9th Lesson: Tabi

There are lots of different kinds of shoes for kimono, but to make it easy, let’s call them zōri (草履) for today. I think the most of you know that traditional Japanese shoes do more look like flip-flop sandals. (Read more about zōri.) In the old Japan showing skin was very sexy, so most of the young ladies tried to hide skin as good as they could, so it wasn’t proper to wear those sandals without socks. Because of that socks with the big toes separate are made. These are called tabi (足袋).

A standard tabi is white and buttons up from the heel’s inner side to the ankle bone.


But there are also tabi made of stretch material without buttons. So you can put them on like normal socks. For those of you with big feet, I really, really recommend them.

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There are plenty of colored tabi out there. You will definitely find some you like and fit your outfit.


And there also exist tabi made of lace which are very good for a hot summer. They can be easily combined even to yukata without looking weird at all.


Recommended for winter are tabi made of velveteen. They are so warm and cozy! Definitely an item you must have.


Finally, we will have to remember some rules for tabi, too. You should always wear white tabi for reiso, but it doesn’t matter if they have buttons or not. Colored tabi are only for informal kimono like komon. In addition, wearing tabi to yukata isn’t appropriate, either. Nevertheless, if you want to follow the rules or not, is your own decision. 😉


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Read more about kimono, Kumamoto, and me at japandigest.de


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