Kimono types & TPO (Time, Place, Occasion)

The Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, FUREAIKAN

Just like there are rules for western-style dressing, there are several different types of kimono and each has the appropriate TPO. Here are some examples.

The modern kimono ”furisode” for young unmarried women
Furisode is the most formal kimono for young unmarried women with unique and brilliantly decorated long sleeves (3 lengths are available : short, medium and long).

In Japan, you may see lots of young ladies dressed in furisode at the coming-of-age ceremony in January.

This is also a furisode with the motif of weeping cherry blossoms.

This unique furisode was designed by a student of a college of arts.

Japan on the sleeve, a motorbike on the back! What an unique kimono!

The modern kimono ”tomesode” for married women
Tomesode is the most formal kimono for married women. Its sleeves are much shorter than those of furisode and it has 5 family crests. (BTW, the number of family crests shows the extent of formality. For example, kimono with 3 family crests is less formal than one with 5.)

Common tomesode is black but some have different colours like this deep purple kimono with the design of famous Kyoto festival.

This brightly coloured kimono is also a tomesode.

This is a black tomesode with energetic roosters. Famous Japanese painter, Jakuchu Ito, loved the motif of roosters.

The gorgeous chrysanthemums on the hem are eye-catching.

The contrast of fresh flowers and black is impressive.

The modern kimono ”homongi” for official visits
Homongi is less formal than tomesode and furisode, but is worn at official ceremonies or parties like the vintage dress. The characteristics of homongi is the connecting design on the chest, shoulder, sleeves and skirt. Generally, the owner puts 1 or 3 family crests.

The modern kimono ”homongi” for official visits Homongi is less formal than tomesode and furisode, but is worn at official ceremonies or parties like the vintage dress. The characteristics of homongi is the connecting design on the chest, shoulder, sleeves and skirt. Generally, the owner puts 1 or 3 family crests.

This homongi has lots of traditional patterns.

Homongi with the design of Higashiyama in spring.

Tie-dyed homongi with the design of autumn foliage.

The modern kimono ”tsukesage” for intermediate class between homongi & komon. Tsukesage is less formal than homongi. Unlike homongi, there is no connecting design.

This is also a tsukesage with totally different atmosphere.

The design would be also beautiful in a dress.

The modern kimono ”komon” for private & casual occasions. Komon is the kimono decorated by stencil dyeing with small patterns. The design is quite flexible (yuzen dyeing, tie-dyeing etc) and each komon has very unique atmosphere. The owner can enjoy choosing different komons to show her fashionable sense.

You will find many kinds of small patterns when it is zoomed.

A komon kimono with monotone colour and small flowers.

This is also a komon kimono. How cheerful the atmosphere is!

The combination of kimono with obi sash is also very important. It also has appropriate TPOs and people can always enjoy the coordination.

Generally, obi sashes for ladies are over 4m long and are wrapped around the kimono. This obi sash has both cherry blossoms & autumn foliage patterns.

This obi sash has woven braided cord patterns. It perfectly fits for summer!

The motif is famous Gion Matsuri festival, which was designated as a world intangible heritage.

A unique design of floats and paper lanterns of Gion Matsuri festival are executed using splendid weaving techniques.

A gorgeous obi sash with many symbolic traditional patterns.

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