traditional accessories of japan

Are you looking for Traditional Accessories Of Japan? Read through for history of japanese clothing and accessories. You will also find the japanese accessories online shop in the post.

Japan has a wide range of traditional clothing of which the kimono is the most well-known. The kimono is also labelled as the national costume of Japan and comes in many different types and accessories. Before WWII, most people in Japan wore kimonos and other traditional clothing every day, however, today you see them only on special occasions such as festivals, ceremonies, and weddings or in historical cities like Kyoto. There are various types of Japanese traditional clothing depending on the occupations, gender, and age of a person or occasions. In this article, we introduce Japanese traditional clothing. 

history of japanese clothing and accessories

Traditional Accessories Of Japan

Kimono 

Kimono literally means a “thing to wear” in Japanese. Today, a kimono is worn only so often, mainly during special and formal occasions such as weddings, tea ceremonies, formal traditional events and funerals. There are many different types and styles of kimonos and  appropriate style and color of kimono are chosen depending on the occasion and the person’s age and marital status. 

The history of this traditional Japanese garment goes back to the Heian period (794-1192). Over time, people started wearing the kimono as everyday clothing and gradually layering came into fashion. By the Edo period (1603-1868), kimono making had become a specialized craft. During the Meiji Period (1868-1912), various foreign cultures heavily influenced the  Japanese culture, clothes being also part of this. The Japanese government started to encourage people to adopt new (Western) clothing styles. Today Japanese people are wearing Western-style clothing and only wear the kimono for special occasions.

Saitama Trip Silk Meisen Museum Kimono
Silk kimono with obi

Components of a kimono

A kimono is traditionally crafted from handmade and hand-decorated fabrics, including linensilk, and hemp. Materials such as polyester, cotton, and rayon are also often used nowadays. Decoration techniques include embroidery, painting and dyeing. Men’s kimonos usually have more subdued colors than a women’s kimonos, which is generally more colorful and has beautiful, rich patterns. A women’s kimono is accompanied by a wide belt called obi, which is often a piece of art in itself with gorgeous patterns and colors. There are various techniques for tying an obi and making a bow. 

Kimonos were traditionally worn with 1 to 20 layers for fashion and warmth depending on the formality of the occasion, the social status of a person wearing the kimono and the season. These layers include a nagajuban, a simple robe that is worn under a kimono. People used to wear another layer of clothing between nagajuban and kimono called hiyoku for a formal occasion. Today, however, hiyoku is substituted by tsuke-hiyoku, which are partial double layers at the legs or collar that make it seem like you are wearing a hiyoku. 

Types of kimono 

There are many different types of kimono, especially for women, depending on occasions, the person’s age and marital status. The furisode or swinging sleeves is worn by unmarried women and girls, and has long sleeves. The furisode usually comes in bright colors and dramatic designs, and today most women wear it during the coming of age ceremony. 

Coming of age ceremony traditional clothing
Girls wearing a furisode at the Coming of age ceremony

Yukata

The yukata is a casual version of the kimono popularly worn at ryokan and during summer festivals by both men and women. A yukata is traditionally made of cotton, and today sometimes it is also made of polyester. Because a yukata is worn without undergarments, it is lighter than other types of kimono. Though it is the most informal, the yukata is the most popular among Japanese kimono types, and you can see people wearing yukata not only during festivals but also in historical cities like Kyoto. Being a much cheaper alternative to the traditional kimono, a yukata is also a popular souvenir among tourists!

Yukata
Yukata

The price of a kimono

The price of a kimono can vary greatly depending on the material used and decorations, the typical fee for a basic kimono starts at ¥20,000, with silk kimonos priced somewhere between ¥380,000 to ¥10 million. Luxurious silk kimonos with rich embroidery and/or painting can easily cost up to millions of yen. This is part of the reason why good quality kimonos are passed down from generation to generation. Today, many people also rent a kimono to wear at weddings or other formal ceremonies. Yukata prices range between ¥3,000 and ¥10,000 and are widely available. Many souvenir shops sell them, but also mainstream shops such as UNIQLO sell the traditional Japanese summer wear.

Haori & Hakama

Haori and hakama are, when worn together, a formal outfit for men typically worn by a groom during wedding, coming of age ceremony, and other big life events. 

haori is an overcoat worn on top of a kimono. In the past, haori were worn by men in battles to protect them against the cold. However, in modern Japan, haori are also used as a work uniform of those working in classical Japanese theater, or as an overcoat to be worn over yukata in ryokan. Women can also use haori over kimono. 

Hakama

The hakama is a skirt-like pants worn with a kimono. The Japanese hakama were originally worn only by men such as samurai and people participating Shinto rituals. However, in the modern era women also wear them on certain occasions including a university graduation ceremony. A hakama is also worn by people working at a shrine, or when doing kendo (Japanese swordsmanship), kyudo (Japanese archery), aikido and other martial arts. 

Happi & Hanten

hanten is a short winter coat with cotton padding for warmth and a tailored collar. It was originally worn over a kimono or other garments for both women and men. It is similar to haori, however, in the Edo period wearing haori was restricted to certain social classes, while hanten were available to all.

Hanten

happi is also a short coat but much more casual than the haori or hanten. Happi were originally worn by house servants as the family crest representatives. In the past, firefighters also used to wear a happi, the symbol on their backs would refer to the group to which they belonged to. A happi comes usually in plain colors, typically blue, with white, red, and black. Nowadays a happi is worn mainly during festivals, with the kanji for matsuri (festival in Japanese), printed on the back, and it often comes with a matching headband.

Fundoshi 

The fundoshi is a comfortable and very traditional Japanese male undergarment, made from a length of cotton. Until WWII, a fundoshi was mainstream underwear among men in Japan, and there were several different types which were worn for different events, situations, and among different people. Nowadays, you probably only see fundoshi being worn at traditional festivals. Sumo wrestlers also wear a type of fundoshi called mawashi

Fundoshi

Samue and Jinbei

Samue and jinbei are traditional relaxing clothes made from cotton or hemp, and are typically dyed with a solid color such as indigo, blue or green. They both come in a matching set of a top and trousers. 

Jinbei

A samue was originally worn by Buddhist monks when they work, while the jinbei was used by townspeople for everyday use. Samue are often worn by farmers when working in the garden.

The samue and junbei look very similar to each other, but the crucial difference between the two is the pants. The trousers of the samue are long trousers up to the ankle, and Jinbei are shorts under the knee. The second major difference is that many of jinbei are knitted with yarn about the shoulder parts for better ventilation. The samue is worn regardless of the season, but jinbei is basically summer clothing. 

Japanese traditional accessories

Kanzashi

When women wear kimono, they usually use kanzashi, hair ornaments, to complement their traditional Japanese hairstyles. The kanzashi has a long history and is still worn by many in modern times. When attending a formal event, many women will wear a kanzashi in their hair. 

There are many types of kanzashi including Tama (ball) kanzashi, Hirauchi (flat) kanzashi, Yuremono (swinging) kanzashi, Musubi (knot) kanzashi, Tsumami (knob crafted) kanzashi, and Bachi gata (fan shaped) kanzashi. Hair combs can also be beautifully decorated and used as a hair ornament. 

Hair ornament traditional clothing
Tabi 

Tabi are traditional Japanese socks dating back to the 15th century. They are typically made of cotton and are worn by both women and men with footwear such as zori and sometimes geta when people wear kimono.  

Jikatabi clothing
Jika-tabi
Jika-tabi

They are a type of tabi but made of heavier, rougher material and often having rubber soles. While tabi are used as socks, jika-tabi are usually used as outer footwear like a pair of boots. They are used by construction workers, farmers, gardeners, rickshaw-pullers and other laborers. 

Geta

Geta are traditional Japanese sandals that look like flip-flops. The most classic style of geta consists of one board of solid wooden base elevated with two smaller pegs. On the top of the shoe you will find the v-shaped strip of cloth known as the hanaoOiran, high-ranking courtesans in the Edo period in Japan, wore tall, lacquered koma-geta or mitsu-ashi (literally “three legs”) when walking in a parade with their attendants. 

Zori

Zori are traditional sandals that look similar to geta, and can be made of rice straw, cloth, lacquered wood, leather, or rubber. Women’s zori are always raised in the heel while men’s zori are always flat. Some beautifully decorated women’s zori are worn with kimono. 

Okobo 

Okobo, also known as pokkuri, are the wooden platform sandals worn by young girls, women, and Maiko (apprentice geisha) in some regions of Japan. They are typically created from a solid block of wood, between 10 to 15 cm in size, and usually feature small bells tied to the underside of the shoe’s slope. 

Hachimaki

hachimaki is a Japanese headband, usually made of red or white cloth. Japanese legend states that hachimaki strengthens the spirit and keeps you safe from evil spirits and demons. It is thought that the trend started with the samurai, who wore the headbands under their helmets to absorb sweat, and to keep the helmets in place during battle. Today they are worn as a symbol of effort or courage, especially by those in the military or by students in exam period.

Tenugui

The literal meaning of tenugui is hand wipe. A tenugui is a cotton towel that has been used by Japanese households since the 9th century. These multi-purpose cloths are used everyday as hand towels, dishcloths, and washcloths. They are typically about 35 by 90 centimeters in size, plain woven, and almost always dyed with some pattern, often they have such beautiful and colorful designs, people also use them as a headwrap or head band. They are sometimes even used as decorations and hung on the wall like tapestries. 

Tenugui hand towel

Japanese traditional clothing and accessories are an important part of Japanese culture. Some of the traditions are already centuries old and people take great pride in wearing the appropriate attire for certain events. When you are in Japan, you will have opportunities to find people wearing the different items, especially when you visit the more traditional or touristic areas. You can also purchase at specialty shops, but be aware that these can be surprisingly expensive. When you are looking for a great souvenir or just for a option try on some of the traditional Japanese clothing, look for the many kimono rental shops. At the tourist spots like Kawagoe, Kamakura, Gion district in Kyoto or Asakusa in Tokyo, you will find many different options for kimono rental, some even including photoshoots or tea ceremonies!

Happy traveling!

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Dress Codes & What They Mean [Infographic] – His & Her Guide To Appropriate Attire For Each Dress Code

With so much happening in Saratoga, especially during the summer season, deciding what to wear isn’t always easy. You’re invited to a gala… or a fundraiser… or a seminar luncheon, and the dress code is spelled right out for you in black and white, but what does it really mean? How do you actually translate it into something you can put on your body?

Dress codes can be difficult to decipher at times (particularly when some of them mean the opposite of what you can deduce from looking the words up in Webster’s Dictionary), so below is a run-down of the common U.S. dress codes and what they mean. We offer you this dress code infographic with his-and-her attire photos to guide you through and suggest what might be appropriate to wear for an occasion with the corresponding dress code.

Are you ready? Hold onto your hat… or black tie… whatever the occasion may be! Here’s our simple breakdown of different dress codes and what they mean in U.S. culture, from casual to business casual to smart casual to business and informal, semi-formal and formal attire. We invite you to bookmark this page, pin this image to Pinterest or share via other social media channels for future reference. (click to enlarge)

visual representation of dress codes described in text on the page below the image

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Share This! Our Quick Guide To Dress Codes Infographic is meant to be shared, and you are welcome to do so. All we ask is that you credit us as the source with a link back to this page.

De-Coding: Dress Codes 101 – Quick Guide To Dress Codes And What They Mean For Him & Her

“Casual”

Casual is basically a non-dress code, and you can wear comfortable clothing.

For Him: Think Homer Simpson. Tee shirt, jeans and sneakers are appropriate. You may also opt to step it up a notch with khakis, cargos, a polo shirt or henley and still fit in just fine. Tip: Avoid inflammatory or otherwise offensive graphic tees!

For Her: Pull out your favorite jeans! You can opt for a comfortable tee or dress things up a bit with a stylish top, jewelry or even a blazer. Depending on the nature of the event, your footwear can range safely from sneakers to heels to boots. Tip: For outdoor events, sneakers are better as heels can sink into soft ground.

“Business Casual”

Business Casual is what many people would typically wear to work at the office.

For Him: Wear a pair of nice khakis paired with a polo shirt or other collared shirt. Dress shoes or loafers are appropriate. Tip: Avoid the wrinkles; iron your shirt and pants! Patterned collared shirts are a nice option for a less dressy feel than their solid counterparts.

For Her: Dress pants or khakis with a fashionable top is appropriate. A casual skirt is also an option. Feel free to dress up your outfit with heels, jewelry and/or accessories if desired. Tip: Wear your hair in your everyday style, and avoid overdoing it with makeup or perfume.

“Smart Casual”

Smart Casual (or dressy casual) is basically a combination of casual, business casual, and business dress codes, where you can combine them into a “smart” ensemble.

For Him: This is your opportunity to pair denim with a sport coat. Khakis, trousers, vests, and ties are other great options to bring into the mix. Tip: If opting for jeans, your denim should look somewhat dressy, fresh and sharp with no wear or holes.

For Her: It’s safest to go with nice slacks or a skirt, though you could also wear a nice pair of dark jeans dressed up with a collared or otherwise dressy top. Throw on a blazer for an extra touch of class. Tip: For Smart Casual, you should look sharp, stylish, and neatly put together.

“Business / Informal”

Informal attire may be a misnomer as it does call for a bit of formality (not to be confused with Casual attire). Business and Informal attire is more sophisticated than Smart Casual, often signaling the need for suits, ties and dresses.

For Him: Wear a business suit with tie. You may also opt for nice slacks with a sports jacket and tie.

For Her: Wear a business suit or business style dress with heels (high or low).

Tip: For Business and Informal dress codes, stick to business colors: black, navy blue, gray or brown.

“Semi-Formal”

Semi-formal attire is more fancy than business attire but just a notch below formal tuxedos and fancy gowns.

For Him: Wear a dark suit with long tie. Tip: The more formal the dress code, the less expression you are allowed in determining your attire options; this is particularly true for men.

For Her: This is the perfect time to break out that little black dress. Most women will wear a classy short evening dress, though you may also opt for dressy separates. Tip: Ladies should avoid very short dresses and skirts that are shorter than 1 inch above the knee.

“Formal / Black Tie / Black Tie Optional”

Formal, Black Tie and Black Tie Optional events are among the most fancy of all dress codes, and you will likely be surrounded by a crowd full of tuxedos and floor-length gowns.

For Him: Wear a tuxedo with all the frills (vest/cummerbund, cufflinks, etc.) For Black Tie Optional, you may also opt to wear a black suit with white shirt and conservative tie. Tip: A Black Tie dress code does not necessarily limit you to only “black” ties, but you may opt for a black tux with any matching tie/cummerbund color of your choosing.

For Her: You are safest wearing a long, floor-length evening dress. A very fancy dress that is not floor-length may also be appropriate. Tip: Wear your hear in an elegant updo or partial updo, and put on fancy jewelry for this occasion.

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