Japan in winter what to wear

what japan   »  japanese fashion   »  kimono         posted by John Spacey, September 17, 2015

Kimono are a type of traditional Japanese formal wear composed of silk robes, sashes and various accessories. They are expensive and complex. Buying and wearing kimono is a daunting task. Kimono come in dozens of varieties each with different symbolic meanings and conventions. They must be properly fitted and are notoriously difficult to put on. Despite the complexity, they are worth the effort for most people living in Japan. Kimono are an important part of Japanese ritual, ceremony and celebration. They're a common sight in any major Japanese city. There are several reasons people wear kimono:
A day to celebrate lucky ages for boys and girls. Families dress up and go to their local shrine for a brief ceremony. Afterwards, they have a little family party. Shichigosan is normally the day that children in Japan wear kimono for the first time at age 3, 5 or 7. Boys often wear a suit instead.
University and college graduation ceremonies are one of the rare times that women wear hakama with kimono. Hakama have a scholarly image because school teachers and professors both male and female traditionally wear them. Men can wear a kimono with hakama to their graduation ceremony but most choose to wear a suit.
The bride and groom wear kimono at traditional Shinto weddings. Western style wedding ceremonies are also popular in Japan. In such cases, the bride may wear a western wedding dress for the ceremony and a bridal kimono at the wedding party. Japanese bridal kimono are elaborate and expensive. The top layer is known as Uchikake. It's essentially a coat that's extremely colorful with auspicious decorations. The Uchikake is followed by layers of white. The bottom layer of a bridal kimono is often red silk.
At Shinto weddings, the groom typically wears a dark single-color kimono with five family crests known as a kurotomesode. Although simple, this is the most formal of all kimono. The groom also wears a formal hakama.

Wedding guests may wear kimono to both western and Shinto style weddings. The parents of the bride or groom may wear a formal black or dark colored kimono. Young unmarried women may wear brightly colored furisode. Older guests typically wear darker, solid-color kimono.
Black formal kimono may be worn to funerals. Increasingly, both men and women attend in black suits. Women often purchase a black suit that's specifically designed for funerals. The deceased is very often dressed in kimono. This is the only time that a kimono is put on with the right side crossed over left. This is the reason that it's considered extremely bad luck to wear a kimono right over left in life. (funeral attendees, Kyoto, 1963)
Kyudo is Japanese archery that's customarily performed in kimono and hakama.
Staff at fine shops selling traditional items such as wagashi may wear kimono. (cleaning the street in front of the shop before opening is a tradition)
It's common for staff at ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) to wear kimono. Ryokan provide informal robe-like yukata for guests.
Restaurants in Japan often have an implicit dress code. It's common for staff and guests to wear kimono at fine restaurants that serve traditional Japanese food such as kaiseki.
Tea Ceremony is a popular cultural activity in Japan that seeks to perfect the humble act of preparing, serving and appreciating tea. Active participation in tea ceremony requires a kimono. Even men, who often escape kimono situations by wearing a suit, are expected to wear kimono. In many cases, guests with no active role in the ceremony beyond drinking tea can dress business casual.
It's common to wear kimono to training and events in traditional Japanese arts such as Ikebana flower arrangement.
Hanami flower viewing parties inspire some to wear kimono. It's far more common to wear a yukata.
As in the West, traditional musical performances are considered formal events. A regular kimono is roughly as formal as a suit. A black kimono with family crests is roughly as formal as a tuxedo.
Sumo Wrestlers are required to dress in traditional Japanese clothing in public. They tend to wear simple yukata-like kimono that look something like a hastily thrown on bathrobe. Sumo Wrestlers may wear a more formal kimono for special events.
Geisha and Maiko wear kimono with extra layers such as a bright inner layer known as a hiyoku. Their outer kimono is often a long kimono known as susohiki that drags on the ground. How you wear and layer kimono has symbolic meaning. Geisha and Maiko are well versed in these subtleties.
Japanese festivals may involve performances or parades of people in yukata or kimono based costumes. In many cases, people also attend festivals in kimono. However, it's far more common to attend matsuri in yukata.

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