Fundoshi is a comfortable and very traditional Japanese male undergarment. Until the Second World War, Fundoshi was mainstream underwear among men in Japan, and there were several different types which were worn for different events, situations, and among different people.
After the Second World War, and with increasing international influence on Japanese fashion and clothing, the introduction of modern underwear styles such as briefs, boxers, and trunks meant that the wearing of Fundoshi became less common.
Nowadays, you will probably only see Fundoshi being worn at traditional festivals such as the Hadaka Matsuri (nudity festival), or sometimes as swimwear.
Do you want to want to know what types of Fundoshi there are and how to properly use and wear them? If you do, then please read on. You may like them so much you will want to wear them yourself!
Rokushaku fundoshi is the oldest form of fundoshi, and perhaps the most recognizable for many people. Rokushaku literally means ‘six shaku’ in English. This refers to the measurement of the fundoshi. One shaku is equal to one foot or 30 centimeters.
The Rokushaku fundoshi is usually worn during festivals, and also as swimwear. Although nowadays it is more of a special garment only worn at traditional events and some swimming gala’s, it is much-loved as a national garment in Japan and you will likely see it being worn if you visit.
This specific type of Fundoshi consists of cotton cloth which is twisted at the back. This creates a thong type effect, and the buttocks are exposed. It is carefully put on and there is a specific technique about how to wear it properly!
Etchu fundoshi is a simplified type of fundoshi. It is also known as samurai underwear as it was traditionally worn by samurai and was also very popular among troops during the Second World War. This underwear originated in Toyama Prefecture but spread around the country.
This type of garment is very light and easy to wear and was especially popular in hot and humid areas of Japan and in the summer due to its airy feel. It is made from white linen or white cotton and consists of a long rectangle with thin fastening at the ends.
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 do your business!
Mokko fundoshi is commonly regarded as the most modern form of fundoshi underwear, and it is often worn by kabuki actors both in history and sometimes now, too. Many people class it as a sort of hybrid combination of other types of fundoshi garments. Which also resembles modern western-style sewn underwear.
The Mokko fundoshi is very easy to wear, unlike some of the other varieties mentioned. You just put it on and tie the strings on the side, and that’s it! You could say it is similar to a string bikini bottom!
Perhaps the most recent addition to the fundoshi varieties is the invention of fundoshi for women! Traditionally fundoshi underwear was solely worn by men, but this is changing now!
The women’s fundoshi are modern, and can look really cute! There are also claims that female fundoshi garments are very good for women’s circulation and general health, and can even improve the workings of internal organs! These claims also apply to men, too.
Women can find fundoshi in many different colors, materials, and styles, and women who wear them are popularly known as ‘funjo’! You can find them online on various undergarment websites, and are popular among women who want modest and comfortable underwear!
Coincidentally, the Day of Fundoshi falls on the 14th of February, which is the same as Valentine’s 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 and encourage others to wear it and try it out!
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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, but this may change! For more information, feel free to visit the Japan Fundoshi Association official website (link below)!