What Is A Kimono? Where Did The Kimono Originate?

by Bunka Japan May 31, 2021 6 min read

A single garment has dominated the Japanese style for generations: the Kimono. The kimono reflects the beautiful refinement of Japanese culture and style, illustrating that clothing should be much more than catches the eye. It is historically significant, artistically interesting, and deep insignificance.

Here, we explore the interesting evolution of the kimono, tracking its extraordinary history from the eighth century to the current day and delving into its significance in current Japanese society.

 

What Is A Kimono?

What Is A Kimono?

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It's possible that it's one of the most recognizable fashion items on the earth. But, exactly, what is a kimono? Traditional Japanese clothing, the kimono jacket, is a classic.

Where did the word kimono come from? The term kimono literally translates to "something to wear." Because of their distinctive shape, gorgeous motifs, and compelling colors, these full-length robes are instantly recognizable.

The kimono was worn by all women in Japan until the mid-nineteenth century. As suits, Cosplay Outfits, and other prevalent western trends found their way into the nation, and this began to alter.

Kimonos can be extremely colorful and ornate, or they can be simple and modest. Kimonos come in a variety of styles to suit different occasions and seasons.

Traditional kimonos are still extensively worn on important occasions, including at weddings, despite their decreasing popularity.

 

Where did the Japanese Kimono originate from?

The Japanese kimono, also known as gofuku, is a descendant of the Wu dynasty's clothing. The original Japanese Kimonos were heavily influenced by Han Chinese attire, especially the silk robe. 

Prior to the Chinese Qing Dynasty in the middle of the 1600s, it was an old style of attire. As the emperors changed, so did the Kimono's appearance.

After drawing influence from the Chinese Kimono, a distinctly Japanese form of layering silk robes emerged between the 8th and 11th centuries.

The Heian era gave birth to the earliest progenitor of the Kimono (794-1192). Straight cloth cuts were sewed together to make clothing that fit all body types. It was simple to put on and adjustable to any situation. It had developed into a unisex outer garment known as Kosode by the Edo period (1603-1868).

 

What Are The Types Of Kimono?

Kimono literally means "something to wear," and there are many distinct varieties of Japanese Kimono for different events.

The kimono's foundation is, of course, the kimono robe. The seasons are represented by a variety of kimono designs, patterns, and colors. However, there is a significant variance in the sorts of kimono worn in Japan. Each one has its own special position in Japanese culture and tradition. Your understanding of kimono styles will wow the natives!

 

Furisode

Furisode

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Let's begin with the furisode, which is the most formal version of the Japanese kimono. The furisode, which has sleeves that range from 100cm to 107cm in length, is worn by unmarried ladies. Furisode kimono patterns are often quite dramatic and designed to capture the eye.

The Kofurisode with short sleeves, the Chu-furisode with medium sleeves, and the Ofurisode with sleeves almost touching the ground are the three distinctive furisode kimono kinds with varying sleeve lengths.

The most prevalent and formal furisode kimono kind is the furisode. It contains considerable cushioning as well, which adds weight and durability. One of the most elegant kimono types, furisode, is typically worn at formal occasions by entertainers or brides at weddings.

 

Hikizuri

Hikizuri

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Hikizuri kimono was worn by affluent women of high rank prior to the Meiji era. Unless you're in Kyoto or Tokyo's Asakusa neighborhood, the odds of seeing this kimono style in public are minimal. Hikizuri is Japanese for "trailing skirt," and the kimono derived its name from its length. The lovely cloth has a beautiful flow to it.

Unlike other kimono styles, geisha, maiko, and stage performers of traditional Japanese dancewear Hikizuri kimonos. Women have greater opportunity to leave the house in modern times, which has resulted in the present kimono styles, which necessitate folding the excess cloth around the waist. 

 

Houmongi

Houmongi

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Houmongi is a Japanese term for a kind of fish. Houmongi means "visiting wear" in Japanese, and these semi-formal kimono styles are worn by both married and unmarried ladies.

Houmongi is available in a variety of exquisite colors and designs, making them appropriate for a variety of ceremonies and semi-formal house gatherings. The design may be seen on the sleeves and under the waist, and it extends over the shoulder to the back seams.

The "eba" method is used to make this kimono style, which seems to be a continuous painting spread throughout the entire kimono. Even though it has a long history, it was a novel kimono kind when it first emerged in the Taisho era.

 

Komon

Komon

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This kimono is known as the casual kimono in Japan. When compared to other kimono styles, you'll probably see these the most. They feature a vertical stripe design that is repeated frequently.

Do not wear this kimono style to a formal occasion, despite the fact that it is nicely designed! Instead, it's ideal for a leisurely stroll across town or small gatherings.

Before Western clothing became fashionable in Japan, this was the most frequent method of dressing. Imagine a period when the streets were adorned with these wonderful patterns while residents went about their daily lives.

 

Kimono For The Wedding.

Kimono For The Wedding

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This is a bride's kimono, which is all white. The clothing is known as Shiromuki in Japanese. The kimono's white tint really dates back to the days of the samurai. A lady would demonstrate her obedience to the family she was marrying into at the time.

Because she was white, she was able to effortlessly mix in with the rest of the family. These kimono styles clearly hold a unique position in Japanese culture and history. They also contribute to the beauty of the lovely bride on her special day.

 

How To Wear A Japanese Kimono?

When wearing a kimono, you are supposed to wear a "hadajuban" and "koshimaki" directly on your skin (the "juban" covers them). You don't wear panties in the traditional sense, although most women do these days.

The kimono for men do not have any openings beneath the arms. When the kimono becomes too loose, it is simple to adjust it. It's for the purpose of ventilation. Because women's obis (belts) are worn higher than men's, they require that slit to allow their arms more range of motion.

Regardless of the distinctions between the kimono and the yukata, both have one crucial guideline in common.

The left panel must be worn over the right panel. In Japanese culture, wearing them backward is considered exceedingly impolite, as the departed are clothed in a right-over-left kimono. So, before you leave the house, double-check how you're wearing your Kimono or Yukata.

When wearing a Yukata, the obi or sash is simpler and easy to knot. Put on the Yukata with your underwear underneath. Wrap the right side of your Yukata around your left hip first. Wrap the left side of the scarf around the right side of the scarf. Wrap the ribbon around your waist two or three times while holding the Yukata closed. Make a bow with the sash now.

 

The Role Of Kimonos Today And What Is Kimono Cardigan?

Japanese Kimono Cardigan Swan

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In the past, kimonos were reserved for special occasions. But nowadays designers are taking this traditional garment and transforming it into a Japanese versatile fashion piece that can be worn on any occasion.

The Japanese Kimono Cardigan was created to make these garments more convenient and easy-to-wear while still maintaining their beautiful aesthetic qualities - such as intricate embroidery or vibrant colors which depict cultural traditions of Japan.

This Kimono Cardigan new style has become popular among modern people who want an outfit they can wear with ease from day to night without having to change clothes every few hours!

This kind of Kimono Cardigan designed is popular among the cosplay industry around the globe, where cosplayer can incorporate Anime style kimono cardigan to their cosplay outfit.

 

The Bottom Line

Though kimonos are inextricably tied with Japanese tradition, they have lately become a popular fashion item all over the world. In the late 1990s, there was a resurgence of interest in Japanese culture throughout the world.

The delicate patterns, luscious colors, and distinctive silhouette of the kimono drew the attention of a fashion-conscious youth eager to distinguish out, especially on social media.

Wearing one provides a respite from the ordinary for some, as well as an opportunity to dress up and connect to a rediscovering past. For others, it's just the chance to wear something stunningly lovely and feminine, as opposed to a designer gown that may be seen on anybody.


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