My kimono flower crest - October

how men can wear a kimono

Creator of this kimono webpage
about me
Men in kimono lined up

Kimono books specifically focused at men



Ginza Motoji No Otoko No Kimono [2005]   [銀座もとじの男のきもの]
Ginza Motoji No Otoko No Kimono cover Ginza Motoji No Otoko No Kimono Ginza Motoji No Otoko No Kimono Ginza Motoji No Otoko No Kimono

This book has plenty of perks, but let's start with the most obvious: Kitsuke tutorials as detailed and clear as the ones in the best women's books. Here you can find out some of the little nuances of dressing that are unclear in other books, making wearing kimono easier and more comfortable. There are thorough tutorials for wearing yukata, wearing kimono, wearing kimono with hakama, putting on a haori, tying your haori himo, etc. Like a lot of women's books, these tutorials including "check points" at the end, and ways to correct your kimono if it becomes rumpled.

Full english book review on Immortal Geisha forum

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Begin (Vol. 1), Men's kimono [2007]   [着物Begin 2007 vol.1 ―男を上げるきもの入門]
Begin men's kimono cover Begin men's kimono Begin men's kimono Begin men's kimono

An interesting book to start with as it has a reasonable range of body types and styles. You will see everything from skinny guys in their 20s to chubby 50-year-olds (ages are frequently listed under the model info). A large section of the book shows the models side by side in wafuku and yofuku so you can get a good feel for their individual sense of style marred only by excessive hats and scarves."

A full english book review on Immortal Geisha forum

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Beginner's guide to men's kimono [2003]   [男のきもの着こなし入門]
Beginner's guide to men's kimono cover Beginner's guide to men's kimono Beginner's guide to men's kimono

You can roughly understand all basic steps of kimono wearing with this one volume. How to wear small items, underwear - How to tie a haori cord, dressing of a hakama, how to fold a kimono, how to tighten a loincloth is all written in this book. Filled with lots of illustrations it is easy to follow even if you don't know Japanese.

English book review on Immortal Geisha forum

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Man of kimono Introduction -Beginner, easy, stylish wear. [2010]   [男のきもの入門]
Man of kimono Introduction cover Man of kimono Introduction Man of kimono Introduction

Basic knowledge of kimono, such as kimono type, band, underwear, coat, hakama, socks, footwear, how to dress, how to fold, etc. are covered. Also, a bit of manners and tricks when you are wearing kimono are also included. Level and quality of this book is uncertain, there are many mistakes in photo's and explanation to be considered a good starting point for beginners.

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Kimono dressing of man [2014]   [最新版 男のきもの着付け]
Kimono dressing of man cover Kimono dressing of man Kimono dressing of man

An easy-to-understand book thanks to the many pictures and has an detailed introduction on kimono rank. The sample photos and color/pattern coordination for each product does not feel authentic, maybe a bit cheesy.

A full english book review at Ohio Kimono

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Men's kimono seasoned to perfection reading book [2008]   [男の着物 練達への近道読本]
Men's kimono seasoned to perfection cover Men's kimono seasoned to perfection Men's kimono seasoned to perfection

A good guidance book, from the standard guides of dressing the kimono and accessories to the more interesting questions like 'Is there taboo by pattern and color?', 'Is there anything other than sewing the method of attaching a half collar?', ' Do you have to wear a coat even in summer?', etc.
A minor point could be that there are not many pictures and illustrations to help you out, which makes this book harder to manage. (someday I will be able to unravel this book !)

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Casual Men's Kimono [2000]   [男のふだん着物]
Casual Men's Kimono cover Casual Men's Kimono Casual Men's Kimono Casual Men's Kimono

A man's casual clothes is not only about kimono itself, this book also writes in detail about footwear, tabi, and underwear (Fundoshi) with a lot of pictures and illustrations for easy understanding. The author's idea is to feel free, to freely wear a casual kimono without being bound to existing rules, so adjust your mindset :)

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Visual Edition - men's kimono complete works [2011]   [ビジュアル版 男のきもの大全]
men's kimono complete works cover men's kimono complete works men's kimono complete works men's kimono complete works

A useful kimono book that male wearers of traditional kimono wrote in easy-to-understand manner for a wide range of age groups from young people to elderly people. The type of men's kimono, dressing and storage methods are well organized and are used conveniently including clothing according to the TPO (though not much written on manners) as well as the four seasons choices. For an impression (but less detailed content) you can visit the author's site at http://www.kimono-taizen.com/

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Japan men wear the kimono! [2013]   [日本男子よ 着物を着よう!]
Japan men wear the kimono! cover Japan men wear the kimono! Japan men wear the kimono! Japan men wear the kimono!

The author is writing in detail as a kimono hobbyist. From the beginning of this book, you can see how to easily find colors that match yourself, how to wear kimonos in a fancy manner, etc. This shows in the photographs and detailed text. Since there are many examples of coordination of kimono, you can use it as a reference when you buy a kimono.

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As of today your first men's kimono [2015]   [今日から始める男の着物]
As of today your first men's kimono cover As of today your first men's kimono As of today your first men's kimono As of today your first men's kimono

This book is for the complete beginner. The content stays in generalities and does not go deeper than the scratching the surface of the kimono world. Maybe that makes it together with the numerous pictures an easy to understand book.

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A men's kimono for the first time [2009/2015]   [はじめての男着物]
A men's kimono for the first time cover A men's kimono for the first time A men's kimono for the first time A men's kimono for the first time

Like the title states, a book for the beginner. The first part has a lot of cases of coordination so you can get a visual feel about the possibilities of which kimono for which occasion/situation you could wear. The second half wil give you a friendly, easy to read (but not extensive) content about wearing the kimono for the first time.

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Men's kimono [2012]   [きもの男子]
Men's kimono cover Men's kimono Men's kimono Men's kimono

A photo book with 12 people showing their kimono for 5 pages and a 1 page interview which feels like an advertisement.

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Kabuki, Japanese theater costumes (French, english translation at the end) [2012]   [Kabuki, costumes du théâtre japonais]
Kabuki, Japanese theater costumes cover Kabuki, Japanese theater costumes Kabuki, Japanese theater costumes Kabuki, Japanese theater costumes

In 2012, The Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent has held the first parisian exposition about Kabuki. This book is the catalogue of that exhibition. It presents short overviews about Kabuki’s history, a few 'merchandising' (woodprints mainly) and some famous costumes and props. Video about the exposition : Youtube
Book review in English at Immortal Geisha forum



Kimono Culture Exam



Kimono culture collected exam questions level 5 to 1 [2018]   [きもの文化検定問題集(2018年版) 5・4級~1級対応]
Kimono exam book Kimono culture exam scanned page Kimono culture exam scanned page Kimono culture exam scanned page

Kimono exam book for 2018, including the 2017 and 2016 exam questions for extra practice. (Each year release has also as a bonus the last 2 years included.)
This book is essential when considering to take the kimono exam. Answers included with references to the correct pages in the 2 official Kimono culture examination official textbooks (detailed below). The fastest and cheapest source of this book seems to be CD-Japan.
Lvl 5&4 (level 5 and 4 are combined) and is the starting point of your kimono adventure where as lvl 1 is your final exam.
Curious about these exam questions, try out the Translated Kimono exam practice questions section of this site.

Examination fee (2018) (http://www.kimono-kentei.com/entry/index.html)
4,200 円 for Level 5 & 4 (100 questions in 60 minutes)
9,500 円 for Level 5 & 4 and 3
5,300 円 for Level 3 (100 questions in 90 minutes)
8,400 円 for Level 2 (40~47 question in 90 minutes)
9,500 円 for Level 1 (44~55 questions in 90 minutes)



The following books are mainly used to study for the kimono exam.
These first set of books are referrenced in the answer sheet from above exam book like "the answer is choice 4, see page 27 of the first book".



Kimono culture examination official textbook 1 - きもの文化検定公式教本1 『きものの基本』 六訂版 [2015] (きもの文化検定公式教本)
Study book 1 mainly for level 5 & 4 students (beginner) - "Basic of Kimono"
Official Kimono Textbook 1 Kimono culture textbook scanned page Kimono culture textbook scanned page Kimono culture textbook scanned page

This book covers a wide range of basic knowledge of kimono, it is easy to understand, and introduces it with beautiful photos. It gained a reputation that it is very useful not only as a kimono test examinee but also as a general commentary, It is a definitive edition of Kimono primer which has been repeatedly edited since 2006. In the 5th and 4th class tests, 90% or more, even 3rd to 2nd classes, many problems will be taken from the contents of this textbook.
chapters (jpn)

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Kimono culture examination official textbook 2 - きもののたのしみ改訂版 (きもの文化検定公式教本) [2008]
Study book 2 for level 3 and 2 students (intermediate) - "Enjoyment of Kimono"
Official kimono textbook 2 Inside scan textbook 2 Inside scan textbook 2 Inside scan textbook 2

This is the second official textbook for the 3rd and 2nd grade Kimono Cultural Examination attendees, where the main focus is the characteristics of dyeing and weaving also goes in detail about production area, material and production process.
chapters (jpn)


Extra study book set / Kimono Culture Examination Recommended Books



きもの用語の基本 - ひと目でわかる (特選実用ブックス) [2008] - Basics of the Kimono terminology
Basics of Kimono terminology book cover Scanned page Scanned page Scanned page

This is a handy book for beginners. Since it is not an all color, there are places where fabrics and patterns can be seen only for reference level, but the basics are firmly kept up. I like the place where the reference page is stated with the rice mark attached to important terms. A bulk of information for anyone who is studying about the kimono.

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きものの文様 - ひと目でわかる (特選実用ブックス) [2009] - Pattern and Design of the Kimono
Pattern and Design of the Kimono book cover inside scan inside scan inside scan

'Pattern of kimono that can recognize case and season at a glance' is edited as a reference book for the kimono culture examination. You can understand well by the pictures with abundant history and meaning of the pattern. Plant patterns, natural patterns, etc., are classified roughly, and among them, each pattern is introduced. Each pattern contains marks which seasons you can use, it is very useful.

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帯の基礎知識 ひと目でわかる (特選実用ブックス) [2010] - Basic knowledge of the obi
Basic knowledge of the obi book cover inside scan inside scan inside scan

Reference book for Kimono Culture Examination.
Type, case, technique, pattern, history, combination - all of the obvious obi at a glance, which summons this book up. It is not often that you see a book dedicated about the Obi, but this is one that does!



General (English) information books about the Kimono



Kimono: A Modern History [2014]
Kimono a modern history cover Kimono a modern history Kimono a modern history Kimono a modern history

"Kimono: A Modern History" by Terry Satsuki Milhaupt is a standout among the growing number of books on the subject of Japan's traditional robes. The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of actual robes, woodblock prints illustrating them, and even European paintings which, during the 19th and early 20th centuries in particular, featured kimono in impressionist oils. The quality of Milhaupt's text is equal to the illustrations and resembles nothing so much as that of a first-class museum catalogue.

Even more unique and important than these publishing values is the book's focus on kimono in the context of an industry. This plays out in six chapters as follows: the foundations of a kimono fashion industry; modernizing the kimono; shopping for kimono; the kimono ideal migrates west; kimono designers; and everyday and extraordinary, then and now.The bottom line is that "Kimono: A Modern History" is a must-have for readers passionate about textiles in general or Japanese garments in particular.

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Make Your Own Japanese Clothes: Patterns and Ideas for Modern Wear [2013]
Make your own Japanese cloths cover Make your own Japanese cloths Make your own Japanese cloths Make your own Japanese cloths

This is a down to earth book on pattern making. It is concise, informative and graphically detailed. The photographs in the center of the book are somewhat dated and the artwork is sometimes frivolous, but don't let those details distract you from the solid instruction the book offers. It tells you how to Measure the wearer, how to lay out & cut the fabric pieces with line diagrams and more. A book that is informative, educational and easy to follow.

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The Book of Kimono: The Complete Guide to Style and Wear [1987/2012]
The book of kimono cover The book of kimono The book of kimono The book of kimono

I would not suggest it for the kitsuke directions, but I think that the other information contained within it is worth it. The biggest complaint is that there should be more pictures and what are there, should be bigger and in COLOR (aside from the first few pages). This book is not recommended for those who are visual learners and who need pictures to understand. This book should be considered in the context of its time, origin and purpose. It was first published in 1982, kimono wearing was perhaps more rigid than it has become recently.

A full english book review on Immortal Geisha forum

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Kimono - Fashioning culture [1993]
Kimono - fashioning culture cover Kimono - fashioning culture Kimono - fashioning culture Kimono - fashioning culture

A fascinating book for clothing designers, people who like Japanese style, and fabric makers - as well as others. Dalby's knowledge of Japan and women's kimono fashion is based on including a stint as an "American geisha" in Japan and all the kimono wearing that involved. She also did terrific book research. One of the intriguing parts of the book is the revelation of the fashion art of woodblock print (ukiyo-e) artists. The book becomes a double pleasure of fashion AND art. Her prose explains kimono to you with ease, and it reads like tips from a favorite friend. Minor point would be that they dropped japanese terms without giving any definitions. Keep in mind that this book was written in 1993.

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Kimono and the Colors of Japan [2008] - 着物と日本の色
kimono and the colors of Japan cover kimono and the colors of Japan kimono and the colors of Japan

This distinctive volume reveals a unique antique kimono collection through various delicate Japanese colors and their use in kimono. The Japanese sensibility is immediately apparent in the classification of the nine traditional color categories of red, green, pink, blue, brown, purple, yellow, black/white, and gold/silver. Each spread presents a single color showing a page-wide photo of a kimono accompanied by a description of the color and its meaning in the context of Japanese culture. The author explains, "We organized the kimono and obi (sash) according to what I like to call ‘Japanese Kokoro no Iro’—colors of the Japanese heart. Each category presents what individual colors express or signify. For example, we use white, black and gold as an expression of cheer. Red indicates the sun, blood, and fire. White, black, and silver express sadness." With the knowledge of both Western and traditional Japanese fashion cultures, Yumioka presents and describes his collection in an easily accessible style.
A full english book review on Immortal Geisha forum

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Kimono and the Colors of Japan - Summer [2006] - 着物と日本の色 夏篇
Summer kimono and the colors of Japan cover Summer kimono and the colors of Japan Summer kimono and the colors of Japan

Summer Kimono and the Colors of Japan by Yukioka Katsumi features 45 vintage summer kimonos and obis, with detailed descriptions of the traditional colours, patterns, and materials used in them. Yumioka-san, confessing his disappointment in the lack of creativity in modern kimonos, has chosen a range of some of the more exotic summer patterns. Nearly all text is provided in both Japanese and English, making this an excellent source for those interested in kimono-related kanji.
The book is an amazing source of knowledge with valuable info of such things as pattern origins and historical connotations, or now-obsolete materials. The English translation is of high quality, although for a kimono enthusiastic with no Japanese reading skills it might omit a bit of too much Japanese terminology. For the uninitiated reader, the text is fully understandable as even terms such as furisode are described immediately. Each item introduction features a swatch of the colour with the name in kanji, the English name of the colour, and English, kana and kanji for the pattern.
A full english book review on Immortal Geisha forum

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Kimono and the Colors of Japan - Obi [2008] - 着物と日本の色 帯の配色篇―帯に表現された和の美意識
kimono and the colors of Japan cover kimono and the colors of Japan kimono and the colors of Japan



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Kimono and the Colors of Japan - Kids [2007] - 着物と日本の色 子ども着物篇―日本の暮らしが見える小さな着物
kimono and the colors of Japan cover kimono and the colors of Japan kimono and the colors of Japan

As with the previous two books, I am in love. While I felt that the seasonal patterns were rather generic, the content of the rest of the book more than made up for it. I particularly liked that the author provided us with deeper information about the various festivals and celebrations, along with introducing us to unique items like the miyamairi cap and abu-chan. These are all events and/or items we keep seeing, but never really know much information or history about.
A full english book review on Immortal Geisha forum


Special recommended video for basic information about Kimonos

youtube thumbnail of BEGIN Japanology - Kimonos
BEGIN Japanology - Kimonos
(english)
youtube thumbnail of How Getting into Kimono's
TOKYO EYE, Getting into Kimono's
(english)
youtube thumbnail of wearing everyday a kimono
Even men can have fun wearing everyday a kimono
(japanese)
youtube thumbnail of Dress up for a formal occasion
Dress up for a formal occasion
(japanese)
youtube thumbnail of Kimono Footwear 1
BEGIN Japanology - Kimono Footwear part 1
(english)
youtube thumbnail of Kimono Footwear 2
BEGIN Japanology - Kimono Footwear part 2
(english)
youtube thumbnail of History of netsuke at the British Museum
History of netsuke at the British Museum
(english)
youtube thumbnail of Nestuke part 1
NHK Antique series, Nestuke part 1
(japanese)