Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No570


Hello from Yuka from Ichiroya. Japanese are known as very `picky' people, I think. The word `picky' may not be the right word but always `details, details'!

If small things do not bother you, today's newsletter might be very boring for you!

We showed this photo in our previous e-mail, it is a scene from TV drama `Hanako and Anne'. This is a wedding photo of Hanako's family. Today's topic is about the `white line' you can see in front of the kimono Hanako' s mother(second from the left) is wearing. She is wearing kurotomesode, black formal kimono. Two guys wearing western formal wear are the father and brother of the bridegroom. Tallest guy is Hanako's father. Two women in colored kimono are Hanako's sisters. You may think it is very strange but in recent weddings, Mothers wear kurotomesode and Fathers wear western formal suits, that is the most popular way. Fathers wearing kimono is now a very rare thing.You may think wearing formal kimono (both Fathers and Mothers) should be good, just as Hanako's father and mother but somehow, this fusion of kurotomesode and western formal suit, is a standard way. 


Today I would like to talk about Hiyoku- the white line shown with kurotomesode. Hanako's mother is wearing kurotomesode and you can see the white line along the collar. That is a remain of old tradition of wearing white kimono underneath. It used to be a solid white kimono  like this one was worn under formal kimono.


They are called `shitagasane' which literally means `under layer'.


It must be VERY CONFUSING- as you now, there is  juban which is worn under kimono usually. What is the difference with shitagasane and juban?

Shitagasane is another kimono, not juban. I hope this page can show the difference.

It is a set of a fabulous vintage furisode, obi, juban and shitagasanesa( it is also called kasane) . Usually white kasane kimono is popular but this furisode has colored shitagasane.


The first photo is a black furisode, then the matching obi, and the third photo shows red juban(shiboti, tie dye, flying cranes) and the last one is shitagasane(kasane). This kimono is worn under the furisode. As you can see the last one is a kimono but this is worn under the black furisode. This kimono is not worn outside as a furisode.

Instead of  wearing layered kimono, hiyoku became very popular. Hiyoku is attached along the collar, bottom and sleeves to look as if the wearer is wearing another kimono underneath.

It may be hard to see but you can see the extra white lining along the collar, bottom and sleeves:


When the kimono is worn, you can see the white line along the color, and that is the remain of old tradition of layered kimono. Kurotomesode is often a bit heavier because of the attached hiyoku. Dressing is a bit harder because of hiyoku also.

We used to describe hiyoku as additional lining, but it it makes it precisely, it is not a lining of the kimono but more like `attached partial layered kimono'.

It shows only around 2mm or so, maybe nobody notice but formal kimono as kurotomesode usually have this hiyoku. I definitely think  most of Japanese do not know what hiyoku means for kimono. Just as Nagoya obi are invented - to be able to dress faster, hiyoku sitate, easy way to dress in traditional fomal kimono method became the standard way. It is just a very thin line as you can see from the photo of the wedding, but this was not abolished and staying as  a  proper way of kurotomesode dressing.

It may be another details, but as far as fashon is concerend, very small things matters a lot! Hiyoku seems to survive to add formal taste and difference as a formal wear.

domo arigato gozaimasu for reading about our kimono details!