Culture/History Kimonos



What is Yukata?

Yukata is a traditional casual wear mostly worn in the summer and usually made of cotton or synthetic fabric, which is different from Kimonos. In old days, Yukata was worn by people after taking a bath to cool down like we still do when we go to Onsen, a hot spring. You use a specific Obi when wearing a Yukata, which is called a half-width Obi, normally shorter than the one used for Kimonos. The way you wear Yukata is very similar to wearing Kimonos, but you don’t wear a Nagajuban underneath the Yukata.

How to tie Obi belt for Yukata?

It is much easier to tie Obi for Yukata than tying the Obi for Kimonos. You may or may not need a tool to tie Obi for Yukata but if you have one, it would be much smoother to wear the Yukata. The other day, I learned how to tie Obi for Yukata with a little tool. The ribbon-look mark in the middle of the Obi is a little butterfly knot made by tying the Obi with the tool, called Obi makura (“Obi pillow”). By using the tool, your Obi belt will be tied up in a much stable manner. Also, younger people should tie your Obi belt closer to your chest (not at your waist), while older people normally tie it close to their waist.

Where to buy Yukata?

You can purchase Yukata at a department store anywhere in Japan. The Yukata I was wearing in the picture above is rather a traditional design but recently, the design on Yukata has become more and more modern and vivid. Personally, I like dark blue or blue-based color Yukata but you can find brighter color Yukata in the store such as pink, yellow, and green. The Obi belt for Yukata has also become more colorful these days and even pre-tied Obi (i.e. the Obi belt that already in a ribbon or butterfly shape which can be easily put on your waist) is available at the store so that anyone can wear Yukata beautifully. Also, when you buy Yukata for yourself, please don’t forget to buy Geta (i.e. a traditional Japanese footwear for Yukata); otherwise you can’t walk outside with your Yukata fashion!

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