Today, let me talk about YUKATA which has already appeared several times in this blog.
YUKATA is the abbreviation for “YU-KATABIRA”. “YU” means a bath and “KATABIRA” means a cotton HITOE for summer (check again this article for “HITOE”!), therefore, YUKATA was originally a summer KIMONO that you wear after a bath.
YUKATA became popular in EDO period (1603-1867) among common people too and now is considered one of the HITOEs that you can dress not only after a bath, but also to go to a variety of summer festivals such as TANABATA festival introduced here, HANABI (fireworks) event, or BON-ODORI (BON dance festival).
YUKATA is an easy-to-wear simple KIMONO for everyone from children to adults regardless of sex or age.
For children, YUKATAs with print of morning-glories, goldfish or fireworks are very cute.
OBI for child’s YUKATA is called “SANJAKU”, a tie-dyed soft sash. “SAN” means three, and “JAKU (or SHAKU)” means a Japanese unit of length. 1 SHAKU is equivalent to 38 cm. Since this child’s OBI has the length of 38 cm x 3, it is called “SAN-JAKU”.
For adults, there are a wide variety of patterns, designs and colors. Pastel colors, chic colors, white and blue with the Indigo Dyeing so-called “AIZOME”, traditional patterns, modern patterns etc…
OBI for adult’s YUKATA is called “HAN-HABA OBI” of which the width is half of standard OBIs, that’s why it is called “HAN (half)-HABA (width) OBI”.
HAN-HABA OBI is firmer than SANJAKU, but flexible enough to make a knot on the back.
There are many kinds of way of making a knot, such as bowknot, half bow knot, KAI-NO-KUCHI knot etc…
Why don’t you too try it on this summer?