|Kanji, Kana & Pronunciation|
|(n) kimono jacket|
A haori (羽織) is a light, hip- or thigh-length jacket worn by both men and women with kimono. They are worn for warmth as well as to add formality as part of an ensemble such as a montsuki haori hakama, although haori range in formality from very casual to very formal. Items of clothing called "haori" have been worn in Japan since the Muromachi period. Although the kanji used in the name mean "feather" and "weave," they are used as phonetic ateji (当て字), literally "assigned characters").
Haori resemble the upper portion of a kimono, but the collar is worn folded at the back, and the front portions do not cross but are held together with a haori-himo. There are many varieties of haori-himo, and they can be divided into three main groups: those that are sewn to the haori and are made of the same fabric as the main garment; those that are attached to the haori by fabric loops; and those that are attached to the haori with S-hooks. Within those main groups are various subgroups, including modern beaded himo; flat woven himo; and round himo. Haori are made with the same types and patterns of fabric as kimono, and are lined or unlined according to the season. The sleeves of men's haori are fully attached to the body; men also wear casual sleeveless haori (sode-nashi haori) in the warmer months. The sleeves of women's haori are open on the body side like women's kimono sleeves.
Haori were originally worn only by men, until it became a fashion for women in the Meiji period. They are now worn by both men and women. Men's haori are typically shorter than women's.
From the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1558-1600 CE), warriors wore battle surcoats called jinbaori (陣羽織, battle haori) over their armour for warmth; they soon came to be used as daily wear. As such, they ranked below formal samurai wear such as the kamishimo and were considered quite casual. Among non-samurai, however, the hakama when worn with a montsuki haori hakama outfit was considered roughly equal in formality to the kamishimo, and today the monstuki haori hakama is the most formal Japanese outfit for men.
Men's haori are almost always a single, plain colour on the outside. However, the haura (羽裏, haori lining) is often extremely colourful or has intricate designs and images. In the modern day they can be worn with all types and formalities of kimono except yukata and burial kimono.
A jittoku, juttoku (十徳) or hirosode (広袖), sometimes called a jittoku haori, is a type of haori worn only by men. Jittoku are only made of unlined ro or sha silk gauze regardless of the season. They fall to the hip, and have sewn himo made of the same fabric as the main garment. While a haori has a small sleeve opening like that of a kimono, a jittoku is fully open at the wrist side. Jittoku do not have mon.
Jittoku originated in the Kamakura period (1185-1333 CE), and by the Edo period (1603-1868) they were worn with kimono by male doctors, monks, Confucian scholars and tea ceremony masters as kinagashi (as a replacement for hakama). In the modern day they are worn as kinagashi mainly by male practitioners of tea ceremony who have achieved a sufficiently high rank.
Women's haori may be of a single colour or may have all-over or partial designs. In the modern day they can be worn with all types and formalities of kimono except yukata, wedding and burial kimono, and furisode.
Until the Edo period women did not wear hakama. The exception was a group of geisha in the Fukugawa region of Edo (modern Fukugawa, Tokyo) who were known for wearing haori. They were called the Tatsumi (southeastern region) or haori geisha. The custom of wearing haori spread among the flower and willow world little by little, but did not become widespread until the Meiji period (1868-1912). Until this period, the main outerwear for women was the uchikake, which is still worn by women at traditional wedding ceremonies. Even today, haori are not usually considered formal wear for women, with the exception of black montsuki haori.
From the Meiji to the Taishō period (1912-1926), women's haori were approximately knee-length and known as naga-baori (長羽織, long haori). Haori declined along with the decline of kimono as daily wear in the Shōwa period (1926-1989), but the kimono boom of the current Heisei period has seen them once again increase in popularity.
Kuromontsuki haori and e-haori
Between Meiji and early Shōwa, the kuromontsuki haori was popular among married women. There are two varieties: plain black, and black with a design or pattern (絵羽織, e-haori), both with a single dyed mon at the back. There are also e-haori that do not have a black base and have no mon. Black montsuki haori were popular because they increased the formality of any kimono. Until this period, black e-haori were very commonly worn by mothers attending school entrance and graduation ceremonies.
Between Taishō and early Shōwa, young unmarried women wore haori over furisode; these were known as furisode-haori.
Haori with woven orizuru
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