The Japanese kimono is a garment traditionally worn in the Japanese culture. It can be described as a long sleeve, closed style dress. The word "kimono" means "cloth made of cloth", but "kimono" also means, "apparel". The word "imono" actually comes from the Japanese word "imon", which means a thousand and one. When the word "kimono" was originally formed, it meant, "apparel for a thousand and one", hence the reference to the thousand and one dresses worn by the Japanese. The term "kimono" was eventually changed to "kimono-ge" which is used today.
The Japanese kimono is known as a garment to be worn daily, most often as a traditional dress. Traditionally, the Japanese kimono would be worn at home, but many modern day kimonos are also seen outside of the home. The majority of the modern Japanese kimono that is worn outside of the home is called a juumyo, which is a loose fitting kimono similar to the western jean or blouse. Jumpsuits, sometimes referred to as work wear are another type of Japanese kimono.
Today's Japanese kimonos are made from a variety of fabrics, including rayon, silk, cotton, and viscose. All these different fabrics have their own unique qualities, and each type of fabric has a particular appearance and quality. Many women choose to wear their Japanese kimono with a ganbaru (rouser), which has been a part of traditional Japanese kimonos for hundreds of years. Traditionally, this type of ganbaru would only be worn outside, but today you will see many men and women wearing them inside.
Traditionally, a men's Japanese kimono was quite different than a women's one. In general, the Japanese Kimono for women was quite plain. They were usually blue or pink, and had little decoration or embroidery. Men's Japanese kimonos on the other hand were quite colorful. They often had red, blue, white, and black designs, along with bright contrasting colors like green, silver, and gold. Men's clothing was not just rich in color; they also had elaborate patterns and images on their garments.
During the Edo period, a common type of Japanese kimono for both sexes was a short sleeve kimono for unmarried women. This design was considered suitable for travel and casual dress. During the Meiji Period, which is currently recognized as the 20th Century, long sleeve kimonos were also worn by women. Women wore their long sleeves tucked into their uniform trousers. During this time, long sleeved Traditional Japanese Kimono was considered appropriate for everyday wear.
After World War II, a new fashion for Japanese kimono emerged. Women returned to school and wore their kimonos again. They were no longer worn for utilitarian purposes during work. The Japanese kimono for women of this time period was more fashionable and showed off the attractive features of women, which previously were hidden under heavy clothing. During this time, the average age of a Japanese kimono wearer was increasing.
During the Showa period, another style of Japanese kimono emerged. Again, the Japanese kimono for women was now being worn for another type of occasion. The Showa period was a time of social and political evolution in Japan. The Samurai were now also dressed in kimono's. The new dress codes caused both the old and the new styles of kimono to change drastically, but each still maintained their unique look.
There are many different styles of obi for Japanese kimono. These kimonos vary greatly in style, color, patterns, fabrics, and even length. Obis that originate from the feudal period have a much heavier texture than those that came after the Showa Period. Any obi that you are considering wearing should be selected based on the year that the garment was made.