Kimono, also called wafuku, are the traditional dress of Japan that were worn as everyday clothing up until the Edo period.Since western-style clothes became normal for daily activities, kimono are mostly worn for ceremonial occasions and when tea ceremonies and flower arranging are practiced.


Long-sleeved kimono with gorgeous design worn by unmarried women as their prime ceremonial clothing.


A sash bustle tied to prevent the knot of the obi from sliding down.


A sash that is worn around the waist on top of the kimono and tied into a knot at the back. It is wide, long and made of thickly woven fabric.


The prime ceremonial clothing for married women. Kuro tomesode is the black tomesode with gorgeous designs at the bottom.Iro tomesode is worn by both married and unmarried women as the prime ceremonial kimono for celebratory occasions.


A sash cord fastened over a tied obi so that the obi will not be undone.


Japanese socks used when wearing a kimono.

Montsuki haori hakarna

The prime ceremonial clothes for men. Montsuki is a black kimono with family crests. There are montsuki with one crest (at the back), three crests (at the back and the back of both sleeves) and five crests (at the back, the back of both sleeves and both sides of the breast). A montsuki with more crests indicates higher rank.


Trousers worn over the kimono. Formal hakama which are striped and have split legs, are called umanori bakama.
Men wear white tabi with formal kimono and black or navy ones with informal kimono.


The mon is the family crest possessed and handed down by every Japanese family. Their designs include plants, animals, Chinese characters and combinations of more than one object. One sees mon on the crested formal kimono called montsuki or on the noren (entrance curtain) at shops.

Gosan no kiri

This mon is the crest of court nobles. The crest of the present Imperial Family is the chrysanthemum.


The aoi (hollyhock) was the crest of the Tokugawa-shogun family which reigned over Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries.

絵ときシリーズ 見てわかる日本 伝統・文化編(英語版) p.78、79

Kimono (Japanese Dress)

The kimono as known today first appeared as a formal outer garment in the Edo era, having evolved through gradual changes in the shape and color of the formal undergarments worn by the nobility in the Hewn period.
For the most part, Japanese people today wear Western clothing in their everyday life, but the traditional kimono is still popular both as formal attire and as clothing for the home.
The kimono worn by Japanese women are well known abroad for their beauty.By far the most gorgeous is the uchikake, a long overgarment worn by the bride in a wedding ceremony. The silk fabric is embi ordered with gold and silver threads.most commonly in patterns of flowers or birds.
There are various types of kimonos. Those of married and unmarried women differ in design, color, sleeve length and other aspects. Women also wear kimonos of different fabrics, designs, patterns and cuts in accordance with the occasion formal or informal.
Japanese women ordinarily wear kimonos during the New Year holidays. or on such occasions as the coming-of-age
ceremony, college graduation parties, wedding ceremonies and receptions as well as funeral services.
Whereas Western dresses are tailored in specific sizes to fit the wearer. Japanese kimonos are made only in approximate sizes and the fit is adjusted by the manner in which it is worn. This is an operation requiring special technique. Most young Japanese women of today are accustomed only to Western dresses and cannot put a kimono by themselves.
The elegance and refined beauty of the kimono derives more from the atmosphere created by the manner in which the kimono is worn than from the beauty of the cloth.
Men wear kimonos mostly at home when they wish to enjoy a relaxed,easy atmosphere. However, it is not uncommon for men to wear kimonos during the New Year holidays to receive guests at home. On formal occasions. they wear haori (a half coat) and hakama (a divided skirt).

日本 その姿と心 p.315

Japanese clothing

The international recognition accorded Japan's top fashion designers, coupled with a relatively affluent economy at
home, have sparked an interest in fashion among Japanese consumers. In fact, Japan has become one of the world's major retail markets for designer wear both domestic and imported.
Western-style apparel was first introduced to Japan during the Meiji period (1868-1912), when the country ended its
long isolation and began to open up to American and European cultural influences. While many men quickly adopted Western clothing, it was not until after World War II that large numbers of Japanese women abandoned kimono in favor of the more practical styles worn by Westerners. Nowadays, most women don kimono only on special occasions, and men do so even less frequently.
The luxurious fabrics and sophisticated motifs used for kimono continue to inspire some of Japan's leading couturiers,while others are striking out in new directions. Drawing upon a rich textile heritage, designers like Mori Hanae (1926- ), Miyake Issei (1938- ), and Kawakubo Rei (1942- ) have strong reputations abroad as well as in Japan.
But fashionable clothing is by no means the rule in Japan. For millions of people-students, department store employees, and taxi drivers - daily attire is a uniform of one sort or another. Together with their stylishly clad compatriots, these people in regulation attire contribute to the lively pastiche that characterizes contemporary Japanese dress.


The word kimono is usually used in the narrow sense for the traditional Japanese wrap-around garment. The word is occasionally used in the broad sense as a term for clothing or for the native dress in general as opposed to Western-style clothing (yofuku). The predecessor of the kimono is the kosode ("small sleeves"), which was worn as an undergarment from about the Nara period (710-794) and as the everyday outer garment from about the mid-16th century. The term kimono gained favor over kosode only in the 18th century.
Today most women wear kimono mainly for social and ceremonial events or when performing certain traditional arts. Children and young men and women may wear kimono for such occasions as New Year, the Shichigosan festival, Coming-of-Age Day, graduations, and weddings.
Kimono may be unlined (hitoe), lined (awase), or cotton-quilted (wataire).
Unlined kimono are worn from June through September; for everyday wear, stencil-dyed cotton yukata are most common. For street or formal wear, materials such as silk gauze (ro and sha) or fine linen (jofu) are used. Lined kimono are worn from October through May and are mainly made of silk or wool. Cotton quilted kimono, or cotton-quilted robes called tanzen worn over kimono, are for midwinter at home.
The ceremonial kimono for men is made of black habutae silk and decorated in several places with the family crest in white. Women wear different types of formal kimono. The dazzling wedding costume consists of a white or red silk kimono with embroidery or brocade. Married women wear dark-colored silk, with a lighter design, for festive occasions and black silk, without a design, for funerals.
Generally when dressing one first dons tabi (socks); top undergarment and wrap-around underskirt; and then the underkimono (nagajuban), which is tied tightly with a wide belt (datemaki). The nagajuban has a collar (han'eri), usually white, which should show about 2 centimeters (1 in) above the collar of the kimono that is worn over it. The left side of the kimono is lapped over the right in front. The two sides are held in place by a long sash called an obi, which is the principal decorative as well as practical accessory of the kimono. The most common type of women's obi, the Nagoya obi, is made from silk or cotton cloth with woven or dyed designs and is 3-4 meters
(10-13 ft) in length and approximately 30 centimeters (1 ft) in width. It is tied in the back with a square-shaped bow. The most widely used men's obi is the simple kakuobi type, which is approximately 9 centimeters (3.5 in) in width.

バイリンガル日本事典  p.370~373