Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Wearing Yukata Is Fun!

Yukata is a casual summer kimono, usually made of cotton. The word yukata comes from the word ‘yu’ (bath) and ‘katabira’ (under clothing). In the Heian era (794-1185), court nobles wore linen yukata which were draped loosely after taking a bath. It was widely worn when public baths became popular in Japan during the Edo period (1600-1868).

Yukata is also widely worn in ‘ryokan’ (traditional Japanese inn) and when checking-in to such hotels, I wore the yukata everywhere, even going out sightseeing in the nearby area.

Yukata is often worn with wooden sandals called geta which is a form of traditional Japanese footwear that resemble both clogs and flip-flops. But you don't wear the tabi (traditional socks) when you put on a yukata.

Wearing a yukata, the left side of the yukata is wrapped over the right side, and secured with an obi when one is attending festivals or some nice functions but for casual or night wear, a wide belt wrapped around the waist would suffice.

A note of advice though. If you wear a yukata, it might not be advisable to sit cross legged otherwise your legs (not to mention certain parts that should be left unseen) can be exposed for all to see!

20 comments:

  1. Wow...fancy wearing a yukata for sightseeing. Did you get any stares? Hehe...I guess in a way, it's almost like wearing a kimono isn't?

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  2. @Mei Teng,
    Nothing special about wearing them outdoors here, plenty of guests at the surrounding inns were wearing them too. :)

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  3. Haha, thank you for the tip! Was this from experience? This reminds me of the story when my big brother-in-law stayed at a ryokan in Japan and they could not find one in his size.

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  4. nice traditional robes but isn´t it too hot for summer?

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  5. I really want to experience wearing a full traditional yukata during a festival. I have a black with some prints which my grandma gave, grandpa got it from Japan during the old age.

    Have you gotten yourself one Lina?

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  6. I think the sandal a little too small for you? :)
    Nice Yukata.

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  7. Look like a bathing rob pulak Lina. Is the design the same as that?

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  8. @AVCr8teur,
    Yeah, 'fraid so. XD

    The ryokan usually have all sizes but I think tall/big size "gaijin" may have problem finding a suitably sized yukata for themselves. :)

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  9. @LR,
    The yukata were made of light cotton so it was nice to wear in the summer. In colder months, we can put on outer layers (see photo of me with the umbrella) to keep warm.

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  10. @Ayie,
    I've got one (only suitable to wear while mooching around in our home) but not a nice ones. Would love to see you wearing yours!

    Maybe when you go to Japan, you can wear them if you are going for the "matsuri" eh? :)

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  11. @VAnillaSeven,
    The sandal in the second last photos was a tad small but the last one fitted just nice - I just wasn't wearing the pair properly. ;)

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  12. @zezebel,
    As mentioned in the second sentence of this : "The word yukata comes from the word ‘yu’ (bath) and ‘katabira’ (under clothing)" - yes... it is similar like the western bath-robe but made of different material.You can find the yukata in some hotels too, alongside the bathrobes hanging in the closet. Ever notice that?

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  13. Very nice! Thanks for the lesson. LOL at the last para.

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  14. @HappySurfer,
    Hahaha... it comes from my rather "unfortunate" experience. :P

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  15. heyheyhey I am hoping we can all go to Ghibli, ok?

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  16. I enjoyed reading that about the yukata :) I would love to wear a kimono some day in the whole ensemble ..one day :) Lovely photos of you modelling the yukata, sweet & dainty :)

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  17. @Ayie,
    We'll try and make it happen! :)

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  18. @cuteandcurls,
    Thanks for the compliment dearie. :)

    Will you try and wear one during your trip?

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  19. I think you really fall in love with Japan, aren't you? how about ur Korea's trip? I'll be to Seoul for the first time next year... :)

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  20. @ayaharif,
    My Korea trip will have to wait till both my hubby and son falls in love with the country too. At the moment, they are quite ambivalent about Korea.

    And yes, we (all three of us) have fallen head over heels for Japan. :D

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