When thinking of a wedding dress the image of a bride in a flowing white gown of silk and lace walking down the aisle is what comes to mind for many.
In the Japanese culture, however, the wedding dress is a simple kimono made of white for the ceremony and brightly colored for the reception and celebrations following the wedding.
The Japanese wedding dress takes in all the rich culture of the Japanese. The traditional wedding kimono is actually made from several kimonos which are changed throughout the wedding celebration.
From the demure kimono worn through the ceremony to the elaborate brocaded gown worn for the wedding reception, the Japanese wedding dress customs allow the bride to wear several special creations.
The white kimono worn for the reciting of the vows is called the shiro-maku. It is traditionally a white kimono made from silk and is worn throughout the wedding until the reception. The shito-maku is a long kimono and must be held up when walking.
The bride wears a tsuno-kakushiover on her head. This literally translates into to hide horns. The wearing of this headpiece shows the bride’s willingness to enter into marriage and take on her role as a wife.
The Japanese wedding dress does not resemble the more traditional western wedding dress because of its simplistic nature. The dress worn during the ceremony is a simple kimono with no beading or elaborate patterns or adornments. The kimono is a simple t-shapes robe which is wrapped on the body and tied with an uki. Traditionally the bride also carries a small purse as part of the Japanese wedding dress which holds a tiny wooden sword.
After the wedding ceremony, the bride places a brightly colored kimono over the shiro-maku for the wedding reception. This is the first of many wardrobe changes for the bride through the wedding ceremony. This kimono, called the uchikake, takes its semblance from the elaborate kimonos worn by the royal court.
The changing of clothes throughout the reception is meant to show the bride’s readiness to return to the modern world.
The uchikake worn during the wedding reception is made from hand dyed silk and is brocaded with elaborate patterns. This traditional kimono can be in any color from deep greens to rich purple. The most common color for the uchikake is red and is worn by most brides on their wedding day. The elaborate patterns seen on the uchikake can take months to hand produce. For this reason, the cost of the Japanese wedding dress can be quite high. Because of this, most brides choose to rent their dresses for their wedding day.
The Japanese wedding dress traditions are important in the culture of the Japanese people. The dresses symbolize the culture and customs of the Japanese, and thus it is a very important garment.
A Japanese wedding would not be complete without the Japanese wedding dresses. It brings the people together and reminds them of the customs they share.
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