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Fashion Forward in Japan

Evelyn Hannon

When I was in Japan with Overseas Adventure Travel I had the good fortune of attending a kimono fashion show.

Before and after the show our guide, Hiroko Shirotsuka talked to us at length about the kimono and the traditions associated with it.

During our stay in Japan we also caught glimpses of young brides being photographed in formal gardens. And, in each city we observed young girls strolling the streets dressed in traditional fashion. Each style, each color, each design told us something about the woman wearing that particular kimono. Each kimono taught us a little more about the Japanese culture.

Kimono - traditional Japanese garment

The kimono (??) is a Japanese traditional garment.
The word kimono literally means a "thing to wear" (ki "wear" and mono "thing").
The kimono is always secured by a sash called an obi, which is tied in the front and at the back.
Kimono are generally worn with traditional footwear called 'geta' and split-toe socks
Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right.
When dressing a body for burial is the only time the kimono is wrapped right over the left side.
Mourners at a funeral wear black kimono adorned only by their family crest on the back.

Kimonos pink

Color, style and design matter. The pattern of the kimono can determine in which season it should be worn. For example, a pattern with flowers, butterflies or cherry blossoms would be worn in spring. Watery designs are common during the summer. A popular autumn motif is the russet leaf of the Japanese maple; for winter, designs may include bamboo, pine trees and plum blossoms.

Hair ornaments

Hair ornaments are worn by women. Many different styles exist, including silk flowers, wooden combs, and jade hairpins.


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