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Hidarimae, A Wrong Way of Wearing Kimono

“I always get confused about which side of the Kimono (着物) should be on top.” My friend who have learned Kitsuke (着付け, kimono dressing), yet haven’t worn Kimono for a while once told me.

As a rule, the left collar of the Kimono should always be over the right side from your sight. Otherwise, you are making the most crucial mistake, a wrong way round called Hidarimae (左前, left side on top) only for those who deceased.

Now, you must be wondering, “Wait a minute. Right side on top is called Hidarimae (left side on top)?

This is just because of the trick by the shift of the view. When you wear Kimono correctly with your left side on top, the right side is on top in the view of others, and vice versa. A little complicated though…

Since I wear Kimono by myself and dress other people too, sometimes I get confused. In order to prevent the mistake, I always check the layer of the collars by sliding my right hand in-between the layer. If the hand slide in, the layer is correct. In contrast, the layer is upside down, if my right hand doesn’t get into the layer and slips over the kimono.

In Western fashion, buttons on shirts are attached on different side depending on male or female, whereas in Kimono fashion, there’s no difference. The culture vary. Isn’t it interesting?

Please click here to see a Blog by a Former Maiko, “Do You Know?”

#japanculture #BeautifulKimono #Kyoto