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Furisode (Long Sleeved Kimono) - Japanese Encyclopedia

福島

Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe

Written by ニコ

2016.08.14

Furisode, a beautiful style of long sleeve kimono, have a long history in Japanese ceremony and culture. Learn more about these striking garments in this Japanese Encyclopedia article!

A kimono is a traditional Japanese garment. At popular tourist destinations in Japan, you can often find shops that will let you rent a kimono. Talking a walk through town wearing a kimono is a great way to experience Japan.

There are several types of kimono; in this article, we'll take a look at the luxurious furisode.

Furisode (Long Sleeved Kimono) - Japanese Encyclopedia

The History of Furisode

A furisode is a type of kimono generally worn by young women. It is often worn at coming of age ceremonies, weddings and other events.

It's a little difficult for someone who is not used to seeing kimonos to distinguish between a furisode and other kimonos. The unique characteristic of a furisode is the length of its sleeves. A furisode has long, hanging sleeves, while kimonos with shorter sleeves are called tomesode.
Furisode kimonos themselves are divided into various types. There are ofurisode (about 114 cm), chufurisode (about 100-95 cm), and kofurisode (about 85 cm). These lengths are just a rough guide, as the size will change depending on the height of the person wearing the furisode.

Furisode kimonos used to be worn by both men and women, and there was no difference in the color patterns or design. However, the furisode is now thought of as a feminine garment. While furisode kimonos are worn by young women at special events, a tomesode is usually a formal dress for a married woman.

Furisode (Long Sleeved Kimono) - Japanese Encyclopedia

The Meaning of the Long Sleeves

It is said that the sleeves of kimonos became longer in the Edo period because a custom for women to learn dancing was born. The hems were lengthened to make the dancing look more beautiful.
*There are many theories about this.

One theory has it that the dancers of the time fluttered their sleeves to express love and clung to them to show pity. It became popular for unmarried women to imitate the dancers when expressing their feelings to men, which is the reason that the furisode became a kimono for unmarried young women.

Additionally, the long sleeves are thought to ward off evil and bring in good luck and relationships.

When Is a Furisode Worn?

The ofurisode has the highest status, and is used for formal attire like bridal dresses.

A chufurisode is a semi-formal dress often worn at coming of age ceremonies and weddings. Like a bridesmaid's dress, it's important that the chufurisode doesn't stand out more than the bride. A kofurisode is usually used for graduation ceremonies. It is lighter and easier to move around in, so it's also perfect when going to a theater or party.

Furisode (Long Sleeved Kimono) - Japanese Encyclopedia

A furisode is a special kimono worn at special events, so it's not often used for walking around town. However, if you wish, furisode kimonos can also be rented at kimono rental shops at popular tourist spots.

Although it might be a little different from its original use, you might want to enjoy sightseeing in a luxurious furisode, as it will be a great memory of your trip.

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