AskDefine | Define kimono

Dictionary Definition

kimono n : a loose robe; imitated from robes originally worn by Japanese

User Contributed Dictionary



From 着物.


  • a US /kɪˈmoʊˌnoʊ/


  1. A form of traditional Japanese clothing that is worn in formal occasions.


traditional Japanese clothing
  • Chinese: 和服
  • Finnish: kimono
  • French: kimono
  • German: Kimono
  • Greek: κιμονό (kimonó)
  • Italian: chimono
  • Japanese: 着物
  • Portuguese: quimono



  1. kimono



  1. japanese romaji for kimono

Extensive Definition

The is the national costume of Japan. Originally the word "kimono" literally meant thing to wear (ki wearing and mono thing) but now has come to denote a particular type of traditional full-length garment.
Kimono are T-shaped, straight-lined robes that fall to the ankle, with collars and wide, full-length sleeves. Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial) and secured by a wide belt called an obi, which is usually tied at the back. Kimono are generally worn with traditional footwear (especially zōri or geta) and split-toe socks (tabi). which have floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear kimono on a daily basis. Men wear kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.Grand Sumo They commonly wear the kind of casual Japanese attire that is referred to as yukata, which is of plain unlined cotton.
Kimono hobbyists in Japan can take courses on how to put on and wear kimono. Classes cover selecting seasonally and event-appropriate patterns and fabrics, matching the kimono undergarments and accessories to the kimono, layering the undergarments according to subtle meanings, selecting and tying obi, and other topics. There are also clubs devoted to kimono culture, such as Kimono de Ginza.


As kimono has another name , the earliest kimono were heavily influenced by traditional Chinese clothing, which is known as Hanfu today, through extensive Chinese culture adoptions by Japan, as early as the fifth century ce a complete kimono outfit, with kimono, undergarments, obi, ties, socks, sandals and accessories, can exceed US$20,000. A single obi may cost several thousand dollars. However, most kimono owned by kimono hobbyists or by practitioners of traditional arts are far less expensive. Enterprising people make their own kimono and undergarments by following a standard pattern, or by recycling older kimono. Cheaper and machine-made fabrics can substitute for the traditional hand-dyed silk. There is also a thriving business in Japan for second-hand kimono, which can cost as little as ¥500. Women's obi, however, mostly remain an expensive item. Although simple patterned or plain colored ones can cost as low as ¥1,500, even a used obi can cost hundreds of dollars, and experienced craftsmanship is required to make them. Men's obi, even those made from silk, tend to be much less expensive, because they are narrower, shorter and less decorative than those worn by women.


Kimono range from extremely formal to casual. The level of formality of women's kimono is determined mostly by the pattern fabric, and color. Young women's kimono have longer sleeves,signifying their unmarried status, and tend to be more elaborate than similarly formal older women's kimono

Men's Kimono

In contrast to women's kimono, men's kimono outfits are far simpler, typically consisting of a maximum of five pieces, not including footwear.
Men's kimono have long sleeves which are attached to the body of the kimono with no more than a few inches unattached at the bottom, unlike the women's style of very deep sleeves mostly unattached from the body of the kimono. Men's sleeves are less deep than women's kimono sleeves to accommodate the obi around the waist beneath them, where as on a woman's kimono, the long, unattached bottom of the sleeve can hang over the obi without getting in the way.
In the modern era, the principal distinctions between men's kimono are in the fabric. The typical kimono has a subdued, dark color; black, dark blues, greens, and browns are common. Fabrics are usually matte. Some have a subtle pattern, and textured fabrics are common in more casual kimono. More casual kimono may be made in slightly brighter colors, such as lighter purples, greens and blues. Sumo wrestlers have occasionally been known to wear quite bright colors such as fuchsia.
The most formal style of kimono is plain black with five kamon on the chest, shoulders and back. Slightly less formal is the three-kamon kimono. These are usually paired with white undergarments and accessories.

Kimono accessories and related garments

(, or simply juban) are kimono-shaped robes worn by both men and women beneath the main outer garment. Since silk kimono are delicate and difficult to clean, the nagajuban helps to keep the outer kimono clean by preventing contact with the wearer's skin. Only the collar edge of the nagajuban shows from beneath the outer kimono. Many nagajuban have removable collars, to allow them to be changed to match the outer garment, and to be easily washed without washing the entire garment. While the most formal type of nagajuban are white, they are often as beautifully ornate and patterned as the outer kimono. Since men's kimono are usually fairly subdued in pattern and color, and the nagajuban allows for discreetly wearing very striking designs and colors. :() are thin garments similar to undershirts. They are worn by women under the nagajuban.:() is a thin petticoat-like garment worn by women under the nagajuban. Sometimes the susoyoke and hadajuban are combined into a one-piece garment. :is a special collar made for kimonos. Traditionally, an undergarment is worn under the kimono. Just the collar of the undergarment shows. This undergarment (the juban) can be very hot during summer weather so the eri sugata was created. The eri sugata is just the collar of the undergarment. It is used to make the kimono more formal without the wearer having to worry too much about having too many layers on or not on.:() are wooden sandals worn by men and women with yukata. One unique style is worn solely by geisha.:() is a divided (Umanori) or undivided skirt (Andon) which resembles a wide pair of pants, traditionally worn by men but now also by women in less formal outfits, and is also worn in certain martial arts such as aikido. A hakama typically has pleats, a koshiita (a stiff or padded part in the lower back of the wearer), and himo (long lengths of fabric tied around the waist over the obi, described below). Hakama are worn in several budo arts such as aikido, kendo, iaidō and naginata. Hakama are also worn by women at college graduation ceremonies, and by Miko on shinto shrines. They can range from very formal to visiting wear, depending on the pattern.:() is a hip- or thigh-length kimono jacket 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.:() is a tasseled, woven string fastener for the haori. The most formal color is white.:() is a type of Haori traditionally worn by shop keepers and is now associated mostly with festivals.:() is the workman's version of gentleman's Haori. Often padded for warmth, as opposed to the somewhat lighter Happi.:() is a type of under-kimono, historically worn by women beneath the kimono. Today they are only worn on formal occasions such as weddings and other important social events.:() are hair ornaments worn by women in the coiffured hair style that often accompanies kimono. These may take the form of silk flowers, wooden combs, and jade hairpins.:() An obi is a sash worn with kimono by both men and women. :() is a thin, fabric-covered board placed under the obi by women to keep its shape. It is also called mae-ita.:() is a thin, sash worn around the obi. This is usually now only used in more formal situations. This is also called a Datemaki.:() are thin sashes tied to keep the kimono in place while getting dressed, and keep it from moving during wear.:() are ankle-high, divided-toe socks usually worn with zōri or geta. They also come in a boot form.:() are straw rope sandals which are mostly worn by monks.:() is an informal unlined summer kimono usually made of cotton, linen, or hemp. Yukata are most often worn to outdoor festivals, by men and women of all ages. They are also worn at onsen (hot spring) resorts, where they are often provided for the guests in the resort's own pattern.:() are cloth, leather or grass-woven sandals. Zōri may be highly decorated with intricate stitching or with no decoration. They are worn by both men and women. Grass woven zōri with white straps, called hanao, are the most formal for men. They are similar in design to flip-flops.

Care of Kimono

In the past, a kimono would often be entirely taken apart for washing, and then re-sewn for wearing. This traditional washing method is called arai hari. Because stitches must be taken out for washing, traditional kimono need to be hand sewn. Arai hari is very expensive and difficult and is one of the causes of the declining popularity of kimono. Modern fabrics and cleaning methods have been developed that eliminate this need, although the traditional washing of kimono is still practiced, especially for high-end garments.
A new custom-made kimono will be delivered to the customer with long, loose basting stitches placed around the outside edges. These stitches are called shituke ito. They are sometimes replaced for storage. They help to prevent bunching, folding and wrinkling, and keep the kimono's layers in alignment.
Like many other traditional Japanese garments, there are specific ways to fold kimono. These methods help to preserve the garment and to keep it from creasing when stored. Kimono are often stored wrapped in paper.
Kimono need to be aired out at least seasonally and before and after each time they are worn. Many people prefer to have their kimono dry cleaned, although this can be extremely expensive, it is generally less expensive than arai hari and may be impossible for certain fabrics or dyes.
kimono in Arabic: كيمونو
kimono in Bengali: কিমোনো
kimono in Catalan: Kimono
kimono in Czech: Kimono
kimono in Danish: Kimono
kimono in German: Kimono
kimono in Spanish: Kimono
kimono in Esperanto: Kimono
kimono in French: Kimono
kimono in Galician: Quimono
kimono in Classical Chinese: 和服
kimono in Korean: 기모노
kimono in Croatian: Kimono
kimono in Indonesian: Kimono
kimono in Icelandic: Kimono
kimono in Italian: Kimono
kimono in Hebrew: קימונו
kimono in Lithuanian: Kimono
kimono in Hungarian: Kimonó
kimono in Malay (macrolanguage): Kimono
kimono in Dutch: Kimono
kimono in Japanese: 和服
kimono in Norwegian: Kimono
kimono in Polish: Kimono
kimono in Portuguese: Quimono
kimono in Romanian: Kimono
kimono in Russian: Кимоно
kimono in Sicilian: Chimonu
kimono in Simple English: Kimono
kimono in Slovak: Kimono
kimono in Slovenian: Kimono
kimono in Finnish: Kimono
kimono in Swedish: Kimono
kimono in Thai: กิโมโน
kimono in Vietnamese: Kimono
kimono in Turkish: Kimono
kimono in Ukrainian: Кімоно
kimono in Chinese: 和服
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