Today we talk about something we have seen a lot in Japanese anime – the yukata. Some might remember them from the anime Glasslip where the characters dressed up in yukata to go and look at fireworks or maybe seen it in the anime Koufuku Graffiti in the episode where the characters did their summer activities.
A yukata is a traditional Japanese garment; a casual summer kimono made from cotton or synthetic fabric, wrapped around the body and fastened with a sash called an obi. Men as well as women wear it. It is a garment usually worn at outdoor summer events like hanabi or at Japanese inns after bathing. It is a big hit in onsen (hot spring towns and we have even seen them in the Naruto anime after bathing scenes and at onsen. Yukata actually loosely translated means bath(ing) clothes. Interesting name for a common summer garment wore everywhere.
Yukata are made with straight seems and wide sleeves, the men’s yukata usually with a shorter sleeve extension (about 10 cm from the armpit). The standard yukata gear consists of a cotton undergarment (juban), sash (obi), bare feet sandals (geta), a hand fan and a carry bag (Kinchaku). And yes, men use the kinchaku too. It is very useful to carry cell phones and small items in. Of course some men prefer to wear hats with it too.
Another interesting fact is that men’s yukata tend to have darker colors, where women’s kimono are usually bright and colorful, with some even having floral designs. Sometimes the more mature the lady the flashier the garment gets! Be as it may yukata is an interesting garment and it is currently very much in fashion in Japan again, especially amongst the young, so it is hip to have a yukata in the streets of Tokyo.
You are in for a treat as we discovered videos of a lady showing us how to get dressed in a yukata. Uniqlo, a company known for selling elegant yukata, released these videos. Please follow the following links to have a look.
The first video explains how to slip into and align the robe: http://bit.ly/yukata_version
The second video demonstrated how to tie the obi ribbon: http://bit.ly/Obi_version
We also have links to our articles on Onsen and Hanabi if you would like to know more. Please follow these links;
Onsen – http://bit.ly/Onsen_of_Japan
Hanabi – http://bit.ly/Sumida_River_Hanabi