Yukata 浴衣

Get to know this essential garment for your next summer festivities!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Sayo Miyamoto modelS: Wakako YamanA, Nana Ota, Ulala Mikami, Miyuki Kudo, Nanami Kaneko, ERIKA ISHIBASHI
Women of the Earth is back to introduce the environmentally friendly traditional Japanese clothing: the yukata. The kimono is more widely known worldwide for being Japan's traditional clothing but because it’s still yukata season here now, i’m going to tell you more about the kimono’s lesser-known cousin. The history of the yukata starts during the Heian period, between the years of 794-1185. It basically started as a fancy robe, something to wear after getting out of the bath, but nowadays it’s really popular to wear during the summer, especially going to a summer festival or when visiting shrines or temples.
The yukata looks like it would be too heavy to wear in the summer but it’s made out of 100% lightweight cotton and it was actually very comfortable to wear outside during this shoot. Putting it on is a different story though. Similar to the kimono, there is a specific 10 step process to follow when putting on the yukata. It took my friend a good minute to put it on me but this also inspired me to learn to do it myself one day. The coolest part about both the yukata and the kimono though, is that they’re both made out of one piece of cloth. After cutting out a very big piece of cloth, that cloth is cut into long strips and those strips are then sewn to create the yukata shape.
There is no leftover fabric to be thrown away so it’s very good for the environment. Not to mention both the yukata and kimono last forever. They are often passed down the family for generations which is another fantastic way to save resources. Personally, wearing the yukata was so much fun! It truly was so comfortable to wear, it was light and breezy, and it was really cool being able to wear this in public because that’s so normal here, no one even bats an eye. You can of course buy your own yukata when in japan but there are also plenty of rental options. I hope you all considered trying to wear one someday!