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Kimono

“Thing to wear”

Have you ever watched “the last Samurai movie”, if you do, I’m sure that you saw a cute and beautiful woman hosts our wounded hero Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), with her long and pretty dress which is a kimono wear.

The kimono (着物?, きもの) is a Japanese traditional clothes. The word “kimono”, which actually means a “thing to wear” (ki “wear” and mono “thing”), has come to denote these full-length robes. Kimono is T-shaped, straight-lined robes worn so that the hem falls to the ankle, with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial) and secured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back. Kimono is generally worn with traditional footwear (especially zōri or geta) and split-toe socks (tabi).

The kimono’s form was first introduced from China as an undergarment. Its use as a normal form of dress for men and women dates from the Muromachi period (1392–1568). At that time the samurai, or warrior class, replaced the court nobles who always wore ceremonial clothing and lived in castle towns. Clothing increasingly needed to be wearable for travel and urban outdoor life and the kimono was the foundation of these trends. Women’s kimonos became very decorative from the middle of the Edo period (1600–1868), although not considered religious, the motifs and colours on many kimonos are of great significance. The popular image of cranes is a symbol of longevity, while the colour red represents allure and passion, in spite of bans on luxurious living imposed by the Tokugawa shogunate, the rulers of Japan at that time.

There have been few fundamental changes in the shape of the kimono since the eighteenth century, except for minor changes in hem length and sleeve or collar shape.

These day’s there still schools in modern Japanese cities that train native Japanese on the finer points of wearing the kimono. They instruct in the complicated ways to tie the obi.

These days, kimono is most often worn by women and on special occasions and festivals all a year. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode, with almost floor-length sleeves.

Some Types of kimono:

Yukata kimono:

It is very lightweight, cool, and comfortable compared to a traditional kimono. You can wear it to a casual party, events in the spring and the summer or indoor events in all seasons. They can also be your lounge wear.

Piece Die:

The piece-dyed kimono is considered higher status than the yarn-dyed kimono.

Yarn-dye:

The weave patterns are made from the dyed yarn.

Awase:

Kimono with back fabric in general. It is also called “lined kimono”. Exclusively worn between October and May.

Hitoe:

Hitoe means “single”, non-sheer kimono without back fabric.

Furisode:

The first rate formal kimono for the unmarried lady. There are several kinds of sleeve length, and the longer is the higher status and the more magnificent.

Tomesode (Black)

The first rate formal kimono for the married lady, Tomesode with the crest on the 3 spots (either side of the breast and the center of the back) is a little informal.

Tomesode (Colored):

Colored tomesode is for both married/unmarried ladies.

Homongi:

A semiformal kimono for both married and unmarried ladies. The art is designed on the collar, the shoulder, the bottom. Mainly it is Eba type. For  married lady. Homongi is suitable for a wedding ceremony, a formal/semiformal party, a tea ceremony, visiting elders and betters.

Iromuji:

A single colored kimono. It is suitable for both a demitoilet and a stylish garment, and also wearable for both an auspicious event, With the crest on 3 spots, the status is higher than Houmongi. The fabric is embossed with tint block patterns.

Tshukesage:

The second status to Homongi. All the design on the breast, the shoulder, the front top corsage, the back corsage and the sleeves are upwardness.

Tsukesabe:

This Tsukesage’s design is gradation of color, not pictures.

Komon:

Very suitable for a stylish garment (semiformal/casual). The same patterns are repeated regardless the size or upside/downside of them..

Some people think at first thought that kimono become an old fashion and no one wear it anymore, but the truth is, Kimono is still used as fashionable style for special occasions   in Japanese society , because Japanese like their culture traditions and roots, and so do I.