Kimono – Past and Present

May 7, 2016

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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Questa volta abbiamo indossato modelli caratteristici e classici.

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

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