One beautiful thing about Japan is that you’re still able to see the history of the country’s textile industry in everyday life. Although most Japanese dress in Western clothing nowadays, seeing people wearing a Kimono is still a common thing in the streets of every Japanese city. There are lots of traditional Japanese clothes for almost any occasion you could think of. In this short article, we will focus on the most common ones you might encounter
The first item is the traditional Kimono (着物). It is universally associated with Japanese culture and is probably the most famous item Japanese tailoring has to offer.
Kimonos are mainly worn at ceremonies and special events like funerals, coming-of-age ceremonies (成人式) and festivals. They are wrapped around the body, sometimes in several layers, and are secured in place with a long piece of silk around the waist called Obi (帯). There are special accessories and ties needed to wear the kimono correctly. Despite the high price, Kimono are still very much alive in Japanese culture today owing to the fact that they’re usually tailor-made and hand-crafted from silk.
The second item on the list is the Yukata (浴衣) – an inexpensive and informal robe for summer that can often be seen at cherry blossom viewings (花見), festivals (祭り) and fireworks (花火). It’s a light alternative to the heavy and traditional kimono, perfect for hot summer nights.
The last example of traditional Japanese clothing we’d like to mention is the Jinbei (甚平). Extremely popular among the male population as well as females in recent years, the Jinbei was originally introduced as a summer pajama for hot and humid nights. Due to its simple design and the fact that it’s super easy to wear, it became an informal favorite of the Japanese people, used for outdoor activities such as fireworks watching or summer festivals.