January 21, 2017

by Mayumi Otsuka, Mai Takezawa, and Kanako Wakamatsu

You can see Kimono (old style Japanese clothes) all over Japan, but especially in Kyoto. Kimonos have many different patterns and colors, but do you know how many of them are actually designed? Well, the designs on kimonos are often achieved by dyeing, using a method known as Kyo-yuzen. Here, we would like to introduce some aspects of this unique dyeing method.

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1. History of Japanese dyeing methods

2. What is Kyo-yuzen?

3. How to dye by using Kyo-yuzen

4. Kyo-yuzen in foreign countries

5. Actual experience of Kyo-yuzen

History of Japanese dyeing methods

There have been a lot of dyeing methods used in Japan over the years, and most of these were developed from Chinese dyeing types. These were introduced to Japan several thousand years ago, and taught by people from China or Korea, they formed the basis of Japanese dyeing tradition. Before this people dyed clothes very simply by applying different types of grass, flowers or even mud. In the Asuka era, in the middle of the 6th century, there was a system developed that divided people by the color of the clothes they wore. This was to distinguish between class and status, and required greater use of color in fabrics and design. In addition, in the Nara era, in the 8th century, international trade was increased, which meant further diversification in dyeing methods were introduced and spread all over Japan, with each area developing its own style. One of the most famous of these was Kyo-yuzen, a dyeing method created in Kyoto that became hugely popular. Next, we would like to introduce this unique and beautiful, traditional Japanese item.

What is Kyo-yuzen?



Kyo-yuzen is one of the dyeing methods developed in Kyoto during the Edo era of the mid to late 17th century. At that time, there was an artist in Kyoto by the name of Miyazaki Yuzensai, who had built a reputation for the exquisitely drawn folding fans he produced.  Due to this, his patrons soon began to encourage him to apply his artistic skills to designs for kimono, too, which he did.  Following this, his name quickly came to be associated with top class kimono design in Kyoto, hence the name that was given to this particular dyeing style, Kyo-yuzen.

There are some interesting features unique to Kyo-yuzen that need to be noted.  First, it is possible to apply any kind of design you want, just like drawing a picture.  Second, there are many colors and hues used in the production of Kyo-yuzen pieces.  Third, a technique using elements of glutinous rice is used to guard against colors mixing or merging together.  Finally, Kyo-yuzen is done by combining more than one dyeing method, and requires several steps to achieve a final result.  Through this, Kyo-yuzen is quite superior to other dyeing methods and has become very popular all over the world.

Kyo-yuzen in foreign countries

As we said before, Kyo-yuzen is very famous globally.  For example, some events involving Japanese culture have been held recently in Paris, and there are sales booths for Kyo-yuzen products set up there.  At the booths, stainless steel mugs that are made in cooperation between Japanese Kyo-yuzen craftpersons and craftpersons in Paris are sold, and these are also available in Eigamura, a very famous sightseeing spot in Kyoto. Selling a large number of these mugs means expanding the exposure to traditional crafts of Kyoto to people in foreign countries

How to dye by using Kyo-yuzen

There are two main types of dyeing method used for Kyo-yuzen. One of these is hand painting, and the other is using stencils. First, we will explain the hand painting method:

  1. Think of the design you want for the cloth and make a design pattern  
  2. Trace the design onto the cloth
  3. Apply the special glue ② to prevent the colors from mixing with each other (this is called Itomenorioki)
  4. Apply the colors to the cloth
  5. Steam the cloth
  6. Wash the cloth
  7. Steam the cloth again and stretch out the wrinkles
  8. Using a stencil, draw the design onto special Japanese paper and cut out the pattern to make the stencil
  9. Paste the cloth onto a wooden board that is called “Yuzen-Ita”
  10. Put ① onto ② and dye
  11. Same as ⑤~⑦ of hand painting method

Actual experience of Kyo-yuzen

In Kyoto, visitors can actually experience Kyo-yuzen at some special studios.  Participants can experience dyeing cloth items like handkerchiefs, wrapping cloths, and so on.  One session is usually about one and a half hours long, and costs between 1,500 yen and 2,500 yen. Therefore, you can experience a traditional craft of Kyoto easily, and after the lesson, you can take the Kyo-yuzen item that you made with your own hands home with you.

Japanese dyeing methods have continued to develop over the centuries, and Kyo-yuzen especially. This method was created by combining a lot of different dyeing methods, which have been improved upon over time, and have become famous all over the world.  You can buy Kyo-yuzen items in many places in Kyoto, and you can also make them by yourself.  Why not give it a try!  


Kyo-yuzen studio


Kyo-yuzen items

One of the studios where you can experience Kyo-yuzen is “Marumasu-Nishimuraya” in Kyoto city.

Here’s their website:

You can reserve an experience time and get the access details there.


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


Shiori Iwawaki wear blue furisode


Mina Ito wear pink furisode









Hina Uematsu’s ribbon color is black with white flower


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


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





by Mayumi Otsuka, Mai Takezawa and Kanako Wakamatsu

Maybe you know “Kimono”, which is a traditional style of Japanese clothing, but how about “Geta”?  Geta are a kind of shoe or sandal, and Japanese people wear them when they wear Kimono, like women wear high heels when they wear dresses.  Here, we are going to introduce Geta to you in three ways:

  • What are Geta?
  • History of Geta
  • Different types of Geta

In addition, we are also going to give you some surprising facts about this interesting Japanese clothes item.



What are Geta?

As we mentioned before, Geta are a kind of old Japanese style shoe and people wear them with Kimono or Yukata, in general.



Geta are usually made of wood, with the price changing by the kind of wood used. If Geta are made of “Kiri”, for example, then they would be a high price indeed. There are some different styles of geta, but in general, they have three main components to them; “Dai”, “Ha”, and “Hanao”.  Dai is the base board that people put their feet on, and Ha are the pieces of wood that support the Dai from below. Ha means teeth in Japanese, and the name comes from the side view of a Geta.  Geta usually have 2 “Ha”. The Hanao is made of cloth and it is placed on the Dai. When people wear Geta, the Hanao passes between the big toe and the second toe, a little like a beach sandal. Geta consist of these 3 parts, and this type of Geta is the latest type. Then, how about the old style?

History of Geta

In olden times, Geta were made and used as work shoes in Japan. In the Yayoi period (about BC 300 ~ BC 300) people in Japan started using “Ta-Geta” (“Ta” means “rice field” in Japanese). At that time, rice farming was started, and people could not move easily in the rice fields because the ground was muddy and soft. Therefore, they made Ta-Geta to make it easier to work in rice fields. However, Ta-Geta did not have Ha and their Hanao were made of straw. Furthermore, another style, “Nezura-Geta” (“Nezura” is a kind of fish in Japan), were used on the beach or in the shallows. Nezura-Geta had needles attached to their soles, like spiked shoes, and people wore them to catch fish.

During the Heian period, (BC 794 ~ BC 1185), one type of Geta, “Takaba”, which had only one Ha, were worn by priests. They usually wore them when they climbed up and down a mountain. It sounds very difficult to climb up and down a mountain wearing Takaba, but apparently they were quite suitable for slippery mountain roads. However, towards the end of this era, nearly all the common people wore “Zouri” (that were made only of straw and very simple) instead of Geta, and Geta became a rare and expensive thing for the average person.   



It wasn’t until the Edo era (BC 1603 ~ BC 1868) that people started to wear Geta again, and this was because people started to become more interested in fashion.  They wore Geta not only as work shoes, but also as a fashion item. Also, up to then, Geta had usually only been worn on rainy days, however, from the middle of the Edo period, people began to wear them on sunny days, too. Thereafter, the skill of making Geta improved and the shops selling them began to appear, and in greater numbers. Because of this, more than 200 kinds of Geta were made at that time, and Geta became more and more famous among common people. So, what types are there around now?

Different types of Geta

Actually, there are many kinds of Geta still worn now, and a good example is “Ippon-Geta”. They have only one Ha, supporting piece, and are very good for your body balance. If you wear them, it can make your upper body stronger. It is also said that wearing Ippon-Geta can heal back pain or gonalgia, too. Another type is called “Tengu-Geta” because it has been said this type of Geta was worn by Tengu, a sort of Japanese monster, and also god, that has a long nose and red face. This simple variety is very similar to the Ta-Geta we introduced earlier.



Finally, we have “Okobo”. Okobo are often worn by Maiko. We talked about Maiko in a previous article:

The height of an Okobo is about 10cm, and are worn mostly by women. In the “Shichi-Go-San”, a festival in Japan to celebrate the healthy growth of children, girls often wear them. They also go by some other names, including Pokkuri, Koppori or Bokkuri, but this is different from place to place.




Geta is a traditional Japanese shoe, and, in olden times people used them as work shoes. Now, however, they are worn still as a fashion item, too. Recently, in Kyoto, the number of rental Kimono shops is increasing because of the number of foreign visitors interested in this style. If you go to one of these shops, you can try wearing Kimono and Geta and go sightseeing with them on. Also, most of the shops have hairstylists, so if you are women, you can try a traditional hairstyle. It costs around 3,000 yen 〜 6,000 yen, so we recommend you to try it. It may be difficult to walk wearing Geta for the first time, but it really is a uniquely Japanese traditional experience. You will surely enjoy Kyoto even more if you try out the old Japanese clothes style, Kimono and Geta!

Kimono – Past and Present

by  Haruna Masuzaki, Kazuki Nakamoto and Hikari Yanagihara

Kimono is a kind of traditional Japanese garment with a very long history. Originally, the word ‘kimono’ was kurumono, which means ‘wearing thing’. It was later shortened to ‘kimono’. Kimono are often worn on special occasions, like festivals or weddings. They are often beautiful, colorful and representative of traditional Japanese culture. Kimono are instantly recognized around the world as being Japanese.  

Kimono is a kind of traditional Japanese garment with a very long history.


Kimono Material

The material of kimono is generally silk. Some kimono are created from silk that is dyed before weaving, while some kimono are dyed after weaving. The most common are those weaved from dyed silk.

In addition to silk, other materials used are cotton, polyester, and wool. Kimono made from cotton and polyester is easy to wash. On the other hand, wool kimono are very cheap and great for the winter, but are susceptible to being eaten by worms during storage.

The material of kimono is generally silk.


When Do People Wear Kimono?

Most Japanese people wear their kimono on special occasions. However, it is also possible to wear a kimono in daily life, as fashion. This is more common amongst older people than younger people. They may wear kimono to go out to eat, to visit a museum, to seeing the cherry blossoms or autumn leaves, to go shopping downtown, and so on.  On type of kimono that is worn in during summer festivals is a yukata. At first glance, it appears just like a traditional kimono, but in fact it is very lightweight, with no inner lining. It is also very casual and festive. Both men and women wear them. June through September is the most common time to see people wearing yukata. In the old days, people put on their yukata after a summer bath, and enjoyed the coolness as they fell asleep in their yukata.

The Origin of Kimono

The kimono has a long history as a beautiful and tasteful traditional Japanese garment recognized around the word. There are several reasons why it is appreciated by so many people. One is that it grew out of harmony with Japanese life and culture. For example, it is ideally suited for the Japanese climate. There are different thicknesses for different seasons. Also, kimono come in many shapes and sizes, and can be used for many different purposes. They can also be layered, to adapt to any temperature or weather condition.

Heian period (794~1185)

Kimono came to prominence during the Heian period.

Heian kimono

Kimono came to prominence during the Heian period. During this time, a new technique was developed for making kimono that allowed makers to not worry about the wearer’s body shape. It also made the kimono easier to wear and easier to fold and store. In addition, people began to pay more attention to the color of kimono. Original colors and patterns began to emerge, and many of them were related to the various seasons and times of the year. People of the upper classes wore gorgeous kimono. Common people, on the other hand, tended to wear kimono with short sleeves. Like the traditional kimono, the yukata is said to have also originated in the Heian period. Noblemen from the Heian period used to take stream baths. Some people began to wear a garment called a yukatabira, which served to protect their skin from steam burns. Nowadays, the yukatabira is the thin cotton garment worn under the kimono. But back in those days, it was not cotton, but rather hemp that was used by most people. Cotton was more expensive than hemp. People used to walk back and forth to the bathhouse in their Yukatabira. The yukatabira eventually evolved into what we now know as the much more colorful and festive yukata.

Kamakura period (1192~1333)

During the Kamakura period, there were many wars. For this reason, the kimono was simplified to be more practical.

Muromachi period (1392~1573)

In Muromachi period, the form of what we now recognize as the contemporary kimono appeared. Dyeing skills of kimono makers made remarkable progress during this time period.

Edo period (1603~1857)

Japanese dress of the day is born in this period. This period also progress. At the time, people wear the same as present kimono.

Meiji Period (1867~1911)

During this period, Japan was heavily influenced by western cultures and industrialization. For this reason, more people started wearing western clothes. This set the tone for the current modern age, when kimono are mostly worn on special occasions.

Modern Japan

Japanese people now wear western clothes in their daily life, as it is easier, cheaper, and more practical to do so. However, this decreases their chances to wear kimono. For this reason, kimono is now reserved for special events and occasions.   Recently, kimono has started to be worn as fashion. For example, a kimono that it is easy to take off and put on has been developed.

How to Buy a Kimono

Buying a kimono is not so easy for the first time buyer. If you are one of these people, you should keep a few things in mind before you buy one.  First, if you have some Japanese friends, you should ask which shop is good. Also, you should visit a lot of shops so that you can compare a kimono you like in one shop with that of another shop. When you visit a shop, talk with the salesclerk about where you plan to wear the kimono, what kind of season you want to wear it in, and what your budget is. Then, the salesclerk will help you find a kimono that matches your look. Then you can pay for the one that looks the best on you.   Finally, you must remember that a kimono is expensive property. You should always take care of your kimono and wear it with a fresh feeling. In the case that kimono gets stained with something, you must have the stains removed in the shop. Please take good care of your precious kimono.

How to Rent a Kimono

kimono rental is a good option.

Kimono rental

For many people, buying a kimono is too expensive, especially if they only wear it once or twice. Therefore, kimono rental is a good option. There are many kimono shops in Kyoto. Most of them will rent a kimono to you all day long.   One good place to rent a kimono is the Kiyomizuzaka shop, which is only a one-minute walk from the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple. This shop is located on the street where many souvenir stores are visited by large number of sightseers. The set rental plan at this shop is only 3,000 yen. It includes a kimono, an obi (belt), a bag, and some tabi (Japanese sandals), all in one set. Moreover, you can select from 30 different sets to suit your mood. You can try more of them on for fun. Also, you can do some sightseeing while wearing your rental kimono.

How to Put on a Kimono

In order to put on your kimono correctly, you must follow several steps. First, turn position the kimono behind your back while making sure the collar is centered. The center seam should be in the middle of the back. Second, decide the width of outer skirt. Hold the end of the kimono collars and then raise them up under the side. After that, take down the hem to just above the floor. Then wrap the right side panels first, so that the end of the right collar should be put on the left waist. Next, decide the width of before under. Wrap the left side of panels first, and the end of a collar should be put on the right waist. Next, while holding the right panel, wrap the left panel over it. Next, put on the koshihimo (waist cord), just below your navel. Then, make a ohashori, which is the fold made at the waist so that women can adjust the length of their kimono. Put both hands through arm holes under the sleeves, and smooth out any excess material, both on the front and back. The line of the fold should be straight. Finally, check how the kimono looks in the mirror.

How to Wear Make-up with Kimono

The quality and appearance of your facial skin is very important when wearing kimono. Your face looks good in a matte color, not a glossy color. This is because kimono looks best in an impersonal type of beauty. First, draw your eyebrows in a long and merry way. This is because your kimono probably has a loud pattern. Also, your eyes are the most important. Apply eyeliner on the upper eyelid to create the impression of long narrow eyes. After that, apply eye shadow using the color of a similar tone. Try not to use eyelash curlers. This will impress a person favorably. Finally, apply red lipstick to your lips. In this way, you can make sure that your appearance in a kimono is a gorgeous one.

Hairstyles Popular with Kimono

Kimono looks best when the woman wearing it has an elegant hairstyle.

Hair style

Kimono looks best when the woman wearing it has an elegant hairstyle. Yakaimaki (evening party roll hairstyle) is the most popular for kimono because it allows others to view the beautiful neck of the woman wearing the kimono. It also creates a distinctive silhouette, which is a round shape. Finally, the hairstyle truly becomes gorgeous when a hair ornament is used.

As you can see, kimono have a long tradition and history, and have been loved by Japanese people for a long time. Now, Japanese people wear western clothes in their daily life, but foreigners who come to Japan also want to try wearing kimono. Why don’t you wear Kimono?

Access to Kiyomizuzaka Shop

Take the bus bound for Kiyomizudera, Gion and Ginkakuji from Kyoto station. You should get off Gojo-zaka. Plese go up Gojo-zaka, you will see Kiyomizuzaka on the right. It is about 5 minutes.



Learning how to Kyo-Kanoko: A special trip to the Miyako-messe


by Manami Otahara & Miki Sawai





Today we went to Miyako-messe. Miyako-messe is a museum, you can see traditional crafts in Kyoto. When we entered in Miyako-messe, we were very surprised, because there are many people in there. In Miyako-messe, you can see demonstration by craftspeople. The demonstrations are very powerful, so we were excited. Next, we went to the souvenir corner. You can buy many kind of traditional crafts. For example, scarfs, bags, hair accessories and so on, however we were most impressed by the Kanoko.

There are 74 traditional crafts in Kyoto. Everybody knows about kimono, however not everyone knows Kanoko. What is Kanoko? There are two patterns of kimono, one is dyed, another is woven. Kanoko is dyed cloth. Kanoko is used for Kimono and Kanoko is one of the 74 crafts.  However it is different from dyed Kimono. There are many bits and wrinkles. How is it made? It is made from one piece of cloth. The cloth is made by craftspeople. Craftspeople twist one by one.

How many twists do you think it takes to make Kanoko? One hundred? One thousand? This Kimono is twisted three hundred thousand times. When people make Shibori Kimono, it takes 6 months to 1 year. Why does it take a lot of time?   Why is called it Kanoko shibori?   The reason is because Kanoko means young deer in Japanese. Japanese people believe Kanoko looks like a deer pattern, therefore people say Kanoko.



In 7c, Kanoko was introduced to Japan from India. This was written about in a book and there are some Waka poems about Kanoko Shibori from 7c as well. In 10c, Shibori was worn by princesses, princes, and rich people. In the Edo period, it was around as a brand clothes in Japan, and it was made in Kyoto, which was called Kyo-Kanoko Shibori. For a long time, craftspeople passed on the technique of how to twist from generation to generation.

In Kyoto, are there many souvenirs? If you come to Kyoto, what souvenir will you buy? Sweets? Kimono? Macha? I recommend Kanoko. Kanoko is used to make hair accessories and it is a reasonable price. Kanoko Kanzashi is a good item, because Maiko wear Kanzashi. Kanzashi is a hair accessory, and it is able to hold up your hair with only one stick. It is very cute! Another one is furoshiki, it is big cloth, so it can wrap ground something. For example, you can wrap a present in it to become a bag so it is easy to carry. If you come to Kyoto, you should buy a Kanoko item for a souvenir for your family.



9-1, Okazaki Seisyoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, 606-8343

Japanese Traditional Cloth (Kimono)

by Erina Okamoto and Arisa Hirano


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



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.


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 >


image2 image3








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.

El Kimono

Sobre el kimono

El kimono es un traje étnico de Japón. En el actual kimono existe el kimono masculino y el femenino y también el kimono para niños. El kimono es fresco en verano y caliente en invierno. En nuestra época, aumentan las personas que visten ropa al estilo occidental. Por eso, están disminuyendo las personas que visten el kimono.
Pero cuando hay una boda o una fiesta, la mayoría de la gente viste el kimono. Especialmente hay muchas personas que hacen turismo vistiendo el kimono en Kioto.

La historia del kimono

El kimono nació en la época de Heian (794~1192). Hay toda clase de kimonos que se adaptan a las cuatro estaciones de Japón. Y también aumenta la clase de color del kimono. El hombre también llevaba un kimono en la época de Kamakura (1192~1338) o en la época de Muromachi (1338~1573). El kimono aumentó su valor como una prenda de
artesanía en la época de Edo (1603~1868). Por eso, se acostumbró a ser heredado de padres a hijos.
En nuestra época, los japoneses lo visten en los días especiales de Japón, como cuando hay la ceremonia de la mayoría de edad, bodas, fiestas, etc….

En Japón, se preparan también kimonos para que los puedan vestir los extranjeros. Pero cuesta un poco de dinero.

Los materiales del kimono

¿De qué está hecho el kimono?
Dentro de los materiales del kimono, hay varios tipos.
Hay kimonos que son de seda, de algodón, de pieles de animales y otros de fibra sintética.
Y éstos se usan correctamente según las estaciones.


En Japón, el kimono es muy caro y cuesta más o menos unos cien mil yenes. Totalmente, con el obi, una especie de cinturón, puede llegar a costar unos doscientos mil yenes. Si son hechos de encargo, normalmente cuestan de ciento cincuenta mil a trescientos mil yenes. Pero últimamente, en las casas donde hay hermanas, la hermana menor lo recibe prestado de su hermana mayor. Por eso, hay muchas familias que no compran kimono.


El tamaño es igual que el de las ropas normales. Hay ‘S’,’M’y’L’. El tamaño ‘S’ para extranjeros es de 167 a 175 cms.,’M’ es de 172 a 180 y ‘L’ es de 172 a 180 centímetros.

Kimono de hombre

Hay muchos hombres que llevan kimono en Kioto. Especialmente, casi todos los hombres lo llevan en el verano. Cuando vienen a Kioto a una fiesta del verano, vemos a los hombres llevando kimono.


Hay una tienda especializada en Kioto que les recomendamos. Se llama ‘Koto’. Está abierta de las 10 de la mañana a las 19 de la tarde. Está cerrada los domingos. Tome el tren de ‘Hankyu’ en la estación de ‘Kawaramachi’ y vaya hasta la estación de ‘Saiin’. Cuesta 150 yenes y se tarda más o menos 7 minutos. Después de llegar a ‘Saiin’, tiene que andar 1 minuto.

Il kimono


 Mei Kumamura, Atsuko Fujii


Molti immaginano che i giapponesi indossino sempre il kimono, ma in genere non abbiamo questa abitudine.

Molte donne giapponesi indossano il furisode (kimono per giovani donne non sposate) quando celebrano il ventesimo anno d’età. Recentemente sono aumentati le persone che noleggiano un kimono quando fanno turismo a Kyoto.

I giovani che indossano il kimono sono in aumento, perché non solo ci sono disegni di stile classico che si tramandano da molto tempo, ma stanno aumentando anche quelli in stile occidentale, in modo che i giovani possono indossarlo facilmente come se fosse una moda del momento e respirare in maniera più profonda la tipica atmosfera di Kyoto.

Con circa 3000~5000 yen in circa un’ora e mezzo si può fare un’esperienza completa del modo di indossare il kimono. Inoltre si possono aggiungere la messa in piega e una fotografia ricordo. Non è solo per le donne, ma anche per ragazzi e bambini, quindi ci si può divertire anche con tutta la famiglia o in coppia.

Essendoci tantissimi tipi di kimono e obi (cinture), si può sicuramente trovare la propria combinazione preferita.


Vi raccontiamo la nostra esperienza nell’indossare il kimono (kitsuke).

Qualche giorno prima prenotiamo la data e l’orario al negozio.

Il giorno fissato sbrighiamo le formalità, poi scegliamo il kimono e l’obi.

Ce ne sono tanti su uno scaffale, quindi scegliamo il colore e il disegno preferito.

In genere si sceglie un disegno semplice, perché con lo yukata (kimono estivo leggero) si usa un obi annodato a farfalla (chomusubi). Invece per il kimono si addice un disegno vistoso, perché si fascia l’obi a tamburo (otaikomusubi).

Inoltre possiamo scegliere obijime (la corda per sostenere la cintura) e obiage (il cuscinetto imbottito sotto la cintura), aggiungendo nuovi colori e disegni.

Una volta finito di scegliere, andiamo nella stanza dove ci sono istruttrici che insegnera a vestire il kimono. Dato che per ognuno ce ne sono due, il kitsuke si completa in circa dieci minuti.

Infine scegliamo il kinchaku (la borsetta).

Poi passiamo nella stanza della messa in piega. L’acconciatura adatta allo yukata e al kimono è diversa, e si può sceglierla tra sei modelli.

Alla fine scegliamo le calzature (si chiamano zori).

photo1 (2)photo7     KKP着物写真

photo11photo10photo6   photo3 (2)

photo5 (1)


Questa volta abbiamo indossato modelli caratteristici e classici.

Quando fate una gita turistica a Kyoto, indossate il kimono e avrete un bellissimo ricordo!

photo1 (3)   photo2 (3)



Makoto Hachiya, Ikki Kato, Sota Mori

 About Kyudo

At the present time, many people know about some of the more famous Japanese martial arts, such as karate or judo, but here we want to tell you about another not so well known Japanese martial art called kyudo. Basically, it can be said to be a form of Japanese archery. When you hear this, we are sure you can imagine what you need to do it, right?  Yes! A bow and arrows are what you need. However, it is not really that easy, as there are actually 8 steps required before you can shoot at the target.

1st:  You have to prepare for the shock of the release, so you have to place your feet outward at a 60 degree angle from each other, a stance which is called Ashibumi.

2nd:  You must keep your body very straight in a position called Dozukuri.

3rd:  You need to do Yugamae, which is to grip the bow and arrow. The left hand has to grip the bow, and the other has to grip the bowstring. Then you gaze at the target.

4th:  To prepare to draw, raise the bow above your head. This action is called Uchiokoshi.

5th:  Next you must draw the bow with the feeling in your bones, not your muscles. And the arrow must be parallel to the ground. This step is called Hikiwake.

6th:  Stretch your arms to the right and left as much as you can. This step is called Kai.

7th:  This step is the release, and is called Hanare.

8th:  The final step is called Zanshin when the body and mind remain still.

If you do the 8 steps correctly, your arrow will naturally hit and go through the target. Nowadays we don’t use our bows and arrows for war or hunting, but we do enjoy kyudo. Playing kyudo and hitting the target is really exhilarating!  It’s hard to hit the target, but when you manage it, words cannot express how great you feel. Don’t forget though, if you don’t follow the 8 steps, your arrow will never hit the target.


KUFS Kyudo Club members


About “Seijin-Syakai”

What is the age of adulthood in your country or other foreign countries? In major countries such as Germany, China, Italy, Russia, France, the U.K, 18 years old is when a person reaches adulthood, and also in 45 states in the United States. This means, there are many countries which recognize that 18 years old is adulthood in the world.On the other hand, in Japan, it is at 20 years old that a person becomes an adult, and there is a coming-of-age ceremony to celebrate this called “Seijin-Shiki”. Women usually participate in “Seijin-Shiki” in a gorgeous kimono, and men generally wear a hakama.

In Kyoto, people who reach adulthood sometimes gather in Sanjusangen-do Temple, and shoot arrows in “the memorial ceremony of shooting on Coming -of-Age Day” called “Seijin-Syakai”(national Japanese long-distance archery meet of the Sanjusangen-do Temple). In the Edo era, there was a “long-distance archery” event for samurai to compete in that challenged them to see how many arrows they could shoot over the course of the day under the eaves (approximately 120 meters in length) of Sanjusangen-do Temple. This was the origin of this great event, and used to be held on the old Coming-of-Age Day, on January 15th, but is now held on the Sunday closest to the 15th every year.

In the current “Seijin-Syakai” meeting, competitors aim at a mark one meter in diameter, set at a distance of 60 meters ahead. The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. under a wintry sky in the depth of winters. Just as in “Seijin-Shiki”, the women compete in a gorgeous kimono, and the men in a hakama. Players shoot just two arrows, and do so without warming up. If these two arrows don’t hit the target, they cannot pass the qualifying stage. The size of the target becomes 50cm in the final, and the skill needed to hit the mark with an arrow from 60m is incredible and very cool! Would you like to watch “Seijin-Syakai” and see the gorgeous kimono and Japanese cool budo “Kyudo”?


Looking good at “Seijin Syakai”

About Kyudo at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (KUFS)

KUFS Kyudo club has reached the 50th year since its foundation this year. The style of shooting an arrow with a bow must follow the rules of “Ogasawara”. “Ogasawara” is basically the head of a school of good manners. Therefore, there are many arts related to “Ogasawara”: for example, tea ceremony, art of flower arrangement, Kyudo and so on. The master of KUFS Kyudo club is Mr. Ueno. He is a master and supervisor. He has practiced Kyudo for fifty years and holds the rank of 7th dan.

Next, we’ll explain how to practice in our Kyudo club. At first we have to follow the form (the 8 steps needed to shoot an arrow from a bow called “Shahou-hassetsu”) in mind and practice that allows the hands to move freely. In the beginning, we are only allowed to use a rubber bow to acquire a sense of shot with resistance, in order to go on to shoot an arrow from a bow more easily. As we get to the stage where we can shoot an arrow to some degree, we are allowed to have a bow and use it. However, at this step, we are still not allowed to shoot an arrow. We can only use the bow in order to practice the form of a shot, as we have to the learn the feel of resistance from a real bow. Next, we are allowed to shoot an arrow with a bow not at a target, but at a block of straw. Up to this step, it takes us about three months of hard practice. Finally we are allowed to shoot an arrow with a bow at a target. The distance between an archer and the target is 28m in the “Kinteki” style. There are three days for regular practice:  Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. During practice, we make the correct form for a shot and improve on it. The master gives us advice and his assistants, called “Kaizoe”, also help us improve. We can also enter the Dojo at any time if we want to practice.
Our purpose for practicing Kyudo is to win prizes in some competitions; “Kyoto Student Kyudo Championship”, “Kansai Student Kyudo Championship”, and “All-Japan Student Kyudo Championship”. We also aim to be promoted to a higher league. Kyodo is very complicated but student’s Kyudo is simple. We all always practice to win.


A KUFS student in competition


von Kaori Takahashi, Yuki Hosokawa und Riho Mizue


Als wir einmal einen Furisode-Kimono bei den Feierlichkeiten zur Volljährigkeit (Seijinshiki) angezogen haben, begannen wir uns für die Schönheit von Kimonos zu interessieren. Daher möchten wir in diesem Artikel die Tradition des Kyotoer Seidenbrokats (Nishijinori) vorstellen.

Das Nishijin-Weberviertel

Nishijin ist eigentlich kein richtiger Ortsname, doch die Bewohner, die in dem Kyotoer Stadtteil Kamigyo-ku wohnen, nennen ihr Viertel Nishijin. In Nishijin wird Brokat gewebt, der Nishijin-Brokat genannt wird (Nishijinori).

Schon vor der Heian-Zeit war Nishijin ein Hauptort der Seidenbrokatproduktion. Der Name Nishijinori bezeichnet die Luxusseidenstoffe, die im Nishijin-Weberviertel in Kyoto gewebt werden, jedoch keine spezielle Art von Brokat. Es gibt viel Brokatarten, die hier produziert werden. Insofern genießt  das Viertel weltweite Bekanntheit, ähnlich wie Lyon in Frankreich und Mailand in Italien.

Die Preise für Nishijinbrokat sind sehr unterschiedlich und hängen von der Qualität der Stoffe ab. Maschinengewebter Brokat ist natürlich billiger als handgewebter. Beispielsweise kostet allein schon ein handgewebter Kimonogürtel (obi) über eine Million Yen (ca. 13.000 Euro), wohingegen man einen maschinengewebten schon für weniger als hunderttausend Yen bekommt.

In Kyoto gibt es 10 Nishijinori-Fachgeschäfte.  Diese Fachgeschäfte verkaufen nicht nur, sondern man kann dort auch Kimonos ausleihen. In letzter Zeit kann man Nishijinbrokat auch im Internet kaufen. Es ist jedoch fraglich, ob das wirklich gute Qualität ist. Wir empfehlen, selbst ein Geschäft zu besuchen und sich die Waren direkt anzusehen.

Heute kennt Nishijinori keine Grenzen. Es gibt nicht nur die traditionellen Gürtelschärpen (obiji) und Kimonos, sondern auch Krawatten, Tücher und andere japanische Kleidungsstücke. Sogar elegante Wandbehänge für die Innenausstattung sind zu finden. Neu in Mode sind auch westliche Kleidungsstücke aus Kimonostoff.



414 Tatemonzencho Kamigyo-ku Kyoto  602-8216