How to Behave When Wearing a Kimono: 4 Must-Know Rules

  • HOW TO
  • How many of you have worn a Kimono before? Or maybe you are planning to experience wearing a kimono for your next trip to Japan? Then, maybe you should read this article first! Talking about kimono, the first word that comes into mind is grace. However, Kimono is not a magical robe that can turn anyone a graceful person. Conversely, you have to wear it correctly, then only it will make you graceful! This article is a brief and short guide on how to wear a Kimono CORRECTLY. I can assure you that, by following these 4 simple rules, Kimono can make anyone look nice!

    1. Right Side First, Then Left Side

    This is the most common mistake made by non-Japanese when wearing a Kimono. When you are wearing a Kimono, the left side should ALWAYS cover the right side. So, your left side should show on the top while the right side stays underneath the left side as shown in the picture above.

    Why must this rule be followed? Well, in Japan, only a corpse will wear a Kimono with the right side covering the left side. In Japan, female corpses are usually dressed up in Kimono. The corpse is purposely dressed up this way to indicate that the person is already dead. Thus, if you don’t want to be mistaken as the walking dead, please cover your body from the right side first, then the left.

    2. Leave Some Space Behind

    This is the next most common mistake made by first-timers when wearing a Kimono. The fundamental principle of wearing a Kimono is to cover your body tightly. This is to present the body in the perfect shape without exposing it. However, this rule is not applied to your neck. Ironically, you have to drag your collar to the back a little bit so that a part of your lower neck can be seen.

    But remember! DO NOT overdo it! You do not have to expose your whole sexy back. It will not only ruin the beauty of Kimono but also get yourself embarrassed.

    3. Know the Sitting Posture

    Sitting in the Kimono way may be the world’s toughest challenge. When you are wearing a Kimono, make sure your sitting posture is as shown in the picture above, You should kneel down with both feet facing outwards to support your body weight. For first-timers, this may be challenging but undeniably, this posture is an enormous bonus to up your level of gracefulness. Next time, when you are staying in a Ryokan, try to sit this way like the “real Japanese”!

    4. Walk Slowly

    Yes!!! Walking is another aspect that you should pay attention to when you are walking on the street with your Kimono. When you are wearing Kimono, you should make sure that your feet are always kept close to each other. This is to make you walk gracefully by walking in small steps.

    Apart from that, you should also avoid walking too fast…. it is such an anticlimax if you are already dressed nicely but walk like a beast! Remember, Kimono is all about grace and elegance! However, when you are in a rush, you can hold your Kimono “skirt” with your hand and run however much you want.

    These are the top 4 mistakes made by non-Japanese while attempting to wear their Kimono. Next time, when you are travelling to Japan, make sure you adhere to these 4 Kimono rules. As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. In this case, it is “In Japan, do as the Japanese do!”