Kimono – Part of the Japanese Culture


Japanese Kimono
Japanese Kimono

The kimono has, like the Mexican poncho, had a large influence on global fashion as we know it. This Japanese garment is simply one of those traditional items that has captured the imaginations of designers the world over. Thanks to that inspiration, many fashion houses produce clothing with distinctive kimono flair. However, this garment has also been coming along with the Japanese people for many centuries and is an integral part of their culture, even today in our modern times.

In the past

In the history of Japan, kimonos have been worn by men, women and children. The design, color and decoration on a kimono can denote many things from gender to age and even your marital status.

While the design of the kimono has evolved and adapted to changing times with the world, it has remained distinctly recognizable throughout. Men have always worn more conservatively colored and designed kimonos while women may be found wearing vibrant colors and even floral designs. The sash that holds the kimono closed is called an obi, tying in a simple knot at the back of the garment. The coloring of men’s kimonos includes masculine colors such as black, brown and blue.

Additions to the kimono

With the change of the seasons come a change in fabrics and indeed a change in name. The kimono worn in the summer months is made of a lighter material and is called a yukata. This summer kimono is often more cheerfully colored than its colder weather counterpart.

In addition to a kimono, men may sometimes wear pleated pants called hakama. You may have seen these pants in martial arts films before; they are worn under a man’s kimono. In addition to the hakama, there is another traditional Japanese garment worn with the kimono by the men, it is called a haori. The haori is a jacket-like garment, also worn over the kimono and often paired with the hakama. This is traditional bridegroom attire for Japanese men who are getting married. The haori is held closed by a cord of braided material that is then tied into an elaborate knot.

Unmarried Japanese women used to wear a long, flowing kimono to the ankles with large sleeves. They called this a Fulisode and it was often brightly colored. To denote her marital stated, a married Japanese woman would wear a kimono with shorter sleeves.


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