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The terms Heian, Kamakura, Muromachi, Momoyama refer to historical eras. See the Japanese Historical Eras reference page.


Military wear from late Heian through Momoyama, typical "Samurai" garb, lower class in Heian and Kamakura, upper class in Muromachi and Momoyama


Garments: Kosode, hakama (pants), hitatare (top)

Good fabrics: the hakama fabric must be stiff or the pants will look like a flowy skirt. Later period hitatare were "louder" than earlier hitatare. In the Muromachi and Momoyama period fabrics were commonly decorated with geometric patterns, horizontal stripes, repeats of figures (bamboo or maple leaves, dragonflies, hexagons, etc)  gold leaf, and embroidery. Late period lower class sometimes wore the kosode and hakama without the hitatare.

Kataginu (less formal/lower class for Muromachi and Momoyama):

Garments: Kosode, hakama (pants), kataginu (top)

Similar to Hitatare. Kataginu and hakama should match.

Dobuku (Informal upper class Muromachi & Momoyama):

Garments: Kosode, hakama (pants), dobuku (jacket)

Similar to hitatare but dobuku is upper garment instead of hitatare top. Dobuku (also spelled dofuku, dohbuku) were usually made of expensive imported fabrics such as Chinese brocades and European wools.

All content copyright the author, Jennifer Munson munson.jennifer@gmail.com The author makes no guarantees for instructions and recipes on this site; neither does she accept responsibility for their outcomes. Verbatim copies may be made for educational purposes only provided they contain original copyright marking.

This page created August 4, 2002

Last updated August 02, 2005