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Kimono (literally "something one wears"): are the traditional garments of Japan. Kimono was originally a word that referred to all types of clothing, but the word eventually came to refer specifically to the full-length robe-like garment still worn by women, men and children today.

Furisode: furisode literally translates as "swinging sleeves" -- the sleeves of furisode average between 39 and 42 inches in length. Furisode are the most formal kimono for unmarried women. They have patterns which cover the entire garment, and are usually worn at coming-of-age ceremonies (Seijin Shiki) and by unmarried female relatives of the bride at weddings and wedding receptions.


Kurotomesode: black kimono, patterned only below the waistline, kurotomesode are the most formal kimono for married women. They are often worn by the mothers of the bride and groom at weddings. Kurotomesode usually have five kamon (family crests) which are printed on the sleeves, chest and back of the kimono.

Irotomesode: irotomesode are single-colour (not black) kimono , patterned only below the waistline. They are slightly less formal than kurotomesode, and are worn by married women, usually close relatives of the bride and groom at a wedding. May have three or five kamon.

Yukata: informal unlined summer kimono usually made of cotton, linen, or hemp. Today Yukata are most often worn to outdoor festivals, by men and women of all ages. They are also worn at onsen ("hot springs") resorts, where they are often provided for the guests in the resort's own pattern.

Michiyuki (double-breasted kimono coat): Three-quarter length coats with square necklines. The most common materials for michiyuki are crepe fabric, silk and satin. Michiyuki often have no patterns, but can also feature stripes, checks, or other designs that are more subtle than those of most kimonos and related garments.

Haori: Hip- or thigh-length kimono coat which adds formality. Haori were originally reserved for men, until fashions changed at the end of the Meiji period. They are now worn by both men and women, though women's kimono jackets tend to be longer.

Obi: The Japanese equivalent of a sash or belt, which is used for a kimono or yukata. Obi are generally worn differently depending on the occasion, and they are usually more intricate for women.

Shibori: Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or compressing it. Some of these methods are known in the West< as tie-dye. Western civilization does not have an exact word equivalent that encompasses all the techniques of shibori. Tie-dye simply covers binding methods of dyeing, known as bound resist.

Ikat: A style of weaving that uses a tie-dye process on either the warp or weft before the threads are woven to create a pattern or design. A Double Ikat is when both the warp and the weft are tie-dyed before weaving.

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