As soon as spring ends, the longer days and intense sunlight of Japan’s summer make for some extremely humid and hot days. During which time, all that you will want to wear is a simple and light garment that keeps you comfy and cool. Well, Japanese Summer Yukatas are the right fit for the job.
The yukata is an unlined kimono that is generally made of cotton. It is usually worn as a bathrobe or as a summer outfit.
Traditionally the yukata were worn in the 17-century by both men and women, however it is more commonly worn by women these days. Yukatas usually feature floral and grassy patterns against a white or indigo background.
The white yukata is generally worn during summers to make it breezy and cool when you wear them, whereas the indigo coloured ones are worn in the evenings which act as insect repellent because of the dye used in the fabric.
In addition to traditional patterns, new types of yukata with colorful designs have appeared in recent years with black or red, and yukata that uses bold, primary colours such as indigo or pink in the pattern.
The Japanese have invested a great deal of creativity in making the Yukata. In addition to its comfort, yukata is one of the most-loved garments in Japan for its simplicity and traditional style.
When is the Yukata worn?
If you were to visit Japan during summer you will find that most of the people are clad in the Yukata. It’s a common sight to see them wearing these colourful robes in summer festivals as a traditional attire.
10 interesting facts about Yukata:
1) Yukata are quite simple compared to kimono. The sash that is tied with the yukata is knows as Obi. Some people wear a simple t-shirt and a short beneath the yukata or pair it up with a robe shaped garment known as nagajuban.
2) Your yukata should be worn tightly and shouldn’t be allowed to hang loose over your shoulders.
3) The bow of the obi should be tied on your back. Only the prostitutes would tie the obi in the front to indicate the same in olden days.
4) The yukata doesn’t have any pockets. You can stick items such as a fan in your obi but this no place for a wallet.
5) Yukata are the most affordable garments in summer and can be bought for a reasonable price. Women typically purchase a traditional purse called kinchaku bag to match their yukata.
6) All kimonos, yukatas included, must be worn with the left side overlapping the right. Wearing the right side over the left is how the corpses are dressed, and so it is considered to be in poor taste.
7) Yukata are worn with geta or zori sandals. The primary difference is that geta are platform sandals and zori are lower.
8) It’s common to wear yukata without socks. Some people choose to wear tabi socks. This looks a little more formal.
9) The literal translation of the Yukata is “bathing cloth”, and was originally intended to be used after bathing. Although it is commonly being worn outdoors nowadays, Japanese hotel rooms and onsens would still provide a simple yukata for their guests.
10) The Yuakata have lesser layers compared to the Kimono and are a lot more comfortable to wear contrary to the Kimonos.
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