traditional white Japanese wedding kimono is called shiro-maku. Shiro
means white and maku means pure. The wedding kimono has two different
kimonos in one. The white wedding kimono is worn for the actual
ceremony. The second kimono is called uchikake. The uchikake is worn
over the white kimono at the wedding reception.
The uchikake is a bright and colorful kimono and it was originally worn
by court nobles in the Edo-era. The kimono is made of silk and silk
brocade. It has a lot of embroidered patterns. The uchikake’s patterns
are taken from pictures of flowers, cranes, pines, and flower carts. Red
is the most popular color for the uchikake kimono, there are many
different colors from purple to green. The wedding kimono is sometimes
handed down in the family or made into bed cloth.
In a traditional Japanese wedding the bride’s hair is also made in the
traditional hair style called bunkin-takashimada and is decorated with
gold combs and accessories called kanzashi. The white wedding kimono has
a hood which covers the two front golden comb or horns during the actual
ceremony. This symbolizes obedience.
There are traditional wedding accessories that are worn for tradition
and are suppose to bring good luck in the marriage. The bride carries a
small hand bag called hakoseko and a small sword called kaiken which are
two of the traditions that have to be followed in Japanese weddings. The
bride also has a fan which is tucked in the belt of the kimono. The fan
is meant to represent happiness and a happy future.
Happi coats were originally worn by Japanese shopkeepers as an over
coat. The family shop name or symbol was printed on the back of the
coat. Today happi coats are still used by some shop keepers but happi
coats are also used for many Japanese festivals, parties and in sushi
Happi coats that are usually used in Japanese festivals are matsuri
happi coats that mean "festival" coat. The happi coats come in different
styles and colors both imprinted or plain. Some have a kanji symbol on
the back which represents luck. Others have an imprinted picture or
scenery or they are a print of one or two colors on the back. Matsuri
happi coats are always worn over a t-shirt with shorts or pants under.
Short sleeved happi coats called a taiko happi coat they are used at
Japanese festivals by taiko drummers.
restaurants use a special chef’s happy coat called a hippari. The chef’s
happi coat is exactly the same as the traditional coat except it has a
small belt that ties inside the coat. The chef wears a t-shirt under it
and pants or shorts under.