Hakama

Hakama are a type of traditional Japanese clothing. Hakama cover the lower body and resemble a wide, pleated skirt. Hakama were originally worn only by men, but today they are worn (albeit slightly differently) by both men and women. Hakama are tied at the waist and fall approximately to the ankles.

hakama

hakama

There are two types of hakama, divided and undivided. The divided type, called umanori (horse-riding hakama) are divided like trousers, but nearer the bottom of the garment. This type of hakama are often called “divided skirts”. Both types are identical in outside appearance.

Hakama are worn over a kimono. There are four straps, a long one on either side of the front of the garment, and a short one on either side of the rear. The rear of the garment has a rigid board-like section and a toggle which is tucked into the rear of the obi, and helps to keep the hakama in place.

Hakama were originally worn by samurai, and had the same function as chaps, the leather trouser protectors worn by cowboys in the west, that is, to protect the clothing.

Hakama have seven deep pleats, two on the back and five on the front. The pleats are supposed to represent the virtues considered essential by the samurai. Many martial artists continue this tradition, but different sources give different meaning to these pleats.

Posted in Cute Kawaii | No Comments » October 31st, 2008

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