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Glossary

Hakama:

Hakama is a traditional Japanese trouser-skirt resembling a wide, pleated skirt with seven pleats.

Hakama dates back to the middle ages and was originally worn only by noble men and samurai, but today it is used by both men and women. Hakama is tied at the waist and falls approximately to the ankles.

There are two types of hakama which are identical from their outside appearance. They are different internally; Unamori (horse-riding hakama) has a trouser like division towards the lower part of the garment while Gyoto is open like a skirt. Hakama is worn under a kimono.

There are four straps, a long one on either side of the front of the garment, and a short one on either side of the rear. The rear of the garment has a rigid board-like section and a toggle which is tucked into the rear of the obi, and helps to keep the hakama in place.

The pleats are supposed to represent the virtues considered essential by the samurai: Jin (goodwill), Rei (etiquette & kindness), Gi (justice), Chi (wiseness), Shin (sincerity), Koh (pity), Chu ( loyalty).

How to tie a Hakama

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Furisode:

It's a long sleeve ceremonial kimono worn by an unmarried girl. She can wear it from the age of eighteen until she gets married. It can be hung on a wall as a decoration piece in a prestigious home or restaurant.

Haori:

Men's Haori for ceremonial use are short silk kimonos usually black or dark brown in colour with a coloured painting on the internal silk lining. It's worn as a jacket on important occasions like weddings and funerals. The beautiful image on the lining is usually of Japanese countryside, lifestyle or kanji. Some have small white round family crests of the Samurai on the sleeves and back. It can be used as a jacket or hung on the wall as a decorative piece.

Each Haori is a unique piece used on very important occasions. Unlike women, men of younger generations do not use traditional wear any longer so Haori's are gradually fading out and becoming more and more difficult to find.

Summer Haori

are made in transparent black silk without any internal lining. Some have white round family crests on sleeves and back. Informal use.

Black women's Haori

are for ceremonial use and are made in silk with black embroidery or paintings on the outside. The inner silk lining is simpler than the men's.

Coloured women's Haori

are for informal use and made of coloured silk. The inner silk lining is simpler than the men's.


Hanten:

These are traditional jackets in thick cotton used by workers and they bear the kanji or logo identifying the company. Some are also made for special holidays or events and bear the emblems of the promoters. Used as an informal jacket.

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Juban:

It's a long gown worn under the kimono on important occasions. Once worn you will only be able to see neck and the end of the sleeves as it will be fully covered by the kimono. The most precious ones are made in silk and have a hand painting on them. It's a garment difficult to find as it's use is very limited now days. It can be used as an evening gown or for decorative use.

Kakejiku:

A Kakejiku is a hanging scroll painting with rods on top and bottom which allow it to be carried safely and at the same time to be hung well spread out on a wall. It is made of silk, Japanese paper, wood and special glue. One should keep it in a healthy environment, neither too moist nor too dry and not facing an air conditioner. You should roll it up every now and then but take care not to do it too tightly. Sometimes decorative weights were applied over the roller end at the bottom of the Kakejiku in order to keep it well stretched out. Paintings are of many types from kanji to scenery and traditional lifestyle.

A Kakejiku is a hanging scroll painting with rods on top and bottom

It originated from China in the Heian Period 794-1192 when it was introduced into Japan by Buddish missionaries and was dedicated mainly to religious paintings.
In the Muromachi period 1334-1573 they were used in the Tokonoma, a space architects developed in the home which was dedicated to the fusion of art and daily living. Most of one's artworks and scrolls would be displayed in the Tokonoma.
Later during the Momoyama period 1573-1600 the Kakejiku painting and mounting became even more important as the two great sovereigns, Oda Nobunaga & Toyotomi Hideyoshi, were extremely fond of Chanoyu - tea ceremony which was done in the Tokonoma. So everything that was displayed in this area was even more distinctive.
The Edo period 1603-1868 was quite peaceful and this brought about a flourishing of culture and art. Many famous painters worked on kakejikus which became popular among the public too.
The Meiji period 1868 onwards was the time people became free to choose their occupations and therefore the number of painters and art styles grew and flourished in big number bringing Kakejikus in each and every Japanese home.

Kimono :
Houmongi:

It's a long and colourful kimono with irregular patterns. It's for married women and has a short sleeves. Used on informal occasions.

Komon:

This is a long and colourful kimono with regular repeated patterns. It's for married women and has a short sleeves. Used on informal occasions.

It can be hung on a wall as a decoration piece or it may be shortened and used as a long jacket or nightgown.


Kurotomesode:

This is a black silk kimono with colourful embroidery on it's lower end. It is worn in all important ceremonies by married women. The sleeve is short and it's name comes from the custom of cutting the long sleeve of the Furisode after the wedding (kuro = black / tome = cut / sode = sleeve). It can be hung on a wall as a decoration piece or it may be shortened and used as a long jacket or nightgown.

Kyo Nyngyo:

Most Kyo Nyngyo dolls have head, arms, legs and accessories made of lacquered wood. Their rich kimono dresses are made in silk. Their white lacquered faces are hand painted to make unique expressions stand out. They date back to the middle ages when they were used as children's toys in the noble families. With time they were constantly improved to such a state that they became just decorative pieces. They are made by craftsmen and dresses are usually made in embroidered silk of the same type used for the Uchikake and Obi. Today these dolls are made of simpler and less costly materials and given as gifts on Hina Matsuri (girls day) 3rd March and Kodomo-no-hi (boys day) 5th May. Decorative use or collection.

Obi:

It's the wide belt which is worn around the waist over the kimono and knotted into a wonderful bow on the back. The bow hides the strings used to fasten the kimono. It's around 4.5 m (14' 9'') long. Each Obi is very unique and precious and used quite rarely on very important occasions. It can be used as a runner thrown over the centre of a long table or hung on a wall as a decoration piece.

Fukura Obi:

Obi with about 1 m (3' 3'') interruption in the decoration.

Maru Obi:

Obi entirely decorated, without any interruption.

Nagoya Obi:

Obi with one tighter end folded in two.


Shibori knot:

These are hand made knots which cover all the silk surface of the kimono. Being handmade they are irregular.

Tanmono

Fabric roll for kimono: Standard fabric roll measures 11-12m x 0.38h (36'-39' 4'' x 1'3'' h and it is sufficient for making a kimono. Along the fabric there are marks for cutting 2 sleeves, 2 central pieces and the neck. For one who is able to make her own kimono using unique fabrics or also a very special panel-curtain.

Uchikake:

It's a long sleeve kimono worn by the bride over a simple white kimono on the wedding day. It's made entirely in very colourful silk with embroidery and gold. It can be hung on a wall as a decoration piece in a prestigious home or restaurant.

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