The Lores Okiya and Hanayagi Gakko

Serving with grace and elegance!






The necessary components for proper wearing of a kimono include:

  • chikara nuno (collar adjustment)
  • date jime/date maki (waistband/undersash)
  • eri shin (half-collar lining)
  • hadajuban (undershirt)
  • han eri (half-collar)
  • kari himo (temporary cord)
  • kimono belt
  • koshi himo (sash)
  • nagajuban (under-kimono)
  • obi
  • obi age (bustle sash)
  • obi ita (obi stay)
  • obi jime (obi cord)
  • obi makura (obi pad)
  • susoyoke (half-slip)
  • tabi (pure white, split-toe socks)
  • towels, pads
  • zouri (sandals)

Parts of a Kimono
Kimono parts

yuki - sleeve length

ushiromigoro - rear main section

uraeri - inner collar

doura - upper lining

sodetsuke - armhole seam

fuki - hem guard

sode - sleeve

okumi - front panel below the collar

miyatsukuchi - opening below armhole

sodeguchi - sleeve opening

tamoto - sleeve pouch

maemigoro - front main section

furi - sleeve below armhole

tomoeri - overcollar

eri - collar

susomawashi - lower lining

Kimono glossary

agekubiround collar
bunkin-takashimada style of bride's wig
chuburisode homongi medium-length sleeved homongi
chuya obi now disappeared, old less formal obi

geisha's formal long sleeve kimono.

Literally "going out".

fukura suzume sparrow style obi
fukuro obi

(aka. pocket obi) today's most formal obi

furisleeve below an armhole
furisodespecial kimono weared mostly by young unmarried women. Furi means swinging and sode means sleeve.
geishatraditional Japanese entertainer. Literally "cultivated person"
getaless formal footwear used with kimono or yukata
hadajubanfirst layer of kimono underwear "next the skin"
hantenjacket worn over kimono, folk version of aristocrat's haori
haoriformal jacket worn over kimono
hatsumodeJapanese event in New Year
heko obi men's obi, made of soft tie-dyed material
homongisemiformal kimono for tea gatherings, informal parties etc. Literally "visiting wear".
ikiaesthetic trend in Edo era, high connoisseurship
iromujisemiformal kimono for small parties
jika-tabispecial rubber tabi that could be used as a shoe. worn sometimes by rickshaw pullers.
kaku obi men's obi, made of hard cotton
kamishimogarment worn on top of kosode by samurais or local authorities
kataginutop part of kamishimo garment
katasusospecial Momoyama era kosode
kimono o kiru "I'm going to wear kimono" only when meaning choosing Japanese cloth instead of western.
kosodespecial precessor if kimono, literally means "small sleeve"
kurotomesodevery formal, black tomesode kimono
mae migoro front main panel (of kimono)
maekakeapron that protects kimono
maikogeisha apprentice.
maru obi old bulky version of obi
mihababody (of kimono)
miyatsukuchiopening under the sleeve
nagajubansecond layer of kimono underwear
Nagoya obi thin, less formal obi
nerinukiplain-weave silk fabric
obibelt or sash of kimono
obi age obi scarf used with taiko obi
obi dome jewelry weared with kimono, in obi cord
omatsuritraditional Japanese festival
seijinshikiceremony that takes place in the year when woman turns 21.
shiromukujapanese wedding kimono. Literally "white and pure".
sodetsukearm hole
surihakumetallic leaf
suso mawashi lower lining
tabiwhite or black socks weared with kimono, which has separate space for big toe.
taiko style special obi style (looks like a drum) which is usually used by married women.
tasukilooped string which was weared to keep kimono sleeves off the way
tebukurohand protector
tekkohand protector
tenuguispecial cloth wrapped around the head, prevent dust getting in to hair or sweat getting into eyes
tomesodespecial kimono worn mostly by older, married women.
tomoeriouter collar
tsukesagesemiformal kimono for small parties
uchikakespecial kimono overcoat used in conjunction with Japanese wedding kimono, shiro-maku.
uchikakeoften colourful overgarment for wedding kimono, worn when in wedding reception
uraeriinner band
ushiro migoro back main section
wafukuuniquely Japanese clothing
yofukuforeign clothing
yukisleeve length
zoriformal footwear used with kimono

With formal kimono, it is common to wear two (or sometimes more) layers of traditional underwear. The first layers of underwear (against your skin) is called hadajuban. It protects kimono and second layers of cloth from sweat and provide warmth in winter. Sometimes padding is worn underneath the hadajuban.

Over hadajuban, nagajuban is worn. The purpose of nagajuban is to conceal the body shape and make kimono look smooth when worn, and add little bit softness to the look of kimono

The obi, the belt or sash. It is usually tied just below the woman's bosom. There are various obi that convey a different message, as discussed further.

The purpose of obi is not only keep the package together, but also to shape the woman's body so that the hip and breasts are not visible. If obi itself isn't enough to do this, sometimes a towel is added under obi. A cardboard or similar material is often added to smooth down the wrinkles of the obi to make it look more smooth and give it support.

The height of the obi varies regarding woman's age marital status. Obi is sometimes suggested to be a Japanese version of western corset, but this is incorrect since obi is not that tight and also, as we realized, purpose of obi is opposite from corset - to conceal feminine parts.

There are various different obi, with various motifs and patterns.

Maru obi is old bulky version which is almost never used today, except for bridal kimono. It is really thick and long and creates a lot of bulk around woman's waist. Maru obi is said to have one benefit, if you should stain it with soy sauce, you could turn it over and expose the other side.

Fukuro obi (pocket obi) is today's most formal obi and it is also the most practical one. It's lenth is same as maru obi but is slightly less than half the width of maru obi, thus much easier to tie. There is broad variety of fukuro obi in patterns and colours. In the picture above introduces some examples of fukuro obi. The styles (from the left) are kai, uzushio and ebi.

Nagoya obi is thin obi, created in fact in Nagoya city sometimes in 1920's. It is less formal than fukuro obi and can be used in less important occasions.

Chuya obi was one of the informal styles of obi, it was soft and covered with black satin. Unfortunately chuya obi and other informal obi styles have disappeared from today's Japan.

It is said that there are over 300 different ways to tie woman's obi. However there are two styles which are most popular. The taiko style, which is named after taiko-bashi, (traditional drum shaped bridge) resembles a horizontal cylider of a drum. Taiko style is most traditional and most used by married women. Fukura suzume (sparrow style) resembles a sparrow, and is mostly worn by unmarried women. However, obi is a world of subtle meanings and it is not entirely uncommon that unmarried women wear taiko or married women wear fukura suzume.

Obi scarf (obi-age) is a kimono accessory that is weared with obi. It's popular with taiko, but can be also worn with other style obis, such as fukurasuzume. It reflects woman's age. Obi scarfs are usually silk. Obi-cord (obi-jime) is the cord tied on top of obi, that look like narrow rope.

Obidome is only jewelry weared with kimono, they are broochlike pieces that thread into the obi-cord. Other jewelry, gloves or neclaces are not used in with today's kimono.

When wearing wafuku, special shoes and socks must be used. Tabi are the typical wafuku socks which align big toe to separate space, thus allowing usage of zori. Tabi are usually white. Although other colours and even patterned tabi are sometimes seen, white is the formal colour.

Flat-soled zori are the most formal Japanese footwear, used with kimono. They are usually made from rice straw or lacquered wood. There are various zori, with higher and lower platforms. Cloth covered zori are most formal, and there are ones with gold and silver brocades which naturally increase the formality. Sometimes zori's surface is made to resemble tatami.

Zori does not produce the clanking sound similar to geta, and can be used in hotel lobbies, department stores or restaurant without attracting too much attention. Zori is more comfortable than geta. Warazori is a special straw made zori that samurais used sometimes. The special feature of warazori was that it didn't splash. There was even special straw made zori for horses and cows.

When worn with wafuku, usually zori is used with white tabi.

Geta with high soles are less formal, and do not necessarely require tabi. They are usually are made of wood. Geta is most often worn with yukata. There are special snow geta with higher soles to prevent snow touching the socks. Also, geta doesn't seem to splash when walking in wet environment. Geta is less comfortable than zori sinze they are made from hard wood, which, obviously does not flex.

Geta making is an old Japanese practise. There are many old and famous geta shops in Japan, and prices vary. There are some very expensive geta, made of high quality wood that is dried following a special methods. Usually there is old man making geta in the shop, and he doesn't speak much. This kind of craftmanship is suffering difficulty because young people are not interested taking over the job. But getas are popular even among young people, so obviously there must be someone to pass the old knowledge to.

Wafuku footwear is also shaped by gender. Men's zori and geta have squarish corners while women's are rounded. Extra benefit of thonged Japanese footwear is that they are easy to slip off when entering a house or restaurant, plus they allow feet to breathe during humid summer in Japan.

When choosing and wearing kimono, one must take a several things to account.

  • Wearer's Age
  • Quality and Formality of Occasion
  • Season
  • Wearer's taste
  • One's Class

  • There are many types of kimono, each worn according to the persons age, season or the event. However, the formal kimono can be basically broken down into two main categories based on the persons age and marital status. Young unmarried women wear kimono with long sleeves called furisode. The sleeve length can vary from slightly long to very long reaching the ankle. Young women's kimono are very vibrant, colorful and rich with patterns. Older women or those who have married, wear a kimono with short sleeves called tomesode. The kimono designs are smaller or solid and the colors are more subdued.
  • There are also special kimono made for ceremonies and paying respect called the tsukesage, komon and the homongi. In the spring, bright colors and spring floral kimono patterns are worn. In autumn, fall colors and fall kimono patterns are worn. In the winter, especially near the holidays, kimono patterns with designs such as the bamboo, pine trees or plum blossoms or worn for they signify good luck and prosperity.
  • The kimono pattern consists of four main strips of fabric. Two patterns form the panels covering the body and two panels for the sleeves. Additional smaller strips form the narrow front panel and collar. The formal kimono and obi belts were traditionally made of silk, silk brocade, silk crepes such as cherimen and satin weaves such as rinzu.Customarily, woven patterns and dyed repeat patterns are considered informal. Formal kimono have free-style designs dyed over the whole surface or along the hem. Originally, the kimono were worn in multiple layers of different colors. Up to a dozen or more colorful layers of contrasting colored kimono would be worn. Today, the kimono is normally worn with a single layer on top of a slip style undergarment.
  • Kimonos are worn with geta scandals, which are any sandal with a separate heel. Wooden geta have a slightly tapered front heal, making the person lean forward with each step. Geta sandals are not easy for some people to walk on and takes practice to walk correctly.


  • Shiro-Nuri Pro Kabuki Abura: Waxy/oily undercoat
  • Shiro-Nuri Pro Kabuki Oshiroi: White face paint
  • Shiro-Nuri Pro Kona Oshiroi: White powder
  • Shiro-Nuri Pro Tonoko Rouge: Pink powder
  • Shiro-Nuri Pro Red Lining Color: Red cream
  • Shiro-Nuri Pro Eyebrow Cover Pencil
  • Black Eyebrow Pencil
  • Black Liquid Eyeliner
  • Red Lip Pencil
  • Maiko Han Red Eyeliner
  • Itahake Cosmetic Brush #60
  • Yachiyo Hake Cosmetic Brush
  • Nagae Itahake Cosmetic Brush #24
  • Facial Cosmetic Sponges and Pads
  • Lip Brush
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Water

    Soften the Kabuki Abura in your hands and apply liberally all over the face, neck and top of the chest. Consider this a base for the Kabuki Oshiroi.

  • Dilute the Kabuki Oshiroi in a dish of water and, using Itahake Cosmetic Brush #60, paint it over the same areas where you applied the Kabuki Abura (don't forget the lips and eyelids). Remember to leave a bare line around the hairline and nape. Note: Do not apply this product directly onto the skin. A coat of Kabuku Abura beforehand is essential for proper application. Then use a sponge to blend the makeup thoroughly and soak up any excess moisture. This also helps set the makeup.
  • Using a cosmetic pad, apply Kona Oshiroi over the face to soften and blend the Kabuki Oshiroi. Use the Yachiyo Hake Cosmetic Brush to dust Kona Oshiroi around the eyes and on the cheeks.
  • Soften the white color further with Tonoko Rouge. Dust it onto the upper half of the face with Itahake Cosmetic Brush #24 (don't forget the eyelids).
  • Run the Eyebrow Cover Pencil over your brows to make them "disappear" and use the black eyebrow pencil to draw a fine, barely arched line in their place. Thicken the line slightly with the Red Lining Color and add a smudge of Tonoko Rouge for definition.
  • Dip a cotton swab into the Red Lining Color and draw a small diamond shape on the outer corner of the eyelid. Then use the Yachiyo Hake Cosmetic Brush to brush the excess color inward and onto the top lid. Then use a cotton swab to bring excess color from the diamond underneath the lash line.
  • Use black liquid eyeliner to create a fine line as close to the top lash line as possible. Apply a second line to create a thicker line.
  • Create a lower lip line (don't follow your own natural line) to emulate the minimal Geisha lip with the red lip pencil. Do the same on the lower lip, drawing the line slightly higher than your natural line. This should leave some of your own natural lip above and below where the red color is. Fill it in with the Red Lining Color.


  • Though the Geisha look's popularity may have faded within the media, it is still widely recognized the world over for its striking, bold and unforgettable makeup. A stark, snow white face acts as a backdrop for the deep crimson lipstick, smoldering dark eyes and thick eyebrows.

    Traditional Geishas go through quite a time-consuming process in order to achieve their look. It requires a great deal of expertise and patience, but the result is well worth the effort. The first step involves warming up a waxy substance called bintsuke-abura until it dissolves into an oily consistency. This is then applied to the face. Next, a paste is formed with white powder and water and applied with a bamboo brush over the face, neck and down toward the chest. Typically, a line of bare skin is left around the hairline and nape to suggest a mask-like effect.

    The eyes and brows both are exceptionally dramatic and colored in with black. A hint of red is also used around the eyes. Thanks to their enigmatic red color, the lips typically attract plenty of attention on a Geisha. The color is infused with crystallized sugar, which adds a lustrous finish to the lips. This look defines the traditional style that most identify with when they hear the term Geisha.




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