Kimono is a traditional Japanese costume. The original meaning is “something to wear” and refers to everything you wear. It is recognized throughout the world as a national Japanese outfit, and the word Kimono is used internationally. It is characterized by a cloth is that is fastened only with a thick belt, and it has loose sleeves.
What are Traditional Kimono, Kimono Style Robe and Cardigans?
The difference between traditional Japanese kimonos and kimono-type robes and cardigans is how to wear them.
First, a traditional Japanese kimono requires a kimono-shaped undergarment called a Juban (襦袢), with a Nagajuban (長襦袢) on top. Then, wrap the Obi (帯) belt tightly over the top to prevent the kimono from coming off.
In contrast, kimono-style robes and cardigans are often worn over regular clothing or directly on the bare skin. They can be tied with a string like obi belt or it can be worn without the belt.
Are there Kimono for Men and Plus Size?
There are also kimono for men. In the case of men, wearing Hakama-like (袴) trousers on top of a kimono is regarded as ceremonial attire. However, if it is worn as a regular attire, then it is worn the same way as a woman.
There are also plus size kimonos. For tall and chubby people, the sizing is the same as Western style clothing, and they are made longer and wider. In the case of rental kimono, there are only a few shops that have large sizes, so it is best to check in advance.
When do we Wear White Kimono?
White kimono are worn at special occasions. A typical example is a pure white bridal gown called a Shiromuku (白無垢). It is said that it has become the most prestigious and sacred garment and has come to be used for weddings. Men do not wear white kimono at weddings.
There is also a kimono called Shiroshōzoku. It is worn when performing Misogi (禊), the act of purifying the body. The meaning is to return to not being dyed in any colour as you were when you were born.
When do we Wear Black Kimono?
The black kimono is a formal attire for attending funerals. In the case of women, a black-coloured kimono is combined with a black-coloured Obi belt. One feature of the kimono is that it contains a symbol of the house called the Kamon (家紋, family crest).
For men, a black kimono with a family crest is worn with a black Haori (羽織) and Hakama (袴). It is said that Hakama with stripes are the most formal. The scene where men wear black kimonos is not only funerals but also weddings and ceremonies.
What is the Difference between Yukata and Kimono?
Kimono and Yukata are similar in shape, but they are worn differently. It is essential to wear a Jiban (a type of undergarment) with a kimono.
Also, the usage is different. Originally kimono were worn as everyday clothes and yukata were worn as nightclothes. Even nowadays the usage is separated, Kimono are formal and Yukata are used as summer leisurewear.
Anime Characters Wearing Kimono
Japanese anime has characters wearing kimono. For example, the main character of Rurouni Kenshin (るろうに剣心), Kenshin Himura, and Shiki Ryougi from Kara no Kyokai (The Garden of Sinners). Kenshin Himura is one of the most popular anime characters in Japan. He is characterized by his white Hakama and red Kimono.