Furisode

January 19, 2017

By: Shiori Iwawaki, Hina Uematsu, Mina Ito

There are several types of kimono, and they vary from place to place. In this article, we will introduce ‘furisode’. Furisode is a kind of kimono and is important to Japanese because almost all Japanese women wear it at least once in their lifetime. We will look at what a furisode actually is and its history, and will introduce three typical situations where furisode can be seen.

 

History of the furisode

A furisode is a style of kimono that can be worn in the coming-of-age ceremony which is called Seijinshiki. The furisode originated in the mid-1500s as middle and upper-class children’s clothing for both sexes, and at that time it was not worn by adults. At first, furisode had quite short sleeves and were used as everyday wear. However, furisode is a form of very tight clothing, so some people couldn’t wear them all the time as they were not practical. As time went by, sleeves became bigger and bigger and they became an elegant form of dress worn mainly on special occasions. Nowadays, popular furisode have long sleeves, but at first they weren’t that long. In the Genroku Era, from 1688 to 1703, furisode sleeve lengths were about 55cm to 95cm, but in the Edo Era, furisode sleeve lengths became about 95cm to 122cm. There was actually a reason that the lengths became longer, and that was because they started to do special dances at that time, and the movements looked much more beautiful if they had longer sleeves.

 

According to a 17th century text, boys could wear furisode until their 18th year or until they went through their coming-of-age ceremony, while girls were supposed to stop wearing them when they married or reached their 20th year. Initially, furisode were not that different for boys and girls, but fabric designs started to become more gender specific in the 19th century.  In the 20th century, furisode became restricted to women only, mainly due to western influence on clothes for boys and girls. As the furisode became increasingly associated with young adult women, the shorter-sleeved children’s type became known as Wakiake.  This means open-sided, in English.

 

When and where they are worn

Furisode are mainly worn in three situations. One of them is at a wedding as an attendee and another is at Yuino. Yuino is a proof of engagement ceremony when both families and the matchmaker gather together. However, the most common situation for Japanese is at the coming-of-age ceremony. People who became 20 years old are called ‘seijin’ in Japan and a coming-of-age ceremony is held on the 2nd Monday in January. On that day, women who became 20 years old wear furisode and celebrate becoming ‘seijin’. Originally, furisode could only be worn by women who were not married, therefore, almost all women wear furisode in the ceremony even though they are already married. Also the design of furisode has changed. In the past, the designs of furisode were older, traditional patterns, which could fit the Japanese mind, but now, along with the times, the designs are changing to more common patterns like leopard print. There are many more kinds of design than a long time ago, so we can choose from a large variety of patterns of furisode. The clothes which we wear today are comfortable to wear and easy to move in, too. On the other hand, furisode are very tight and hard to wear and move and run in.

Do you know the differences between kimono and furisode? Actually, they are basically the same. As there are many kinds of dresses, so there are many kinds of kimono. All furisode have long sleeves, but they can be divided into three different types, which are ko-furisode, chu-furisode and o-furisode. The ko-furisode is usually worn with a hakama for graduation ceremonies. The sleeves are a little bit shorter than furisode sleeves at about 75-87cm long, but they are still longer than standard female kimono sleeves. The chu-furisode is the most common type of furisode. Young girls usually wear it during their coming-of-age ceremony. The chu-furisode has medium size sleeves somewhere between ko-furisode and o-furisode, and the sleeves are about 91-106cm long. The o-furisode, also called the hon-furisode, is the most formal furisode, and mostly worn by brides. The O-furisode has super long 114-125cm sleeves, as well as a train. They are quite heavy, and difficult to walk around in. Furisode come in various styles and designs and it is lovely to see women and girls still wearing them in modern society, on their wedding days, special occasions, and especially on the day of the coming-of-age ceremony.

Hina Uematsu wear red furisode

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Shiori Iwawaki wear blue furisode

 


Mina Ito wear pink furisode

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hina Uematsu’s ribbon color is black with white flower

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Mina Ito’s ribbon color is black with yellow and pick flower

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Shiori Iwawaki’s ribbon is gold with red and green flower

 

 

 

Japanese Traditional Cloth (Kimono)

by Erina Okamoto and Arisa Hirano

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Have you ever seen Japanese traditional clothes? Most countries have their own clothes, For example, people wear chima jeogori in Korea, China dress in China and deel in Mongolia. In Japan, we have our own traditional clothes called Kimono. Kimono has a long history and it is a tradition which we are proud of.

 

 

About Kimono

 

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These days, although Japanese people usually wear Western clothes, kimono is still loved by many people. The reason why kimono is loved by many people is not only the beauty, but also the fact that Kimono can adapt to the Japanese culture. It is said that kimono fits the person who has no waist and sloping shoulder. Moreover, we can use the word kimono as an international word all over the world. Originally, kimono is “kirumono” which means the cloth we wear. After that, it became “kimono” for short. Kimono exist for long time, however, it is around Heian era that kimono became the present form.

 

 

 

< charm of Kimono >

 

image8 Kimono has four charms. First, everyone fits the kimono. Kimono fits all bodies. Kimono is a straight stich, wrap tied with an obi is a self. In many cases, kimono is passed on from mother to child, to grandchild. Also, the feeling is passed on, too. Second, we can recycle kimono if we stop wearing it. The first cotton is about 13meters. Kimono is made of eight cotton clothes which are cut. We can change kimono into gadgets such as obi, bag, and nagazuban. Nagazuban is underwear when we wear under kimono. Third, we can fold it up small. When you hang dresses, you need plenty of space because then it wrinkle so easily. However, kimono is very compact, so we can hang many kimono. Fourth, the design is only one. Originally, kimono don’t often make same design. They looked the same, but the color scheme was little different. Then, we choose some items like the color of obi, the form of obi and kakeeri. Kakeeri is a protective collar sewn on a kimono. Therefore, perhaps even if you wear the same kimono, the image changes using some items.

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Kimono has these good points. Kimono is made of silk so that it make us feel cool in summer and warm in winter. In addition, when we wear kimono, our movement becomes slowly and politely. It make us feminine and elegant. It’s the best point for women.

When you go to a party, what clothes do you wear? You may not wear a T-shirt but a dress. People choose the clothes depending on where they go. We‘ll introduce rule of kimono and compare western clothes with kimono.

When people go to a celebration such a wedding ceremony, a celebration, or a coming-of-age celebration, they wear morning dress, evening dress or long dress. With kimono, people wear kurotomesode, irotomesode, and furisode. Married women wear Kurotomesode or irotomesode and unmarried women wear furisode. At the party, people wear cocktail dresses, but for kimono, they wear a kimono which called houmongi. It shows the high status. When we go to a ceremony, we wear formal suit, but with kimono, we wear tsukesage. The design is few and it’s more simple than the houmonngi. Like these, kimono has various kinds and choices in the situation. If you remember this, it’ll be useful.

 

< casual Kimono >

 

Aimage9s we wrote, Japan has many kinds of Kimono. If you would like to wear a Japanese Kimono, we have casual kimono. It’s called “Yukata”. Yukata has some good points. It is thinner than Kimono, cheaper and easier to wear. We can buy it for about 10,000 yen. However, Japanese don’t have the opportunity to wear it so much. Therefore we often wear Yukata at summer festival. If we see people who are wearing Yukata, we feel like summer is here. A woman who is wearing Yukata is considered very beautiful by man because it is different than usual. Young Japanese girls long to go to a summer festival with a boyfriend.

< trend of Kimono >

 

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Of course Kimono has trendy designs. In the past, many people prefer to wear Kimono with small flower and butterfly. These Kimonos are cool. But now we prefer  pop design like this.(left picture) These Kimonos are cute. This design is called “Kotengara”. Design is a bit bigger than before, and the color is more bright.

 

Kimono and the culture of kimono are very deep and wonderful. We are glad if you have interest in kimono. If you have a chance to wear kimono, please enjoy feeling Japanese culture.