Yukata, derived from the word Yukatabira (湯帷子), means a single item of clothing worn after a bath. They are not only worn as pajamas but are also widely used at events such as going out, Bon Odori (盆踊り), and summer festivals.
What is the Difference Between Kimono and Yukata?
Kimono and yukata have the same basic parts such as appearance and structure. However, the seasons in which they are worn and the purposes they have are different. While yukata are worn as fashion and are limited to the summertime, kimono can be worn in any season.
Also, in the case of kimono, an undergarment called a Nagajuban (長襦袢) is worn and socks called Tabi (足袋) are worn on the feet, so it feels a little hot in the summer.
In addition, opportunities for wearing kimono are limited to formal occasions such as weddings and coming-of-age ceremonies, while yukata is limited to casual occasions such as summer festivals.
How to Wear Yukata? Choose from Many Different Patterns!
Yukatas are not as complicated as kimonos, so you can put them on yourself. First, put on the undergarment and align the hem. Next, tie a rope around the waist with the right side of the yukata under and the left side on the top. All you have to do is tidy up the remaining part of the rope and wrap the Obi belt over the top of it. In addition, there is also a simple pre-tied belt called a Tsukuri Obi (作り帯).
There are also lots of variations of yukata designs. For example, there are geometric patterns using solid colors, circles, and squares, and other patterns.
Are there Yukata for Men?
There are also yukata for men. Yukata colors for men are mainly blues or greys such as navy. Most of the designs are plain and striped, and there are not so many patterns.
There are also many yukata rental shops for men. They have small to larger sizes, so you should select a size that fits you best.
Anime Characters Wearing Yukata
If you feel more familiar with yukata, then we also recommend watching anime. Although there are no anime characters that wear Yukata all the time, it is possible to see pictures of them wearing Yukata on merchandise.
For instance, the popular Japanese anime NARUTO has characters wearing yukata drawn on clear files, towels, and bath salts. Sailor Moon also has characters drawn wearing yukata.
Additionally, there are yukata that were actually drawn in ONE PIECE illustrations. There are lots of collaborations with various anime characters wearing yukata like this.