• Beniko

Kappogi, a Coat over Kimono for Domestic Works

The year end is getting close and my readers must have been doing very busy in preparation for welcoming the New Year.

In this busy time of the year, I always think of Kappogi (割烹着), a Japanese coat over Kimono (着物) mostly for cooking. My mother and grandmother used to wear white ones with rubber bands to the wrists. Although people seldom wear this convenient item nowadays, kappogi can be seen on TV dramas, for the roles of mothers or Okamisan (女将さん, female owner of Japanese inns or restaurants), in order to emphasize the Japanese features of characters.

The origin of Kappogi was an overcoat for luxury Kimono worn by ladies from high society families. However, as the time changes, people began to make use of it for housework for the convenience: warm, and far easy to move than the conventional style of Tasukigake (たすき掛け, tucking up the sleeves of kimono with bands called Tasuki).

I never knew that the design of kappogi has a transition. In fact, the shape of the collar was originally V or square, whereas we have only round shape ones today. In addition, there are so many varieties in terms of colors and patterns nowadays, and it's a good surprise.

At any rate, I cannot help admiring Japanese ladies in the old times. Including my mother and grandmother, they lived their lives to the fullest in Kimono and Kappogi, which are still far inconvenient to wear and move. They did all the houseworks such as cleaning up the outside of the house, replacing the paper of sliding doors, large-scale cleaning with all Tatami (畳) mats removed, and making a huge Nea Year's feast, in addition to the routine domestic tasks. They were great.

Thank you very much for reading my stories throughout this year.

I wish you all a very happy New Year.

Talk to you soon!



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