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Yukata - The summer casual kimono

Yukata - a Japanese kimono for summerThe Yukata is a casual light cotton kimono for wearing in summer. Yukatas normally have very brightly coloured designs on them. Today these kimonos are mainly worn to the traditional Bon-Odori and summer festivals. The relative simply design of Yukata means Japanese women can, with some practice, put this kimono on unassisted.

The name 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. The yukata was later also worn by Japanese warriors and by the Edo era (1600-1868), it was widely worn by the public when public bath became a popular recreation in Japan.

Today, the yukata is widely worn as a casual wear in summer, as well as in festivals. Further, the yukata is also widely worn in �ryokan� (traditional Japanese inn). The yukata is loved for its lightweight cotton material. Fabric designs vary from the traditional plain cross hatch pattern to the more colourful designs. A cotton sash is usually worn with the yukata for casual daily or nightly wear. In attending festivals and public occasions, the yukata is worn with a wider belt, which can be simply wrapped around the waist and tucked in at the end. For a more formal appearance, the yukata is worn with an obi belt, along with a matching geta (wooden sandals) and purse to complete the attire.

Japanese girls and young Japanese women both here in Australia and in Japan enjoy the opportunity to dress in their Yukatas. Today there are not as many suitable chances to wear this colourful traditional Japanese outfit.

In Australia many Bon-Odori festivals feature a Yukata competition, which is a little like a traditional beauty pageant. The major difference is the emphasis on adherence to traditional style including hair, make-up, foot ware and disposition.

Next kimono is the Houmongi.

With more Japanese girls entering the traditional Japanese fashion competition this year the competition was always going to be hot! Many high resolution pictures of Yukata. More.


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