Kimono

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The woman wearing traditional Kimono(Furisode).

Kimonos (着物) are traditional Japanese style clothes. "Kimono" meant "something you wear" originally. Long ago, people in Japan wore kimonos every day. Now, people only wear a kimono for special occasions such as formal ceremonies.

A kimono is a robe shaped like a "T". Normal kimonos reaches to the ankles, and have very long sleeves. Kimonos for women usually have a colorful design of flowers, butterflies, etc. People wear a wide belt called an obi with their kimono. Obi are also colorful.

Women's kimonos are all the same size. They fold them and tuck them to make them the right size. People who are very tall or heavy have to have kimonos made for them.

There are different types of formal and casual kimono. Kimonos are usually made of silk, but there are cotton and polyester kimonos as well.

Kimonos are very expensive. One woman's kimono can cost more than US$10,000. The obi (belts) are very expensive too. They can cost thousands of dollars. Most people's kimonos are not so expensive. Some people make their own kimono, or buy them second hand.

Japanese people have been wearing kimonos for hundreds of years. Today, kimonos are worn only at special times. More women wear kimonos than men. Men wear kimonos most often at weddings and Japanese tea ceremonies. Men's kimonos are made of haori (top) and hakama (loose-fitting pants).

People who play some sports like kendo also wear kimono. They are tough, thick and short, not like typical women's kimono. They are usually called do-gi.

In Japan people can take classes about wearing kimonos and learn about how to choose kimonos and how to tie the obi.

Most Japanese women do not know how to put on a kimono by themselves because it is very difficult. Some people work as "kimono dressers". They help people to put on their kimono.

Some people still wear kimonos every day in Japan.

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