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Comparison between a Kosode (left) and a modern-day Kimono (right).
Parts of a Kosode
Oichi wearing a Kosode and uchikake wrapped around the waist.

The kosode (小袖) is a basic Japanese robe for both men and women. It is worn as both an undergarment and overgarment. The literal meaning of the term kosode is "small sleeve," which refers to the sleeve opening. They were traditionally worn during the Japanese Edo Period (1600–1868).

Kosode are T-shaped, have a looser fit than the Kimono and come in varying lengths. Kosode are worn with an obi (sash), that is considerably smaller than that of the modern Kimono. Often worn with hakama (pleated, divided skirt) for men or naga-bakama (very long hakama) for women, as in the case of the Miko.

Kosode evolved at some point in the late 14th century and replaced the many layered, unlined hirosodes. Over time kosode gradually developed into a wide variety of styles, with patterns and fabrics.

Parts of a Kosode[edit]

  • (Sode) – Sleeves
  • (Eri) – Collar
  • 身頃 (Migoro) – body panels
  • (Okumi) – overlap panels

External links[edit]


1. Fashion Encyclopedia

2. Gluckman, Dale Carolyn, and Sharon Sadako Takeda, eds. When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan. New York: Weatherhill, 1992.

3. Kennedy, Alan. Japanese Costume: History and Tradition. New York: Rizzoli, 1990.

4. Kosode: 16th–19th Century Textiles from the Nomura Collection. New York: Kodansha International, 1985.

External links[edit]