Experience Japanese Traditional Cloth, Kimono
I had never worn a kimono before, but on a cold January morning, I was able to put one on for the first time. I went to Keiyama-go-fuku, located in Matsue city’s Kyomise Shopping District with 4 of my fellow coordinators for international relations to experience traditional Japanese culture while wearing traditional Japanese clothing.
The first thing me and my colleagues did was head to Kageyama-go-fuku to put on our kimono. The main part of the kimono felt like a sort of bathrobe. The obi, or belt of the kimono was wrapped tightly around my hips, and I could feel it straightening my back. The outermost layer is a light jacket type of clothing called the haori (羽織). Instead of buttons, it is held in place by a thick, functional yet decorative rope which is simply called a himo. At first, I was a bit embarrassed to walk outside because even though you would see the occasional Japanese person wearing a kimono, these days it is way more common to see people wearing western clothes. However, I soon got used to having it on. The multiple layers of the kimono helped keep my upper body warm, though my legs and feet which were in old-style straw sandals, were vulnerable to the cold. Though my feet were cold, walking around the shopping district with the kimono was a valuable experience, as the feeling of wearing a kimono was a different kind of formal than even the suits that I was used to wearing. I felt that I walked with my back straight and a strong posture, with the space between the layers and the sleeves accentuating my presence.
Written by Sondey Olaseun
This web page introduces the remarks and comments written by CIR (Coordinator of International Relations) of Shimane Prefectural Government who experienced Japanese Culture.