All About Japan

Top 10 Anime Featuring Kimono

| Anime , Kimono

One of the exciting things about anime is that it shows cultural aspects of Japan in a interesting way, and one of the most beautiful examples of this is the kimono. From multi-layered Heian Period (794-1185) kimono to furisode kimono with gorgeous long sleeves, anime depicts it all. We now present to you the Top 10 anime featuring kimono.

10. Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)

Based on a very popular manga, Kamisama Kiss is a romantic anime series that tells the story of Nanami, a high school girl who, after being abandoned by her father, ends up in the streets without a place to go. Fortunately, fate leads her to help Mikage, a god that travels in disguise as a human, who offers her refuge in his small Shinto shrine. In exchange, Nanami takes his place temporarily, becoming the new deity of the area, where she starts her adventures together with Tomoe, a supernatural being that becomes her aide and bodyguard.

This series—filled with romance, adventure and magic—shows us several garments that otherwise will be difficult to see, like the ceremonial hakama (a kind of long red skirt) typical of the Shinto religion. Priestesses in charge of the rites wear red hakama over a white kimono without designs, and over that, a robe with open long sleeves that flows at the rhythm of the purification dances they perform. In Kamisama Kiss, Tomoe wears kimono and hakama as his daily clothes, while Nanami wears these garments only when she participates in a special ceremony.

9. Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume’s Book of Friends)

Natsume’s Book of Friends, is an anime that conjures, in every episode, a nostalgic sensation of lost and tenderness. This animated series, where the supernatural subtly intertwines with the everyday life, shares with us the life of Natsume, a high school boy who possesses the ability to ignore the unseen limits of the world and perceive at glance all supernatural beings. Together with a powerful fox spirit as a guide, they fight to protect the “Book of Friends” that he inherited from his grandmother.

It’s worth mentioning that the adventures of Natsume and his Book of Friends show us a world full with ayakashi that are part of the Japanese folklore. Some of these beings that manifest into human or humanoid appearance, dress in traditional clothes like kimono, hakama or simple yukata (lightweight kimono). Showing in their attire is their level of importance in the supernatural world; so the more powerful wear a more detailed and rich kimono. For example, Kogitsune, the little orphan fox, wears a simple child’s kimono, in comparison with Tsuyukami, the God of Dew, who wears a full set of male silk kimono and haori (jacket).

Other wonderful examples of kimono are the ones that Hinoe wears, and Benio (the lady of the butterfly ornament). Hinoe wears a very beautiful haori that extends along the kimono, giving her a more mature appeal, while Benio wears a beautiful furisode, or kimono with long sleeves, that is appropriate for unmarried women, giving her a fresh image.

8. Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto (Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto)

Despite being a historical action series, Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto is an anime that has one of the most flamboyant characters ever seen in anime, the kabuki theater artist Yuyama Kakunojo. This complex character interprets several roles in the series: first as the leader of the wandering theater company Yuyama, where she wears a male attire consisting of a kimono and hakama, as a way to travel unsuspectingly with the theater troupe and to have access to the stage, because in the time period of the Bakumatsu (between 1853 and 1867) in Japan, women were prohibited their participation in any stage performance.

Secondly, Kakunojo transforms on stage, doing female roles as an oyama (an actor of female roles), becoming an oiran, (courtesan) who seduces the audience with her beauty and the skill of her interpretation, mesmerizing everyone with her vaporous silk kimono and bringing to the series dynamism in an aesthetic sense, with sensuality and visual richness. In Intrigue in the Bakumatsu: Irohanihoheto, one of the most attractive aspects is the use of classic Japanese designs, which in combination with European fashion pieces, causes a visual contrast that accurately reflects the social turmoil of this period in history.

Kimono, animated or not, are a very fascinating part of Japanese tradition. To find out the other six awesome anime on this list that are full of flowing furisode and handsome hakama, click the link below to Honey's Anime.

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