воскресенье, 5 апреля 2009 г.

Postcard from Japan



Maiko Girls in the Garden of Kyoto



Maiko is a Japanese word for dancing girl and is an apprentice geisha.
Geisha, Geiko or Geigi are traditional, female Japanese entertainers whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music and dance.

The kimono is the traditional clothing 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 Japanese garment. The standard plural of the word kimono in English is kimonos, but the unmarked Japanese plural kimono is also sometimes found.

Kimonos are T-shaped, straight-lined robes with collars and full-length sleeves that typically are wide. Both genders wear their kimono so that the hem falls to the ankle. Kimonos 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 tied at the back. Kimonos are generally worn with traditional footwear (especially zōri or geta) and split-toe socks (tabi).

Today, kimonos are most often worn by women, and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode, with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in the kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public. They commonly wear the kind of casual Japanese attire that is referred to as yukata, which is of plain unlined cotton.

Women's Kimonos

Kurotomesode
a black kimono patterned only below the waistline, kurotoroko are the most formal kimono for married women. They are often worn by the mothers of the bride and groom at weddings. Kurotomesode usually have five kamon printed on the sleeves, chest and back of the kimono.

Furisode
furisode literally translates as swinging sleeves—the sleeves of furisode average between 39 and 42 inches (1,100 mm) in length. Furisode are the most formal kimono for unmarried women, with colorful patterns that cover the entire garment. They are usually worn at coming-of-age ceremonies (seijin shiki) and by unmarried female relatives of the bride at weddings and wedding receptions.

Irotomesode
single-color kimono, patterned only below the waistline. Irotomesode are slightly less formal than kurotomesode, and are worn by married women, usually close relatives of the bride and groom at weddings. An irotomesode may have three or five kamon.

Homongi
literally translates as visiting wear. Characterized by patterns that flow over the shoulders, seams and sleeves, hōmongi rank slightly higher than their close relative, the tsukesage. Hōmongi may be worn by both married and unmarried women; often friends of the bride will wear hōmongi at weddings and receptions. They may also be worn to formal parties.

Tsukesage
has more modest patterns that cover a smaller area—-mainly below the waist-—than the more formal hōmongi. They may also be worn by married women.

Iromuji
single-colored kimono that may be worn by married and unmarried women. They are mainly worn to tea ceremonies. The dyed silk may be figured (rinzu, similar to jacquard), but has no differently colored patterns.

Komon
"fine pattern". Kimono with a small, repeated pattern throughout the garment. This style is more casual and may be worn around town, or dressed up with a formal obi for a restaurant. Both married and unmarried women may wear komon.

Edo komon
is a type of komon characterized by tiny dots arranged in dense patterns that form larger designs. The Edo komon dyeing technique originated with the samurai class during the Edo period. A kimono with this type of pattern is of the same formality as an iromuji, and when decorated with kamon, may be worn as visiting wear (equivalent to a tsukesage or hōmongi).

Uchikake
is a highly formal kimono worn only by a bride or at a stage performance. The Uchikake is often heavily brocaded and is supposed to be worn outside the actual kimono and obi, as a sort of coat. One therefore never ties the obi around the uchikake. It is supposed to trail along the floor, this is also why it is heavily padded along the hem. The uchikake of the bridal costume is either white or very colorful often with red as the base color.

Susohiki / Hikizuri
The susohiki is mostly worn by geisha or by stage performers of the traditional Japanese dance. It is quite long, compared to regular kimono, because the skirt is supposed to trail along the floor. Susohiki literally means "trail the skirt". Where a normal kimono for women is normally 1,5-1,6 m or 4,7-5,2 ft long, a susohiki can be up to 2 m or 6,3 ft long. This is also why geisha and maiko lift their kimono skirt when walking outside, also to show their beautiful underkimono or "nagajuban" (see below).

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