Introduction to Kimono Accessories
There are a variety of kimono accessories, both for practical use and embellishment, when it comes to kimono and yukata. Koshihimo, datejime, and obi-ita are vital for tying kimono or yukata. Obiage, obimakura, and obijime are vital for tying obi in the otaiko style. And by choosing different Haori, Tabi, Zori, or Geta, you can have fun making your own style.
Koshihimo are soft, wide strings, usually pink or white, used to tie the kimono or yukata and keep it from opening.
Datejime goes over the koshihimo to keep the closed area straight. The ends of the datejime are usually wrapped around each other and then tucked into the top or bottom of itself when tying it closed. When used for the juban, the datejime is the main method of closure.
Obi-ita is a structured band with a thin elastic band on either side that goes over the datejime to keep the obi straight.
Obiage is a decorative sash that can be used to assist in tying more complex bows with the obi. It is tied into a knot that tucks into the front of the obi and makes two little arches above it.
Obimakura is used to support the bows or ties at the back of the obi and keep them lifted. Obimakura is usually covered by the obiage to hide it and make the entire tie more presentable.
Obijime is a decorative cord also used to assist in tying more complex bows with the obi. It ties in a knot in the front in the middle of the obi, and the ends are tucked into the sides of itself. In otaiko, the obijime hold the tezaki inside the bump formed by the tare.
Obidome is a decorative piece strung onto the obijime.
Korin belt is an elastic strap with clips at either end. It can be used instead of the second koshihimo when tying kimono by clipping it to the inner collar first and then wrapping it around the back and clipping it to the outer collar. It can also be used to secure the obi-ita if it doesn’t have attached elastic straps.
Haori is a jacket or coat worn over kimono. It is closed using a decorative rope called haorihimo.
Tabi are the two pronged socks worn with zori. They are designed to separate your big toe from the rest of your toes, thus making it easier to wear with thonged sandals such as zori. Most tabi are white, but there are also patterned tabi.
Zori are the shoes worn with kimono. They have thonged straps (in a manner similar to flip flops), and are very narrow. Unless you have very narrow feet, it is normal for the sides of your feet to be off the shoes. It is also not uncommon for your heel to hang one or two inches off the back of the shoes. Zori are always traditionally worn with tabi.
Geta are the, usually wooden, shoes with thonged straps that are worn with yukata. Geta aren’t worn with tabi, which means more of your skin shows, making it inappropriate to wear with kimono in most cases. Geta are wider than zori for the most part. Men, however, often wear geta with kimono and yukata alike because men’s zori are very uncommon.
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