemigoro (前身頃): front main panel, excluding sleeves. The covering portion of the other side of the back, maemigoro is divided into "right maemigoro" and "left maemigoro".
- Miyatsukuchi (身八つ口): opening under the sleeve.
- Okumi (衽): front inside panel on the front edge of the left and right, excluding the sleeve of a kimono. Until the collar, down to the bottom of the dress goes, up and down part of the strip of cloth. Have sewn the front body. It is also called "袵".
- Sode (袖): sleeve.
- Sodeguchi (袖口): sleeve opening.
- Sodetsuke (袖付): kimono armhole.
- Susomawashi (裾回し): lower lining.
- Tamoto (袂): sleeve pouch.
- Tomoeri (共衿): over-collar (collar protector).
- Uraeri (裏襟): inner collar.
- Ushiromigoro (後身頃): back main panel, excluding sleeves, covering the back portion. They are basically sewn back-centered and consist of "right ushiromigoro" and "left ushiromigoro", but for wool fabric, the ushiromigoro consists of one piece.
A brand-new women's kimono may easily exceed US$10,000; a complete outfit, with kimono, undergarments, obi, socks, shoes and accessories can easily exceed US$20,000, with a single brand-new obi costing upwards of several thousand dollars.
However, most kimono owned by kimono hobbyists or practitioners of the traditional arts are far less expensive. Cheaper and synthetic fabrics can substitute for traditional hand-dyed silk, and modern-day brand-new synthetic kimono are sold as 'washable' and easy to care for. Some people make their own kimono, as kimono do not require a paper pattern or extensive fitting to sew, and can be made of whatever fabrics the owner wants.
Many kimono are also bought second-hand from vintage stores, a lucrative business in Japan, as kimono do not go out of fashion, though certain motifs and colours can be attributed to different eras. These can cost as little as ¥100 (about $0.9) at thrift stores in the Tokyo area, and the Nishijin district of Kyoto is also known for its pre-loved kimono markets. Even antique obi can retail cheaply, though they can be stained and fragile. Women's obi, however, mostly remain an expensive item; though simply-patterned or relatively plain obi can retail second-hand for as little as ¥500 (about $4.5), even a used, well-kept and high-quality obi can cost upwards of $300, as they are often decorated with embroidery, goldwork and hand-painted by craftsmen. Men's obi, even those made from silk, tend to be much less expensive, as they are narrower, shorter and less decorative than those worn by women.
Kimonos range from extremely formal to casual. The level of formality of women's kimono is determined mostly by the pattern of the fabric, and color. Young women's kimonos have longer sleeves, signifying that they are not married, and tend to be more elaborate than similarly formal older women's kimono. Men's kimonos are usually one basic shape and are mainly worn in subdued colors. Formality is also determined by the type and color of accessories, the fabric, and the number or absence of kamon (family crests), with five crests signifying extreme formality. Silk is the most desirable, and most formal, fabric. Kimonos made of fabrics such as cotton and polyester generally reflect a more casual style.
The typical woman's kimono outfit consists of twelve or more separate pieces that are worn, matched, and secured in prescribed ways, and the assistance of licensed professional kimono dressers may be required. Called upon mostly for special occasions, kimono dressers both work out of hair salons and make house calls.
Choosing an appropriate type of kimono requires knowledge of the garment's symbolism and subtle social messages, reflecting the woman's age, marital status, and the level of formality of the occasion.
Haruyo Morita (森田 春代 Morita Haruyo) served mandatory apprenticeships studying and working as a kimono painter and designer until 1972 when she began paintings of women wearing beautiful traditional kimonos, sometimes in imagined settings, which became her signature style of art.
Furisode (振袖) literally translates as swinging sleeves—-the sleeves of furisode average between 39 and 42 inches (110 cm) in length. Furisode are the most formal kimono for unmarried women, with colorful patterns that cover the entire garment. They are usually worn at coming-of-age ceremonies (seijin shiki) and by unmarried female relatives of the bride at weddings and wedding receptions.
Hōmongi (訪問着) literally translates as visiting wear. Characterized by patterns that flow over the shoulders, seams and sleeves, hōmongi rank slightly higher than their close relative, the tsukesage. Hōmongi may be worn by both married and unmarried women; often friends of the bride will wear hōmongi at weddings (except relatives) and receptions. They may also be worn to formal parties.
Iromuji (色無地) are colored kimono that may be worn by married and unmarried women. They are mainly worn to tea ceremonies. The dyed silk may be figured (rinzu, similar to jacquard), but has no differently colored patterns. It comes from the word "muji" which means plain or solid and "iro" which means color.
Komon (小紋) means "fine pattern". The term refers to kimono with a small, repeated pattern throughout the garment. This style is more casual and may be worn around town, or dressed up with a formal obi for a restaurant. Both married and unmarried women may wear komon.
Edo komon (江戸小紋) is a type of komon characterized by tiny dots arranged in dense patterns that form larger designs. The Edo komon dyeing technique originated with the samurai class during the Edo period. A kimono with this type of pattern is of the same formality as an iromuji, and when decorated with kamon, may be worn as visiting wear (equivalent to a tsukesage or hōmongi).
Mofuku (喪服) is formal mourning dress for men or women. Both men and women wear kimono of plain black silk with five kamon over white undergarments and white tabi. For women, the obi and all accessories are also black. Men wear a subdued obi and black and white or black and gray striped hakama with black or white zōri.
The completely black mourning ensemble is usually reserved for family and others who are close to the deceased.
Tomesode (留袖) is formal kimono for married woman. The feature of it is the short sleeve, the traditional main color of body is black, the lap of kimono has some simple pattern and elegant color. 'Tomesode' also has a family token and is usually used for wedding party of relatives.
Irotomesode (色留袖) is single-color kimono, patterned only below the waistline. Irotomesode with five family crests are the same as formal as kurotomesode, and are worn by married and unmarried women, usually close relatives of the bride and groom at weddings and a medal ceremony at the royal court. An irotomesode may have three or one kamon. Those use as a semi-formal kimono at a party and conferment.
Kurotomesode (黒留袖) is a black kimono patterned only below the waistline. They are the most formal kimono for married women. They are often worn by the mothers of the bride and groom at weddings. Kurotomesode usually have five kamon printed on the sleeves, chest and back of the kimono.
Tsukesage (付け下げ) has more modest patterns that cover a smaller area—mainly below the waist—than the more formal hōmongi. They may also be worn by married women. The differences from homongi is the size of the pattern, seam connection, and not same clothes at inside and outside at hakke As demitoilet, not used in important occasion, but light patterned homongi is more highly rated than classic patterned tsukesage. General tsukesage is often used for parties, not ceremonies.
Uchikake (打ち掛け) is a highly formal kimono worn only by a bride or at a stage performance. The uchikake is often heavily brocaded and is supposed to be worn outside the actual kimono and obi, as a sort of coat. One therefore never ties the obi around the uchikake. It is supposed to trail along the floor, this is also why it is heavily padded along the hem. The uchikake of the bridal costume is either white or very colorful often with red as the base colour.
Shiromuku (白無垢, lit. "white pure-innocence") is a traditional, huge, thick, heavy, formal, ornate, brocaded, pure-white-on-white kimono, worn by the bride for a traditional Japanese Shinto wedding ceremony; a Japanese Shinto wedding dress. Comparable to a uchikake and sometimes described as just a white uchikake; a shiromuku kimono is worn for the formal solemn ceremony, symbolizing the purity and maidenhood of the bride coming into the marriage. The bride may change into a red kimono for the events after the ceremony for good luck. A shiromuku will also come with matching accessories, such as kanzashi, a sensu (see below), etc. Due to the expense of making a shiromuku, few own, or are likely to buy, a brand-new shiromuku kimono (those who do already own one are likely to have inherited it from close family elders); it is not unusual to rent kimono, shiromuku in particular, for special occasions; and indeed Shinto shrines are known to keep and rent-out such shiromuku kimono heirlooms for traditional weddings.
Worn with the shiromuku is a headdress called a tsunokakushi (角隠し, lit. "horn-hiding"), a headdress made from a rectangular piece of cloth, often made of white silk (to match the bride's shiromuku kimono), which covers the bridal high topknot (a Bunkin Takashimada), a kind of chonmage (a traditional topknot); they're traditionally worn to veil the bride's metaphorical 'horns of jealousy, ego and selfishness', and also symbolizes the bride's resolve to become a gentle and obedient wife. Alternately, the bride can wear a wataboshi (綿帽子, lit. "cotton hood"), an all-white hood or cowl, worn as an alternative to the tsunokakushi, and the Japanese equivalent to the Western marriage ceremony's bridal veil; its purpose is to hide the bride's face from all others, except for the bridegroom, until the end of the wedding ceremony. It was adapted from the katsuki, a hood worn outdoors to keep away dust and prevent from the cold, by married women in samurai families, from the Muromachi to Momoyama periods, before being taken up by younger women from the Edo period onwards. Like the shiromuku its worn in concert with, the wataboshi is a symbol of innocence and purity; its worn only outside in outdoor receptions with the shiromuku-only, not with coloured wedding iro-uchikake kimono, or during indoor receptions.
Susohiki / HikizuriEdit
The susohiki is usually worn by geisha or by stage performers of the traditional Japanese dance. It is quite long, compared to regular kimono, because the skirt is supposed to trail along the floor. Susohiki literally means "trail the skirt". Where a normal kimono for women is normally 1.5–1.6 m (4.9–5.2 ft) long, a susohiki can be up to 2 m (6.6 ft) long. This is also why geisha and maiko lift their kimono skirt when walking outside, also to show their beautiful underkimono or "nagajuban" (see below).
Hikizuri are also sewn differently to normal kimono, owing to the way that they are worn. The collar on a hikizuri is sewn further back into the neck, so that it can be pulled down lower without upsetting the line of the kimono; general tradition states that a young, unmarried woman wears her kimono collar a fist-size down from the nape of the neck, but hikizuri are pulled down much further than this, and the collar must be adjusted for this reason.
So that the underarm does not show when the collar is pulled down, the sleeves are set unevenly onto the body. The seam between the shoulder and the sleeve runs longer down the front than it does the back. When hikizuri are worn, the kimono is pulled up from the floor to the body diagonally, instead of keeping the side seams straight [note 1] – this emphasises the hips and helps the kimono to trail nicely on the floor. Because of this, the ohashori is tied unevenly, being longer at the back than the front, though it is usually tied up into the obi, and therefore not visible.
Jūnihitoe (十二単) is an extremely elegant and highly complex kimono that was only worn by Japanese court-ladies. The jūnihitoe consist of various layers which are silk garments, with the innermost garment being made of white silk. The total weight of the jūnihitoe could add up to 20 kilograms. An important accessory was an elaborate fan, which could be tied together by a rope when folded. Today, the jūnihitoe can only be seen in museums, movies, costume demonstrations, tourist attractions or at certain festivals. These robes are one of the most expensive items of Japanese clothing. Only the Imperial Household still officially uses them at some important functions.
In contrast to women's kimono, men's kimono outfits are far simpler, typically consisting of five pieces, not including footwear.
Men's kimono sleeves are attached to the body of the kimono with no more than a few inches unattached at the bottom, unlike the women's style of very deep sleeves mostly unattached from the body of the kimono. Men's sleeves are less deep than women's kimono sleeves to accommodate the obi around the waist beneath them, whereas on a woman's kimono, the long, unattached bottom of the sleeve can hang over the obi without getting in the way.
In the modern era, the principal distinctions between men's kimono are in the fabric. The typical men's kimono is a subdued, dark color; black, dark blues, greens, and browns are common. Fabrics are usually matte. Some have a subtle pattern, and textured fabrics are common in more casual kimono. More casual kimono may be made in slightly brighter colors, such as lighter purples, greens and blues. Sumo wrestlers have occasionally been known to wear quite bright colors such as fuchsia.
The most formal style of kimono is plain black silk with five kamon on the chest, shoulders and back. Slightly less formal is the three-kamon kimono.
- Aburatorigami (あぶらとり紙, lit. "oil removal paper")
- Traditional Japanese facial skin oil blotting paper, similar to tissues (facial tissue, Japanese tissue, etc.) and moist toilettes; an essential accessory to have on one's person, in their pocket, kinchaku, hakoseko, etc.
- Chihaya (襅)
- A kind of ceremonial overcoat with a long white hem, worn by Kannushi, Miko, the sweeper or branch-holder, in certain Shinto shrine ceremonies.
- Datejime (伊達締め) or datemaki (伊達巻き)
- A wide undersash used to tie the nagajuban and the outer kimono and hold them in place.
- Eri-sugata (衿姿)
- A detached collar that can be worn instead of a nagajuban in summer, when it can be too hot to comfortably wear a nagajuban. It replaces the nagajuban collar in supporting the kimono's collar.
- Fā (ファー)
- A fur collar, boa or stole (usually white) worn by women over a kimono; usually on furisode by young women out celebrating their Coming of Age at shrines, etc.
- Fukuro (袋, lit. "[small] pocket-bag, packet, shachet")
- A small scented cloth bag filled with scented herbs and spices, potpourri, or other aromatic ingredients, carried on one's person, in a pocket, kinchaku, hakoseko, etc. Scents for the shachets, and the materials the shachets are made from, may be chosen to co-ordinate with themes featured on a kimono, floral themes, seasonal, etc., or used as insect repellent.
- Fundoshi (褌)
- The traditional Japanese undergarment for adult males, basically a loincloth, made from a length of cotton cloth.
- Fusa (房, lit. "tassel")
- A tassel used as a finishing feature in fabric and clothing decoration; an accessory that can be found on kimono, obi, kanzashi, sensu (folding fan), kinchaku, etc. (see also haori-himo below).
- Gamaguchi (蝦蟇口, lit. "toad mouth")
- A small traditional Japanese clasped (known as a kissing lock) coin purse; so-called "toads mouth" because when it's open it resembles a toad's mouth. Coming an small and larger sizes, they can be used as coin purses, make-up cases and accessory holders, similar to hakoseko or kinchaku (see below).
- Geta (下駄)
- Wooden sandals worn by men and women with yukata. One unique style is worn solely by geisha (see okobo below). There are also Hiyori geta / Masa geta, Taka-ashida geta, Ippon geta / Tengu geta, Pokkuri geta.
- Hachimaki (鉢巻)
- Traditional Japanese stylized headband, worn to keep sweat off of one's face, and as a symbol of effort or courage by the wearer, especially by those in the military.
- Hadajuban (肌襦袢)
- Traditional, special undergarments for wearing under kimono, similar to a Western undershirt, camisole, etc.; usually short in make, going down to the hips, and made from cotton, so as to absorb sweat and provide comfort. A kosode can serve the same function, too.
- Hakama (袴)
- A divided (umanori-bakama) or undivided skirt (andon-bakama) which resembles a wide pair of trousers, traditionally worn by men but contemporarily also by women in less formal situations. A hakama typically is pleated and fastened by ribbons, tied around the waist over the obi. Men's hakama also have a koshi ita, which is a stiff or padded part in the lower back of the wearer. Hakama are worn in several budo arts such as aikido, kendo, iaidō and naginata. Hakama are often worn by women at college graduation ceremonies, and by Miko on shinto shrines. Depending on the pattern and material, hakama can range from very formal to visiting wear.
- Hakama Boots (袴ブーツ)
- A pair of boots (leather or faux leather), with low-to-mid heels, worn with a pair of hakama (a pair of traditional Japanese trousers); boots are a style of footwear that came in from the West during the Meiji Era; worn by women while wearing a hakama, optional footwear worn by young women, students and teachers at high-school and university graduation ceremonies, and by young women out celebrating their Coming of Age at shrines, etc., often with a hakama with furisode combination.
- Hakoseko (筥迫, lit. "boxy narrow thing")
- A small box-shaped billfold accessory; sometimes covered in materials to coordinate with the wearer's kimono or obi. Fastened closed with a cord, and carried tucked-within a person's futokoro, the space within the front of kimono collar and above the obi. Used for formal occasions that require traditional dress, such as a traditional Shinto wedding or a child's Shichi-Go-San ceremony. Originally used for practical uses, such as carrying around a woman's beni ita (lipstick), omamori (an amulet/talisman), kagami (mirror), tenugui (handkerchief), coins, and the like, it now has a more of a decorative role.
- Hanko (判子, lit. "small seal/stamp")
- A personal seal or stamp, carried on one's person, and used in leu of a signature in Japan, when signing important documents (bank transactions, etc.) The symbol can refer to the person's family crest (a kamon, see below), or to the person as an individual.
- Hanten (袢纏, lit. "half-wrap, half-dress")
- The worker's version of the more formal haori. As winterwear, it is often padded for warmth, giving it insulating properties, as opposed to the somewhat lighter happi. It could be worn outside in the wintertime by fieldworkers out working in the fields, by people at home as a housecoat or a cardigan, and even slept-in over one's bedclothes.
- Haori (羽織)
- A hip- or thigh-length kimono-like overcoat of varied length, which adds formality to an outfit. Haori were originally worn only by men, until it became a fashion for women in the Meiji period. They are now worn by both men and women. . The jinbaori (陣羽織) was specifically made for armoured samurai to wear.
- Haori-himo (羽織紐)
- A tasseled, woven string fastener for haori. The most formal color is white (see also fusa above).
- Happi (法被)
- A type of haori traditionally worn by shop keepers, sometimes uniform between the helpers of a shop (not unlike a propaganda kimono, but for advertising business), and is now associated mostly with festivals.
- Haramaki (腹巻, lit. "belly wrap")
- Are items of Japanese clothing that cover the stomach. They are worn for health, fashion and superstitious reasons.
- Hifu (被布)
- A protective padded outer vest or pinafore (also similar to a sweater vest or gilet), worn by young children over their kimono on outings, such as Shichi-Go-San.
- Hire (肩巾)
- A shawl; interchangeable with a tenugui (see below), but larger and made from thicker materials.
- Hitatare (直垂れ)
- A ancient, ceremonial Japanese court robe (similar to a suiken).
- Hitatare (垂領)
- A typical article of dress of the military class, common style of samurai dress, and similar to a suikan or a haori, usually worn together with a hakama (tucked-into the hamaka). The hitatare originated as commoner garb in the Heian period as a long-sleeved jacket and hakama trouser skirt combo, which was then adopted by the Taira clan and others when samurai clans assumed aristocratic practices. The large sleeves make the outfit appear more impressive than the previous standard samurai outfit. Armor (yoroi) was later then added onto the hitatare to be suitable for warfare.
- Hiyoku (比翼)
- A type of under-kimono, historically worn by women beneath the kimono. Today they are only worn on formal occasions such as weddings and other important social events. High class kimonos may have extra layers of lining to emulate the appearance of hiyoku worn beneath.
- Inrō (印籠)
- A traditional Japanese case for holding small objects, suspended from the obi (sash) worn around the waist. They are often highly decorated, in a variety of materials and techniques, in particular often using lacquer, and accompanied with a netsuke or ojime.
- Jika-tabi (地下足袋)
- A type of outdoor footwear worn in Japan. It was invented in the early 20th century. An ingenious accession to practicality, jika-tabi is more reflective of the underlying structure of the human foot.
- Jinbei (甚平)
- Traditional Japanese loose-woven cloth clothing, worn by men, women, boys, girls, and even babies, during the hot, humid summer season, in leu of kimono.
- Juban (襦袢) and Hadajuban (肌襦袢)
- A thin garment similar to an undershirt. It is worn under the nagajuban.
- Jittoku (十徳)
- Sometimes called a jittoku haori, is a type of haori worn only by men. Jittoku are only made of unlined ro or sha silk gauze regardless of the season. It falls to the hip, and has sewn himo made of the same fabric as the main garment. While a haori has a small sleeve opening like that of a kimono, a jittoku is fully open at the wrist side. Jittoku do not have mon. Jittoku originated in the Kamakura period (1185–1333 CE), and by the Edo period (1603–1868) they were worn with kimono by male doctors, monks, Confucian scholars and tea ceremony masters as kinagashi (as a replacement for hakama). In the modern day they are worn as kinagashi mainly by male practitioners of tea ceremony who have achieved a sufficiently high rank.
- Kagami (鏡)
- A mirror (i.e. a compact or a tekagami (手鏡, lit. "handmirror")), which can be carried on one's person, either in their hakoseko or kinchaku.
- Kaiken (懐剣)
- A traditional single-or-double-edged dagger, once carried by men and women of the samurai class in Japan; it was useful for self-defence in indoor spaces where the long blade katana and intermediate sword wakizashi were inconvenient. In modern Japan, a kaiken is worn as a traditional accessory for formal kimono, such as a furisode, uchikake and a shiromuku, tucked into their obi, the sheath can be upholstered in materials to match/coordinate with the wearer's kimono or obi and accessorized/coordinated with fusa, kanzashi, etc.; a prop kaiken, in leu of an actual kaiken, is also carried by men and boys (for Shichi-Go-San), tucked-into their hakama or obi, on their left side, tilted towards the center of the wearer's chest.
- Kairo (懐炉, lit. "pocket furnace")
- A pocket-heater/hand-warmer/heater-pack, a cold-day accessory (and may come in its own kinchaku cloth sachet packet).
- Kamon (家紋, lit. "family crest")
- A symbol that features on formal kimono that is the person's family crest, or to the person as an individual (a hanko, see above).
- Kanjiki (橇)
- Traditional Japanese show shoes for winter wear.
- Kanzashi (簪, lit. "hairpin")
- Hair ornaments worn by women. Many different styles exist, including silk flowers, wooden combs, and jade hairpins. A smaller version can be paired inter-changeably with a hakoseko, a traditional Japanese clutch-purse.
- Kappōgi (割烹着, lit. "cooking wear")
- A type of gown-like apron; first designed to protect kimono from food stains, it has baggy sleeves, is as long as the wearer's knees, and fastens with strips of cloth ties that are tied at the back of the neck and the waist. Particularly used when cooking and cleaning, it is worn by Japanese housewives, lunch ladies, cleaners, etc.
- Kasa (笠)
- A traditional Japanese bamboo hat/conical hat; the term is also used as a cover-term for several other traditional Japanese hats, including the amigasa, jingasa, sugegasa, etc.
- Kinchaku (巾着)
- A traditional Japanese drawstring bag or pouch, worn like a purse or handbag (similar to the English reticule), for carrying around personal possessions (money, etc.), similar to a sagemono (see below). Also referred to as Kimono Bags (as well as Western-style handbags) that have been made with the same materials as the kimono, the obi (and even from tenugui material), so as to co-ordinate them with the kimono, obi and other accessories).
- Kimono slip (着物スリップ kimono surippu)
-  The susoyoke and hadajuban combined into a one-piece garment.
- Koshihimo (腰紐, lit. "hip cord")
- A narrow sash used to aid in dressing up, often made of silk or wool. They are used to hold virtually anything (i.e. a yukata) in place during the process of dressing up, and can be used in many ways depending on what is worn.
- Kosode (小袖, lit. "small sleeve")
- A basic Japanese robe for both men and women. It is worn as both an undergarment and overgarment. It can also double as a sleeping yukata, and as a hadajuban (see above).
- Kyahan (脚絆)
- Traditional cloth leggings worn by the samurai class and their retainers in feudal Japan. In Japanese, the word is also used for western soldier's gaiters.
- Maekake (前掛け, lit. "worn [at the] front")
- A traditional Japanese apron or wrap; these large, heavy cotton aprons were historically worn by merchants and craftsmen running family businesses, and by workers in small independent shops and breweries throughout the country, due to their durability; nowadays, they're making a comeback in izakaya (bars and restaurants) throughout Japan.
- Masuku (マスク, lit. "mask")
- A disposable medical mask worn during cold and flu seasons, both by sick persons, who do not wish to pass-on their bugs to others while out-&-about, especially in crowded urban centers (which is considered a very polite gesture in Japan); and by people who are fit, but who do not wish to pick-up any airborne diseases going-around (colds, flu, etc.) During the pollen season in the springtime, people with allergies often wear masks to help them through the season. Beyond health reasons, people in Japan like to wear the masks on a regular basis, some to help protect their identities and their privacy (along with sunglasses), others because the masks make their faces appear smaller (which is considered a desirable feature in Japan) and emphasises their eyes; as such, the "just-for-show mask" (だてマスク or "date mask") caught-on, as did patterned and scented ones to wear at home, school, work, special occasions, or for filtering-out bad smells.
- Men (面)
- Masks, traditional or non-traditional, appear throughout Japan; ritual, ceremonial, Matsuri, Kagura, Kabuki theatre, warfare, sports, pop culture, etc.
- Michiyuki (道行)
- A traditional Japanese bouble-breasted overcoat (not to be confused with a haori or a hifu), characterised with a signature square neckline (for showing-off the multiple-collars of the kimono worn beneath), and for duel-fastenings (either tie, snap or button closures). It is worn over the kimono for warmth and protection while outdoors on day-outings and long-distance journeys, as a casual housecoat or coatdress in winter, and as an artist's work smock, apron, pinafore, overalls or a tunic), perfect for art-studio and garden tasks. Some michiyuki will include a hidden pocket beneath the front panel. Although historically there are versions for men, most modern michiyuki are made for women. There is no standard length, and some can be as long as the kimono-itself worn beneath it, which is more common for the style of michiyuki that are designed as rainwear.
- Mino (蓑)
- A traditional Japanese garment, a crude raincoat made out of rice straw, as the plant's natural oils repel water. Traditional mino are an article of outerwear covering the entire body, although shorter ones resembling grass skirts were also historically used to cover the lower body alone.
- Mitsugake (三つ弽)
- A traditional three-finger glove), worn in Kyūdō/Kyūjutsu.
- Nagajuban (長襦袢, lit. "long underwear")
- A kimono-shaped robe worn by both men and women beneath the main outer garment. Since silk kimono are delicate and difficult to clean, the nagajuban helps to keep the outer kimono clean by preventing contact with the wearer's skin. Only the collar edge of the nagajuban shows from beneath the outer kimono. Many nagajuban have removable collars, to allow them to be changed to match the outer garment, and to be easily washed without washing the entire garment. While the most formal type of nagajuban are white, they are often as beautifully ornate and patterned as the outer kimono. Since men's kimono are usually fairly subdued in pattern and color, the nagajuban allows for discreetly wearing very striking designs and colours. Often worn over a hadajuban (see above).
- Nemaki (寝間着)
- Japanese nightclothes (which may-or-may-not also include a yukata).
- Netsuke (根付) or Netsuke (根付け)
- An ornament worn suspended from the men's obi, serving as a cordlock or a counterweight. (See also ojime, below).
- Obi (帯)
- The tie belt, sash or wrap for traditional Japanese dress, keikogi (uniforms for Japanese martial arts), and part of kimono outfits. The formal ones worn with women's' kimono can be 30 centimetres (12 in') wide and more than 4 metres (13 ft.) long, and include some of the most elaborate and conspicuous features of her attire, more-so then the kimono-itself, as they can be tied into variously-named decorative Musubi (結び) (lit. "knot"). A koshihimo can also count as a obi (albeit a simple one).
- Obi-age (帯揚げ)
- The scarf-like sash, often silk, which is knotted and tied above the obi and tucked into the top of the obi, to hide the obi-makura. Worn with the more formal varieties of kimono, and serves as decorates the top part of an obi belt; there are many types and designs: shibori, embroidered, etc.; although you can only see a little bit of it, it has an important role as a decoration, and there are different styles of tucking it in and is often more visible with furisode kimonos. Used for tying more complex bows with the obi.
- Obi-dome (帯留)
- A decorative fastening accessory piece, strung onto the obijime.
- Obi-ita (帯板)
- A thin stiff board that goes over the datejime and helps keep an obi in place and prevent it from getting wrinkled. It is worn underneath the second layer of the obi, after wrapping around the body twice. Modern versions have an elastic band or string, so it can be put on before the obi.
- Obijime (帯締め)
- The colourful, decorative ropes, cords or strings, used to assist in tying more complex bows with the obi and hold an obi belt in place and helps it keep its shape; also serves as a decoration around the obi belt. It ties in a knot in the front in the middle of the obi, and the ends are tucked into the sides of itself. An ojime (see below) was used to fasten the obijime in place (similar to a netsuke), and also serves as a decoration.
- Obi-makura (帯枕)
- Padding used to put volume under the obi knot (musubi); to support the bows or ties at the back of the obi and keep them lifted. It's essential for placing the common Taiko knot high on the back. Obimakura is usually covered by the obiage to hide it and make the entire tie more presentable.
- Ojime (緒締め)
- A type of bead which originated in Japan, and were used to fasten a obijime in place, like a cordlock. They were also worn between the inrō and netsuke and are typically under an inch in length. Each is carved into a particular shape and image, similar to the netsuke cordlock, though smaller. Similar to a netsuke (see above).
- Okobo (木履)
- Wooden platform sandals worn by maiko (apprentice geisha) during their apprenticeship.
- Omamori (御守)
- Traditional Japanese amulets, commonly sold at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, dedicated to particular Shinto kami as well as Buddhist figures, and are said to provide various forms of luck or protection. Easily carried upon one's person as an accessory, attached to the kimono, carried in a pocket or purse/kinchaku, etc.
- Rakusu (絡子)
- A traditionally Japanese wrap garment worn around the neck of Zen Buddhists, who have taken the precepts. It can also signify Lay Ordination; it is made of 16 or more strips of cloth, sewn together into a brick-like pattern by the student during their period of preparation for their jukai or ordination ceremony.
- Sagemono (提げ物, lit. "hanging thing")
- A pouch or carrying container hung from the waist, such as a coin purse, tobacco pouch, or pillbox (usually accompanied by a netsuke), similar to a kinchaku (see above).
- Sarashi (晒)
- A long strip of white cloth, usually thick cotton, wrapped tightly around the midriff up to the chest (similar to a European girdle); normally used by woman to bind their breasts and create a more slim figure, which is desired for a kimono. They're also sometimes worn after the birth of a child. It was also used as a protective garment by men, worn under kimono by samurai (to resist injury); its association with warriors has made it a near-universal symbol of toughness in Japan.
- Samue (作務衣)
- The everyday clothes for a male Zen Buddhist lay-monk, and the favoured garment for shakuhachi players.
- Sensu (扇子)
- A handheld fan (either an ōgi (扇) or an uchiwa (団扇)), generally of thick paper coated in paint, lacquer or gold leaf, with wooden spines, often lacquered. As well as being used for cooling-off, sensu fans are used as dancing props and to maintain makeup and are kept in the folds of the obi.
- Setta (雪駄)
- A flat, thick bottomed sandal made of bamboo bark and straw with leather soles.
- Shigoki (扱き)
- A red scarf or sash, worn wrapped folded around the bottom of the obi, and fastened at the wearer's left hip.
- Suikan (水干)
- A kind of a tunic, an informal garment worn by males of the Japanese nobility and officials (similar to a kariginu).
- Susoyoke (裾除け)
- A thin half-slip-like piece of underwear, like a petticoat, worn by women under their nagajuban.
- Suzu (鈴)
- A round, hollow Japanese Shinto bell or chime, that contains pellets that sound when agitated. They are somewhat like a jingle bell in form, though the materials produce a coarse, rolling sound. Suzu come in many sizes, ranging from tiny ones on good luck charms (called omamori (お守り)) to large ones at shrine entrances. As an accessory to kimono wear, suzu are often part of kanzashi.
- Tabi (足袋)
- Ankle-high, divided-toe socks usually worn with zōri or geta. There also exist sturdier, boot-like jikatabi, which are used for example to fieldwork.
- Tasuki (襷)
- A pair sashes made from either cloth or cord that loops over each shoulder and crosses over the wearer's back, used for holding up the long sleeves of the Japanese kimono; the bottom of the kimono sleeves can then be tucked into the loop, so that they don't hang so low.
- Tebukuro (手袋, lit. "hand bag")
- Gloves/Mittens or Muff (handwarmer).
- Techō (手帳)
- A personal organizer, kept in a purse, kinchaku and hakoseko.
- Tenugui (手拭い, lit. "hand towel")
- A handy piece of fabric, usually cotton or linen, they can come in a wide variety of colours and patterns, and with an myriad amount of uses—but mostly as a hankerchief, a hand towel, and larger ones can even serve as a napkin, bib, headscarf/kerchief/bandana (or to ad-lib as a hachimaki), and can double as a furoshiki (a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth), and even a shawl or a babysling.
- Wagasa (和傘)
- A traditional Japanese oil-paper umbrella/parasol, ideal as an outdoor accessory, come rain or shine. See also Gifu umbrellas.
- Tsunokakushi (角隠し, lit. "horn-hiding")
- A headdress worn in traditional Shinto wedding ceremonies in Japan: A tsunokakushi is a rectangular piece of cloth, often made of white silk (to match the bride's shiromuku kimono (see above)), which covers the bridal high topknot (a Bunkin Takashimada), a kind of chonmage (a traditional topknot). They're traditionally worn to veil the bride's horns of jealousy, ego and selfishness, and also symbolizes the bride's resolve to become a gentle and obedient wife. A tsunokakushi can be worn co-ordinated with kanzashi.
- Uwabaki (上履き)
- Japanese slippers worn indoors at home, school or certain companies and public buildings where street shoes are prohibited.
- Waraji (草鞋)
- Traditional sandals made of straw rope and bamboo bark and designed to wrap securely around the wearer's foot and up around the ankle; mostly worn by monks, and others who often travelled long-distance by foot (traders and merchants, etc.).
- Wataboshi (綿帽子)
- Worn by brides at traditional Shinto weddings, it is an all-white hood, worn as an alternative to the Tsunokakushi, and the equivalent to the Western marriage ceremony's bridal veil; it purpose is to hide the bride's face from all others, except for the bridegroom, until the end of the wedding ceremony. It was adapted from the katsuki, a hood worn outdoors to keep away dust and prevent from the cold, by married women in samurai families, from the Muromachi to Momoyama periods, and then from the Edo period onwards, this custom was taken up by younger women. Like the shiromuku its worn in concert with, the wataboshi is a symbol of innocence and purity; its worn only outside in outdoor receptions with the shiromuku-only, not with coloured wedding iro-uchikake kimono, or during indoor receptions.
- Yukata (浴衣)
- An unlined kimono-like garment for summer use, usually made of cotton, linen, or hemp. Yukata are strictly informal, most often worn to outdoor festivals, by men and women of all ages. They are also worn at onsen (hot spring) resorts, where they are often provided for the guests in the resort's own pattern.
- Yumoji (湯文字)
- The traditional Japanese undergarment (like a loincloth or perizoma) for adult females; it may also be worn as a kimono underskirt, and as a single-layer absorbent bathrobe (worn during or after a bath).
- Zōri (草履)
- Traditional sandals worn by both men and women, similar in design to flip-flops. Their formality ranges from strictly informal to fully formal. They are made of many materials, including cloth, leather, vinyl and woven grass, and can be highly decorated or very simple.
In modern-day Japan the meanings of the layering of kimono and hiyoku are usually forgotten. Only maiko and geisha now use this layering technique for dances and subtle erotic suggestion, usually emphasising the back of the neck. Modern Japanese brides may also wear a traditional Shinto bridal kimono which is worn with a hiyoku.
Traditionally kimonos were worn with hiyoku or floating linings. Hiyoku can be a second kimono worn beneath the first and give the traditional layered look to the kimono. Often in modern kimonos the hiyoku is simply the name for the double-sided lower half of the kimono which may be exposed to other eyes depending on how the kimono is worn.
Old-fashioned kimono styles meant that hiyoku were entire under-kimono, however modern day layers are usually only partial, to give the impression of layering.
In the past, a kimono would often be entirely taken apart for washing, and then re-sewn for wearing. This traditional washing method is called arai hari. Because the stitches must be taken out for washing, traditional kimono need to be hand sewn. Arai hari is very expensive and difficult and is one of the causes of the declining popularity of kimono. Modern fabrics and cleaning methods have been developed that eliminate this need, although the traditional washing of kimono is still practiced, especially for high-end garments.
New, custom-made kimono are generally delivered to a customer with long, loose basting stitches placed around the outside edges. These stitches are called shitsuke ito. They are sometimes replaced for storage. They help to prevent bunching, folding and wrinkling, and keep the kimono's layers in alignment.
Like many other traditional Japanese garments, there are specific ways to fold kimono. These methods help to preserve the garment and to keep it from creasing when stored. Kimonos are often stored wrapped in paper called tatōshi.
Kimono need to be aired out at least seasonally and before and after each time they are worn. Many people prefer to have their kimono dry cleaned. Although this can be extremely expensive, it is generally less expensive than arai hari but may be impossible for certain fabrics or dyes.
In June 2019, Kim Kardashian West launched a new range of shapewear called Kimono. West was heavily criticised over the name of the brand which critics argued disrespected Japanese culture and ignored the significance behind the traditional outfit. Following the launch of the range, the hashtag #KimOhNo began trending on Twitter and the mayor of Kyoto wrote to West to ask her to reconsider the trademark on Kimono. In response to public pressure, in July 2019, West announced that she would change the name.
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-  Archived July 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
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- Underwear (Hadagi): Hada-Juban. KIDORAKU Japan. Accessed 22 October 2009.
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- Yamanaka, Norio (1982). The Book of Kimono. Tokyo; New York: Kodansha International, p. 61. ISBN 0-87011-500-6 (USA), ISBN 4-7700-0986-0 (Japan).
- Nagajuban undergarment for Japanese kimono
- Imperatore, Cheryl, & MacLardy, Paul (2001). Kimono Vanishing Tradition: Japanese Textiles of the 20th Century. Atglen, Penn.: Schiffer Publishing. Chap. 3 "Nagajuban—Undergarments", pp. 32–46. ISBN 0-7643-1228-6. OCLC 44868854.
- Underwear (Hadagi): Susoyoke. KIDORAKU Japan. Accessed 22 October 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to kimono.|
|Look up kimono in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kimono buying guide.|
- The Canadian Museum of Civilization – Landscape Kimonos of Itchiku Kubota
- Tokyo National Museum Look for "textiles" under "decorative arts".
- Kyoto National Museum: Textiles
- The Costume Museum: Costume History in Japan
- Kimono Fraise; includes directions on how to put on a kimono
- Immortal Geisha Forums; Comprehensive Resource on Vintage and Modern Kimono Culture
- Vintage Kimonos from the MEIJI, TAISHŌ & SHŌWA period.
- Love Kimono!; A lot of knowledge of kimono with pictures.
- "Kimono from the V&A Collection". Asia. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
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