What most people think of when they picture kimono
is really furisode
. These are the long-sleeved, elegantly-decorated kimono
, and they are reserved for young women
up to about the mid-20s--generally unmarried
may wear them indefinitely. There are three kinds:
- O-furisode, the "classical" furisode. The sleeve corners around rounded; the sleeves are about 115 cm long. These are typically worn by young unmarried women.
- Chu-furisode, the girls' kimono, worn from ages 10 to 18, approximately. Sleeve corners are rounded, length about 95 cm.
- Ko-furisode, for older young women and young married women. Sleeve corners may be squared, length about 75 cm--not that much longer than ordinary kimono.
Outer furisode are painted
appropriate to the current season
, current fashion
, and age
of the wearer. A mistake in any of these is a serious error. The furisode must be worn just-so, with the proper obi
, etc. Most Japanese young women do not know how to do this anymore and must get an older woman or go to a kimono school
in order to do it. Furisode are generally worn only on special occasions such as New Year's
and the coming-of-age ceremony
. They are extremely expensive
, but they are truly works of art
. A real furisode never has a machine-
printed pattern (like the ones sold in the Narita airport
The current shape of furisode is a sort of cylinder
, de-emphasizing any breasts or hips, and dates from the Meiji period
. Wedding furisode are a little more flowing
, but still restrictive. The mincing
walk of geisha
comes from the hobble skirt
-nature of modern furisode.
There are several excellent books on kimono
in English, and they are pretty much exclusively about furisode