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Kimono Basic-knowledge

Hey everyone, here comes the first post for the kimono chapter.

I want to create a series that deals with traditional Japanese garments and all aspects surrounding them.

How is it worn, when, what types are there, what rules should be observed, and more? If you are interested and want to learn more, don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter at the end of the article. ^_^


Kimono - And what it is.

Language school graduation picture (chu-furisode and hakama)

A kimono is a traditional Japanese garment consisting of a long, often intricately patterned robe with wide sleeves. This iconic garment is commonly worn by men, women, and children in Japan for various occasions and is characterized by its elegance, versatility, and deep cultural significance. Kimonos are not only an expression of traditional craftsmanship but also reflect the values and traditions of Japanese society.

For many, especially older people in Japan, a kimono is more than a traditional garment. Many associate it with beautiful memories from their childhood or youth, and younger people today are rediscovering it for themselves and breathing new life into it in different ways.


Kimono Types

There are different types of kimonos in Japan, worn according to the occasion, season, and gender of the person. Here is a comprehensive list of kimono types, along with brief explanations:

1. Furisode (振袖): A long kimono with flamboyant, flared sleeves, often worn by young, unmarried women on special occasions such as weddings or Seijin no Hi (coming of age day).

2. Tomesode (留袖): A formal kimono for married women. It has shorter, restricted sleeves compared to Furisode and is often plain or has subtle patterns. Tomesode are worn at weddings or important social occasions.

3. Iromuji (色無地): A plain kimono that comes in various colors and is often worn at formal occasions such as tea ceremonies or weddings. Iromuji are less conspicuous than other types of kimono.

4. Houmongi (訪問着): A kimono with a pattern that runs across the seams, worn for semi-formal occasions such as dinners or going to the theater. Women of all ages can wear Houmongi.

5. Komon (小紋): An informal kimono with repeated patterns often worn by women in everyday life or at informal gatherings. It is a comfortable choice and can be made of lighter or heavier fabric, depending on the season.

6. Yukata (浴衣): An informal summer dress, often made of lightweight cotton, worn in Japan at festivals, fireworks, or during the hot summer. Yukatas have less complex tying techniques than kimonos.

7. Montsuki (紋付): A traditional kimono for men, often black, with a family crest (Mon) on the chest. Montsuki is usually worn at formal events such as weddings or tea ceremonies.

8. Juban (襦袢): A lightweight undergarment worn under the kimono protects the kimono and makes it more comfortable.

9. Uchikake (打掛): A sumptuous wedding kimono, often richly decorated and long. Uchikake is worn over another wedding kimono and is particularly popular at Shinto weddings.

10. Kakeshita (掛け下): Another wedding kimono worn under the Uchikake, usually with bold colors and patterns.

11. Kasane no irome (重ねの色目): A kimono set consisting of two kimonos, often worn on very formal occasions such as imperial court ceremonies.

12. Mofuku (喪服): A mourning kimono worn at funerals and mourning ceremonies. Mofuku is plain black and has special tying techniques.

13. Kurotomesode (黒留袖): A particular type of Tomesode often worn at weddings of close relatives of the bride, usually in black with less elaborate patterns.

14. Kurofurisode (黒振袖): A black furisode worn at certain mourning ceremonies.

15. Hikizuri (引きずり): A long, elegant kimono with an extended hem, often worn by geishas or dancers during traditional performances.

16. Menzou (面蔵): A formal kimono for men, often in muted colors, worn at weddings or tea ceremonies.

17. Junihitoe (十二単): A very formal kimono consisting of twelve layers, often worn by members of the imperial court at traditional court ceremonies.

18. Chu-furisode (中振袖): A semi-formal kimono with shorter sleeves than the furisode, worn by young women.

The list reflects the part of the Japanese kimono world as we know it today. There are regional and historical differences, but these are beyond the scope of this article.

I will write a separate article for each kimono so that you can read up on the subject bit by bit if you are interested.

I aim to create an online dictionary in German and English, which will help you better understand the subject of Kimono and its history. It can also be used as a reference book and learning aid.

I will link the articles on the individual types one by one so you can access them more quickly. Of course, articles about my kimono journey will also be posted. Topics such as the kimono competition, my kimono school, or leisure activities in kimono should follow shortly. So stay tuned, and don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter. ^_^

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