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Manners and Tips when Wearing a Kimono

Shuzenji Onsen Hot Springs

The Shuzenji Onsen, which has been included in the list of The 100 Best Hot Springs in Japan, is one of the oldest hot springs renowned for medicinal properties, and is located in the northern part of the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Kimono Rental Shop in Shuzenji, Onsen

Eric: “I’ve never actually worn a kimono before. It's really quite nice!”
Maggie: “Yeah, but I wonder if there are any certain manners or etiquette that you need to know for a kimono.”

Mario: “Hey, you guys.”

Mario: “You two look great in kimonos! Kimonos look cool! Would you like to learn how to wear one properly?”

Eric & Maggie: “No, way! Really? Yes!”
Mario: “In that case. Let me share some secrets of the kimono with you.”

How to Walk

Mario: “Either of the left or right ends of the hem of a kimono are called 'tsuma' in Japanese. If you wear a kimono, you'll soon recognize that the 'tsuma' is worn on the left side of your body. The tsuma moves in the same rhythm as your hand when you begin to walk, which helps maintain the smooth form of the kimono.

Eric & Maggie: "Tsuma?”

Mario: "So, first thing's first. The important first step is walking. Starting with your left foot, take a step forward. But first make sure that the hanao (thong) of the sandal fits snugly between your big toe and second toe on each foot. Then, start walking in a way where the sole of your foot stays in contact with the sandal. This is the basic way to walk. Don't walk like you are wearing flip-flops. Not only does this make it hard to walk, but it also looks and sounds unrefined.”


Mario: "To help the kimono keep its proper form, you also need to lessen the length of your stride a little bit. It is a little bit easier to do if you stretch your back a little and keep a good posture.”


Up & Down Stairs

Mario: "When walking up and down the stairs, make sure that you don't step on the hem of the kimono. If you do step on it, you risk tripping and falling. Also, be sure to use your right hand to slight pull up on the kimono lightly when walking up and down to avoid stepping on the hem.”


How to Sit

Maggie: "Whew! I'm tired."
Mario: "That's no good! After going through all the trouble of putting on a kimono and wearing it properly, you will mess it up sitting that way. You have to sit closer to the edge of the seat. Otherwise, you will rub the obi belt against the back of the seat and cause some damage. “


How to Raise Your Hand

Maggie: "Uh, excuse me. You have 10 yen I can borrow?”

Mario: "No, no, no! When you are wearing a kimono, you are only supposed to show your hand up to the wrist and no further. It's bad manners and improper form to show your bare arm. Take your other hand and slightly pinch the end of the sleeve around the wrist that you wish to raise. This will prevent the sleeve from sliding back and showing your bare arm. This is the proper manner for raising your hand.”


How to Pick Up Things

Maggie: "Ah…"

Mario: "Stop! Bending over at the waist is one way to mess up the clean line of your kimono. Furthermore, if you don't become accustomed to wearing a kimono, it might be easy to fall and hurt yourself. If you need to pick something up, stand next to the item with one foot. Then, take a half step with the other foot and lower yourself down vertically by bending at the knees. Once you are low enough, gracefully pick up the item. Take care when you outstretch your arm to pick the item up. If you are wearing a long-sleeved kimono, you don't want to let the sleeve touch the ground since it would become soiled. So, please pay close attention when reaching for something where the sleeves might get dirty.”


How to get into a Car 

Mario: “Just a moment! When you get into a car, to prevent the kimono from becoming wrinkled, you first have to hold up the kimono-sleeve-pocket with your left hand. Then, while lifting the hem of the kimono slightly, get into the car while taking care not to hit your head and sit slightly forward on the car seat so the that obi belt does not touch the back of the seat.”


State of Mind when Wearing a Kimono


Mario: “Wow! Both of you become accustomed to wearing a kimono. Well, I think I can go now.”
Eric: “Sensei, please tell me one last thing. There are numerous points that a woman needs to be aware of when wearing a kimono. How about us guys? Are there a lot of things that we have to be aware of, too?”
Mario: “Um-hum. As for men, as opposed to the gracefulness of women, in all honesty, what's expected is heartiness. Avoid stooping or slouching, there will be no problems if you just walk dignified and proudly.”


Mario: “Wearing the kimono without a perfect clean line lends a slightly relaxed mood and appearance.”

Eric: “So you are saying that occasionally wearing a kimono in a slightly more casual manner is OK, right?”
Mario: “Yes, that 's right. Well, it's time for me to go.”

Eric & Maggie: “Sensei!”

Mario: “Oh, and one more thing I need to teach you especially. And that is to wear a kimono with joy and excitement! I have given you all the basic points of proper manner and etiquette for wearing a kimono. Don't fret too much over the small details. The most important thing is to enjoy wearing a kimono!”

Shuzenji Onsen

Shuzenji is one of the best towns where you can enjoy the hot spring baths and resorts, and the town offers you a great opportunity to try on and wear traditional Japanese kimono or yukata.





Machi-Navi Yururi

A shop called Machi-Navi Yururi not only rents cotton kimonos, which are called yukata, and regular kimonos, but they also help you put it on and show you how to wear it properly. The shop carries about 150 different yukata and kimono that fit both men and women including a wide range of geta clogs, hair ornaments, and accessories such as handbags. At this shop, they will gladly help you pick out and put on the kimono you like the most.




http://machinavi-yururi.com/(Japanese language only)