Guest Author - Joy Alari
We are all familiar with the Japanese kimono, this is because of its well known beauty and designs but did you know that there are several kinds of kimonos, as well as different kinds for different occasions?
There are lots of information, about the regular Japanese Obi and Kimono accessories but to start, lets get down to the basics of the Japanese Kimono.
The different types of Kimono are: Furisode, Homongi, Komon, Mofuku, Omeshi
Shiromuku, Tomesode, Uchikake and Yukata. They can be grouped into formal or casual wear.
Formal Kimonos are Furisode, Homongi, Mofuku, Tomesode and Uchikake. Tomesode is the most formal type of kimono, for a married Japanese woman, in Japan marital status plays a choice for choosing a kimono. Single Japanese women can choose to wear either the Furisode or Homongi.
Types of Kimonos for Weddings:
In the case of a wedding which is a formal event, brides wear a special kind of bridal kimono, these kimonos are called Shiromuku the outer part of the Shiromuku is called the Uchikake
Shiromuku are usually white Kimonos because in Japanese Shiro means white, the Uchikake is always very colorful and heavily decorated.
A special Obi which is also white, is worn by the bride for the wedding, it also comes with a white headpiece.
Family members usually wear black Tomesode to these weddings, which can also be worn to other formal events, the wedding guests can also wear a Kimono, which can be a colored Tomesode or Furisode.
Types of Kimonos for Funerals:
For a Funeral, the deceased is dressed in a Kimono too but its not worn in the usual left over right, as it is changed to right over the left.
Funerals are the only time in Japan, when a Kimono is worn right over left, the mourners also wear Kimonos and they are called Mofuku
If you are interested in a Kimono, especially as a casual wear, then you should consider choosing a Kimono, which is made from either wool or cotton yukata. You would also need to select, a less formal obi to wear with your yukata and casual Kimono, also do not select a gold embroidered obi, to wear with your yukata.
For further reference, here are two fantastic books on kimono.
1. The Book of Kimono by Norio Yamanka.
2. Kimono by Liza Dalby.
Due to its fabric and accessories, Kimonos tend to be on the expensive side but a Kimono is more than a thing of beauty or traditional cloth, as you will discover that it is a pleasure to wear and would truly be worth your while, to invest in this Japanese traditional wear.