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The hakama

The hakama.jpg The obi for ordinary wear. For girls. For womenThumbnailsThe haoriThe obi for ordinary wear. For girls. For womenThumbnailsThe haoriThe obi for ordinary wear. For girls. For womenThumbnailsThe haori

The hakama is a sort of loose trousers. Either leg is made by joining along the nape five pieces of cloth about a yard long, four of which are of the full width of the cloth and the fifth of half that width. The skirt is sewn by turning in the edge three times to stiffen it. The two legs are joined in such a manner that the half-width pieces form the inner side and the lowest point of the fork is about twenty-two inches from the skirt. In front a longitudinal plait is made an inch or so to the left so that its edge is in the middle; two more plaits are made to the left and two to the right, and a third on the latter leg under the middle fold. A similar but deeper plait is made behind on either leg, that on the right having its edge in the middle. These plaits are not stitched, but merely hot-pressed so that they can be opened at will; and as they are much deeper at the skirt than at the top, they give free play to the legs when walking and make the hakama appear to fit more closely than it would without them. The upper half of the hakama is open at either side, the fork at which is of about the same depth as that in the middle. The top of the front half which is about a foot wide, is sewn on to the middle of a band which is folded and turned in to the width of half an inch and is about eleven feet long, thus leaving a free end five feet long on either side of the front half. The back, the top of which is narrower than that in front, is surmounted with a piece of thin board on which the cloth is pasted with starch mucilage. This board has also a narrow band, two feet long, on each side. The hakama is lined or unlined, but never wadded.

Home Life in Tokyo
Author: Jukichi Inouye
Published: 1910
Available from gutenberg.org