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Yukata History

Thursday, April 15, 2010 By InfoGatherer

Known as the summer kimono, the yukata is worn by both men and women during the warm months in Japan. Traditionally it was worn by Japanese elites after bathing, because of its lightweight cotton material. The yukata eventually came into vogue in the rest of Japan as a desire to emulate the elite.

Today the yukata is appropriate for a variety of occasions, from daily errands to casual eveningwear. Unlike the kimono, the yukata can be worn with or without the traditional sash obi. When worn with the obi, it is seen as more formal.

Yukata are traditionally worn during Bon Odori or the Bon Festival in the summer. The festival celebrates the spirits of ancestors and is believed to have its roots in Buddhism.

Adapted from the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan