Fundoshi is a comfortable traditional male undergarment that was mainstream underwear in Japan before World War II. With the introduction of modern underwear such as briefs and trunks, fundoshi usage has become a lot less common. These days, you may only see fundoshi being worn in festivals such as the Hadaka Matsuri (nudity festival) or as swimwear. Do you want to know what types of fundoshi there are, and how to use them? Please read on, you might want to try them for yourself!
Rokushaku fundoshi is the oldest form of fundoshi. Rokushaku means 6 shaku, which is a unit of measurement with 1 shaku being 1 foot (around 30 centimeters). Rokushaku fundoshi is usually worn during festivals and as swimwear. In this type of fundoshi, the cloth is twisted at the back to create a thong effect which exposes the buttocks. The illustration below shows how to wear a rokushaku fundoshi.
Etchu fundoshi is a simplified type of fundoshi. It is also known as samurai pants. It feels light and barely-there, so if you enjoy feeling like you’re almost going commando, this is the fundoshi for you. The figure below illustrates the method to wear etchu fundoshi. In case you are wondering how to go to the bathroom with this fundoshi, the answer is that you do not have to remove the knot, but just lift up the cloth and flip it over your shoulder, and then proceed to your business.
The mokko fundoshi is the fundoshi which is closest to modern underwear. It was usually worn by Kabuki actors in the past. It is easy to wear a mokko fundoshi; put it on and just tie the strings on the side and you are done! It is really just like a string bikini bottom.
Although fundoshi is traditionally only underwear for men, there are modern fundoshi for women as well. Some women find them cute and comfortable to wear!
Coincidentally, the Day of Fundoshi falls on the 14th of February, just like Valentines Day. The Best Fundoshist award is given to those who wear a fundoshi often or makes a conscious effort to spread the usage of fundoshi. You don’t need to be a Japanese national to get this award, but you must be a resident of Japan. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the award is mainly awarded to people who are prominent figures in the entertainment industry.
Has reading this article sparked your interest in owning a fundoshi? Some of the modern designs of ladies’ fundoshi are actually pretty cute! On the other hand, I still think men tend to look better in boxers than fundoshi…