The Japanese Kimono

The Japanese Kimono has been worn for around 3000 years since the Jomon and Yayoi era. It used to be a very simple cloth with holes for the head and hands.

The style of kimonos have evolved since. Very specific social status was displayed by the type and colour of kimono one would wear. The number of layers was also a symbol of importance.They started to distinguish the class and hierarchy by wearing different styles and types of kimonos during the Asuka and Nara era, which is about 1300 years ago.


Compared to the women in high class with layers of kimonos hiding hands and feet with cloth, middle class women are wearing relatively mobile kimonos with smaller width sleeves.

By the Edo era (about 400 years ago), there were more regulations about colours and quality of kimonos and who was allowed to wear them.
The women of luxury would wear up to 12 layers, often making it hard to move around under the weight of the fabric. Compared to high class women with beautiful embroidered kimonos, the middle class women are only allowed to wear simple colored kimonos such as grey and browns. So they started to create unique ways of tying obi belts and developing techniques for printing kimonos.

Even now, some of those traditions still exist. The long length sleeve kimonos are only worn by young unmarried women. Once they marry, they cut the sleeve off and show that they are no longer single.

These days we don't get to wear kimonos often in Japan.
As much as I like the tradition and cultures of Kimonos, I also like it when kimonos are used in contemporary and untraditional ways.

They are often enjoyed by non Japanese women on completely non-traditional occasions.
It is such a wonderful thing to see beautiful women with confidence wear kimonos in totally different ways.
How would you wear a kimono? Would you wear twelve layer kimonos?

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