Posts Tagged ‘kimono history’

What is a Kimono and Yukata?

Sunday, August 8th, 2021

A short history about the Kimono and Yukata robe.

The Japanese Kimono is widely recognized throughout the world. The history, symbolism and true beauty of these fine robe’s dates back centuries. The word Kimono translates as the “thing to wear” or “thing that is worn.” Today the Kimono is considered the national dress or national costume in Japan and is still a major part of the culture.

Some wear Kimonos daily while others wear them for special occasions, ceremonies, festivals or family gatherings. The sister robe to the Kimono is the Yukata which is typically a lighter weight fabric and worn during warmer summer months.  In the West, the yukata is a favorite loungewear all year long.

One of the features that make this unique clothing so popular is the ease of putting it on as well as the genuine comfort. Spas and resorts are known to offer guests robes to wear and the kimono or yukata fits the same purpose while lounging at home. The kimono is a wraparound garment meaning that it wraps around your body, the left side folds over the right side and is held closed at the waist with a belt, sash or obi.

Kimono are produced in various fabrics with the most common being cotton, silk, rayon and polyester. Cotton is the most popular today, since it is chemically organic and contains no chemical compounds. Cotton is also easy to care for and usually machine washable. Cotton kimonos are normally made with a heavier fabric and yukatas with a lighter weight material.

The colors of kimono and yukata cover the rainbow. From blues, greens, reds, yellows, pinks, purples, oranges, whites and even black, shopping the vast never-ending styles are a feast for your eyes. The patterns range from intricate, ancient, historical, simple and modernistic. The true relevance is in the symbolism.

Symbolism in Japan dates back as far as history allows it. Many of the patterns represent a story, proverb, poetry or event. You will often find flowers, scenery, dragons, trees, waves, koi fish, water and more. Basically, anything found in nature is recreated in a kimono pattern. The natural beauty and meanings are just another example of why so many people love to wear kimono.

Kimono and yukata have evolved over the years. While formal kimono is still worn on special occasions, the traditional kimono is worn anytime. Sleeve lengths are usually a bit shorter and are now offered in many different sizes as the Western demand increases. Since many people in the West are larger than their far East counterparts, the strong demand necessitates a larger array of size offerings.

At Chopa Zen Home, “your Kimono Source”, sizes range from small to 2XL and even 2XL/wide which allows for a wider and roomier fit. Chopa was one of the first to offer large sizing on the web. In addition to plus size kimonos, they also offer short length kimono called Happi Coats. Established in 1994, Chopa continues to be a great source for Japanese kimono and Yukata. Operated and based in the USA, Chopa is a direct importer of quality robes and offers fast shipping in the USA. Orders of $75.00 or more receive free shipping, including Alaska and Hawaii. Orders under $75.00 pay just $6.95.

The benefit of shopping with a US provider, beyond quick shipping is ease of returns, no duties, taxes or import charges and easy access to electronic customer service. In business since 1994, Chopa is a name that can be trusted. This is easy to see as their family of 33,000 happy customers and counting grows each day. Many customers are repeat shoppers and referrals are common. Chopa ships from the Panhandle region of Florida. Most orders ship within one business day with many shipping the same day. They offer a wide selection of over 100 Kimono and Yukata for men, women and kids. Shop online for your next kimono or yukata and see why so many others consider Chopa Zen Home their Kimono Source.

kimono shopping

Photo courtesy of Victoriano Izquierdo.