Hi! Yukata are super casual summer-only cotton kimono and are actually never worn with a juban. Very, very expensive dressy ones can sometimes be corralled into “kimono territory” with the addition of a juban, dressier obi, tabi socks and zori (sandals that are dressier than wooden geta), but 90% of yukata are worn as yukata, sans juban.
Outside of John Marshall and his work, almost all of the info I’ve seen on the topic in is Japanese language publications. For example, Utsukushii Kimono (Beautiful Kimono) magazine usually has a monthly feature on an aspect of modern kimono production (hakata weaves, indigo dyes, etc.), if you’re willing to go through a translator.
Good news! Yukata are super casual summer wear: no nagajuban (under kimono) needed. Just a kimono bra or sports bra and a slip, skirt, or even biker shorts.
Use two koshihimo or simple fabric strips for ties (one to set the hem height and then one more under the chest to help keep the collar closed), add geta (no tabi socks) and an obi (with an obiita board or substitute in the front to keep it smooth) and you’re good. :)
Kimono trought time
Cute! This seems to be written for kids because it has furigana (how to read the kanji) over each one. Here’s what the pages are saying:
"When did kimono start?"
Top right: Nara Period
Top left: Heian Period - “The Japanese kimono was born in the Heian Period. At this time, both men and women wore a simple white kimono called a ‘kosode’ as their bottom layer with hakama pants worn on top. Women wore a lot of layers over their kosode: around five layers in the summer, and around 20 layers in the winter. The bottommost kosode is the beginning of the kimono we know today.”
Middle right: Kamakura/Muromachi/Azuchi-Momoyama Period - “During the Kamakura and Muromachi Period, women didn’t wear hakama, and wore beautiful kosode on top of their kosode. They also used obi to tie their kosode. During the Azuchi-Momoyama Period, they wore one more kosode on top.”
Middle left: Edo Period - “The Edo Period lasted a long time, so there were many types of kimono. By the end of this time period, kimono and obi had become the same as we see today.”
Bottom right: Edo Period
Bottom left: Meiji/Taisho/Showa Period - “In the Meiji Period, Western clothing came to Japan. However, during the Meiji and Taisho Periods there were still a lot of people wearing kimono. Now, Japanese people don’t wear kimono very much. They wear Western clothes. So when do you wear kimono?” (I’m assuming this would be answered on whatever page was next.)
This yukata commercial is a couple of years old, but it’s a wonderful look at real people wearing yukata, everyone from a baby to young guys, grandmas, and a pregnant woman!
The song is a sweet, sad one called “Anata Ni” by Mongol800 and is about someone missing the one they love.
Here’s my quick translation of the chorus they’re singing:
Anata ni aitakute, anata ni aitakute
Nemurenai yoru yume de aetara kangaesugite nemurenai yoru
Yume de aetara doko e ikou ka?
Anata ga iereba dokodemo ii yo. (Anata ni aitakute repeated)
I miss you, I miss you.
Sleepless nights, sleepless nights spent thinking too much about meeting you in my dreams…
If we do meet in a dream, where do you want to go?
I’ll go anywhere if you’re there with me.
I miss you, I miss you…
Great post! Another interesting detail of this time period is that certain color combinations were set patterns suggesting certain seasons.
My favorite is the “Beneath the Snow” one (“Yuki no Shita”), which had a dark green bottom layer, then a few layers of reds/pinks, then white layers on top to suggest winter-blooming plum blossoms under snow.
"Let It Go", played on the koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument.
Here in Japan, Frozen has jumped to the #3 movie of all time in terms of box office sales. Spirited Away is #1, Titanic #2.
The truth is, outside of those who are fans of it, Lolita fashion in general is looked at sideways by most of Japan and not seen as a legitimate style of dress to begin with.
So kimono Lolita (usually called Wa Lolita), from what I’ve seen, is just seen as the same kind of strangeness with a Japan-flavored topping. I don’t believe most see it as disrespectful or bizarre, though.
Elements of traditional Japanese culture echo throughout modern culture in many ways here. You can buy Hanshin Tigers yukata, a holographic glitter obi, or cheesy “sexy time” satin bathrobe “kimono”, all made by Japanese for consumption here in Japan.
Another example is the “yukata dress” style that has become a popular, acceptable choice for young girls to wear to summer festivals. I saw a big display of them in my local department store yesterday. Getting back to Wa Lolita, does the silhouette look familiar? ;)
Their popularity isn’t at all because of the Lolita = young girl connection or an acceptance of Lolita fashion, I believe, but rather the power of cute paired with a chance for “special occasion/non-normal clothing” and a style that lets kids run around like crazy unencumbered by normal yukata.
Generally speaking, Japan enjoys blending its traditional roots into the modern world and having fun with it. The issue many people would have with Wa Lolita fashion isn’t the Wa, it’s the Lolita.
Ahhh the link, the link! Click the link, they’re adorable ~! <3
I wish they made those in adult sizes, because WANT.
Hi, I’ll be your enabler for this evening. *sliiiiides out a few links*
A couple of stores do make them, actually! If you don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for brand “Wa Lolita” looks here are a few adult women’s “yukata dresses”. I haven’t seen adult women wearing them here but I’m not in a major metropolitan area this time around.
Hi there! Actually, wherever you read it had it reversed. For living wearers, it’s the wearer’s left over the wearer’s right, always. For the dead it’s right over left.
An easy way to remember this is that for a living wearer your collar should look like the letter “y” to people looking at you.
This is a non-negotiable rule for kimono wear for both men and women, so if you see a photograph of a living wearer in right over left you can just about guarantee the photo’s been flipped or they completely spaced out while they were getting dressed.