6 Facts about Kimono from History to Kinds

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6 Facts about Kimono from History to Kinds

Many people already know the kimono as a typical Japanese dress. This outfit is considered the national dress. Kimono contains a thick Japanese culture.

Although Japan often experiences earthquakes, it has a wealth of nature that changes its appearance every season. That sense of beauty is expressed in many ways, including in the kimono design.

If you visit Kyoto , you will see many tourists walking around wearing kimonos. If you want to own a kimono and are interested in wearing it on your next trip to Japan , first of all know the following facts about kimono.

1. The History of Kimono Development

The first to bring kimono-style clothing to Japan were visitors from China who came during the Kofun period. This outfit, which is designed to cover the entire body, has long, triangular-shaped sleeves. For the outside it is closed with a jacket and skirt or trousers.

Later in the Heian period, these clothes changed to be more similar to modern kimonos. The shape of the shirt is more like a rectangle with square sleeves, not a triangle.

Meanwhile, residents used to wear clothes called kosode , which means “short sleeves”. Kosode looks like a modern kimono, with a wider body and smaller sleeves.

Meanwhile the overlap on the front of the robe looks longer, the collar is wider, and the robe is also shorter.

The nobles also wore kosode , but they wore several more layers of clothing on the outside. Noble women wore clothes called jūni hitoe , meaning “twelve layers” although the number of robes varied.

Male aristocrats wear round neck jackets with wide and long sleeves and hakama pants . The clothes they wear together with a small hat, which is usually black. During the Muromachi period, women and men began wearing the kosode alone or in conjunction with two or three layers of other clothing and a small, thin belt called the obi .

Meanwhile, the women wore kosode with red hakama pants . For young women, the sleeves of the kimono are longer and the kosode is also longer. This style of kimono began in the Edo period.

Kimono will be seen dangling and dragging behind when in the room. But the clothes must be pulled up when leaving the house so as not to get dirty.

So women began to tuck some of their long kimono into the hip folds, which came to be known as ohashori . Women today still wear kimono with ohashori .

With the passage of time, the very long kimono and the very wide obi became obsolete. During the Second World War, the long sleeves of the kimono were made shorter because it was considered a waste.

This fashion with shorter sleeves has survived to this day and to this day modern kimonos worn by women are still shorter in sleeves than the kimonos worn before the war. Older kimonos, especially those from the Taish period, are still sometimes equipped with longer sleeves.

2. Meaning of Kimono Colors and Patterns

Kimono motifs and patterns have symbolic meanings that are mostly related to the seasons. For example, twigs of bamboo, chrysanthemum and pine, all symbolize winter.

Plum blossoms and cherry blossoms represent spring. In addition, there are also other symbolic representations and meanings, namely:

  • The hexagon and the crane symbol for long life
  • Peacock and wisteria flower symbol for love
  • Fan for wedding
  • Taiko drums for fun
  • Paulownia flowers for girls
  • Overlapping circles mean 7 gems of Buddhism
  • The connecting diamond is the fast-growing flax leaf, which is used especially for children’s kimonos.

The crane is especially worn on wedding kimonos as it symbolizes fidelity, good fortune and longevity. This reference to allegiance comes from the fact that storks are naturally monogamous creatures.

It can be said that the chrysanthemum flower is the most common flower and is also a symbol of the imperial family. In addition to the motif, the color of the kimono also has meaning.

  • Blue means sky and sea
  • Red means to ward off evil spirits
  • Pink means youth and spring
  • Purple means nobility and harvest season

Pastel colors are especially for summer, while dark colors are worn in winter. Meanwhile, bright colors symbolize spring. Kimonos for older women come in fairly simple colors with little or no pattern.

3. Kimono Made from One Roll of Fabric

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Kimono is made using 8 pieces of cloth with a rectangular shape cut from a single roll of cloth called tanmono .

Tanmono is a roll of cloth used to make kimonos. The length and width change according to the type of kimono. Usually tanmono is about 36cm wide and about 12m long and is sometimes called ‘Sanjoumono’ .

Tanmono is divided into 8 parts, namely 2 sleeves, 2 parts left and right hands, 2 gussets (an additional cloth similar to a rhombus used in the folds of clothes) a collar and a collar that can be changed.

Kimono has three important parts. On the inside of the kimono, usually people will wear a thin inner layer called a nagajuban .

The kimono and its inner lining are then tied using a wide belt called an obi . When wearing a kimono, always wrap the left side of the body over the right.

The only exception is when dressing a deceased person for burial, the right side of the kimono is placed over the left. Making this mistake is considered bad luck. The user will look like a walking dead.

4. Yukata vs Kimono

Yukata is a category of kimono. This type of kimono is a Japanese cotton kimono that is worn in summer. Yukata is worn by both Japanese men and women. The origin of the word yukata comes from yu which means bath and katabira which means underwear.

In ancient times, court nobles wore yukatabira , which are kimonos made of linen. The yukatabira was later worn by Japanese soldiers.

Finally kimono was known by the wider community. Today, the Japanese yukata is widely worn for events such as festivals, ryokan , summer wear and evening wear.

Yukata is currently the most popular everyday wear in Japan. These clothes are much liked because the material uses a light cotton fabric. Fabric designs vary from original patterns of conventional crosses to more colorful landscape designs.

5. Accessories for Kimono

Generally, kimono is equipped with several accessories that add to its elegance. When wearing a kimono, there are several accessories that can be worn, namely geta sandals made of wood or zori sandals featuring tabi or split-toe socks .

However, the highlight of the kimono outfit is the obi . Obi can be as simple or as complex as a kimono. The appearance of the kimono may vary depending on how the obi is tied . The musubi or knot design can indicate who the wearer is, i.e. single or married.

Married women wear simple knots, whereas young single women often wear elaborate knots. Meanwhile maiko or apprentice geisha wear beautiful obi and hang long down.

5. Types of Kimono

There are several types of kimonos. Yukata is the least formal type of kimono. This type of kimono is worn by both men and women in summer, at festivals and at bathhouses as well as in inns.

The yukata has no layers of clothing and is always made of cotton and is worn with a light, brightly colored obi . Fine silk kimono worn by men for formal events complete with haori (kimono jacket) and hakama (loose pants). Usually the hakama is white and black striped. Kimono and haori have matching colors.

Women have a number of different types of kimono for various formal occasions. The design of the kimono, the way it is worn, and where the layers of clothing are worn in the kimono all change the final appearance of the kimono. These are several types of kimono, namely:

  • Komon
  • Edo komon
  • Iromuji
  • Tsukesage
  • Hōmongi
  • Irotomesode
  • Kurotomesode
  • Furisode

6. Materials for Making Kimono

The most popular fabrics used to make kimonos are silk, linen, wool, rayon, cotton, polyester, or even polyester blends.

  • Silk: The luster and elegance of silk is beautiful. In addition, this fabric has features that are comfortable for the body and for movement. However, there are disadvantages of silk, which are easily damaged and are not resistant to moisture.
  • Cotton: Cotton is the standard fabric used to make everyday-wear kimonos. In addition, cotton is also durable and strong when washed. The fabric is also breathable and has good sweat absorption. Unfortunately, cotton shrinks easily as well as wrinkles. Care is needed because cotton fabrics are prone to yellowing when exposed to sunlight.
  • Hemp: Hemp fabric is very well ventilated, but in dyeing it is of low quality and easily loses color. In addition, this fabric is not elastic and easily wrinkled.
  • Cotton hemp : Cotton hemp is a cross woven fabric between cotton and hemp. The blend of cotton and hemp produces a type of fabric that does not wrinkle easily and has good hygroscopicity or absorbency so that it feels good and is easy to wear.
  • Wool: Wool fiber covered by cuticle scales so it is warmer than other fabrics. The drawback is that it has poor durability and is susceptible to insects.
  • Polyester: Compared to kimono made of other materials, kimono made of polyester is cheaper. In addition, maintenance is also quite easy, such as in terms of washing. However, the heat retention of this polyester material is relatively low and its absorption is also poor.

Kimono is a familiar garment. It turns out that based on its history this clothing came from China. Not only as traditional clothes, kimonos have been modified into everyday clothes, for example sleeping clothes or clothes worn in daily activities.

As with traditional clothing in Indonesia, the use of kimono also varies, there are for festivals, certain ceremonies or weddings. Are you interested in collecting kimonos?


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