The ubiquitous KIMONO is the very symbol of Traditional Japan and defines its rich cultural essence and aesthetic sense. Although we refer to it as “KIMONO”, do you know that there are various components that go together to make up its intriguing appeal?
Here is my brief intro to the parts of a kimono, from my very first experience of wearing one in Japan.
Kimono, a name very familiar to all of you, is not just a single piece of fabric. Kimono (着物) in Japanese, means a “thing to wear” (着;ki means “wear” and 物;mono means “thing”). The Kimono is a lot more complicated than it looks, with several intricate parts.
Kimono & its Parts
Here are the Major parts of the Kimono:
Eri (襟；えり): Collar of the kimono.
Sode (袖；そで): Sleeve of the kimono. It is broken into a few parts; furi(ふり), tamoto(袂), sode-guchi(袖口), sode-tsuke(袖付), etc. The sleeve can also vary in length. In the Japanese tradition, younger maidens wear colourful kimono with longer sleeves called Furisode(振袖), while married or older women wear Tomesode (留袖), with normal length sleeves.
Obi(帯): A belt used to tuck excess cloth away and hold the Fabric tight. It is a beautiful slash and often designed in numerous patterns depending on the occasion.
Maemigoro(前身頃): Front main panel excluding sleeves.
Ushiromigoro(後見頃): Back main panel excluding sleeves.
The Kimono isn’t complete without a set of Japanese traditional footwear.
Tabi(足袋): Traditional split-toe ankle-high socks, worn with zori or geta.
Zori(草履): Traditional sandals worn by both men and women, similar to flip-flops.
In contrast to women’s kimono, men’s kimono are simpler, typically consisting of not more than five components, and generally dark in colour.
I will soon be writing about the different types of Kimono and talk about the subtle differences between them.
Thanking Ms. Ivelina Kurteva, Ms. Olena, Ms. Tekla, Ms. Agnes and Ms. Tin for letting me use their photographs.