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Yukata (Summer Kimono)

A yukata is a casual cotton kimono that can be worn without an undergown.
Unlike other kimono, which requires various undergarments, tabi socks, and the like, it can be worn directly over the skin.
The obi can also be tied using a simple knot.
It is easy to learn how to put on a yukata,making them ideal for people who would like to wear a kimono but find it difficult to cope with all the various rules governing the garment.
They are reasonably priced and so provide a perfect introduction to traditional Japanese clothing.
It is said that the origins of the yukata date back to the Heian period (794-1185) when an unlined, linen kimono named a yukatabira was used for bathing.
People would enter the bath wearing a kimono, and so the linen fabric was ideal, as it did not soak up much water.
As with so many other traditional events and customs, it was during the Edo period that its use spread to the general populace.
Today, people no longer wear Japanese clothing every day, and even though they feel a certain affinity with it, it has become irrelevant in their daily lives.
However, there are an increasing number of mainly young people who like to wear yukata for pleasure these days.
At firework displays, festivals or night markets, it is no longer unusual to see young couples wearing yukata.