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Made from cotton or linen and traditionally dyed brown or indigo to distinguish them from formal vestments, samue are worn by monks of most Japanese Buddhist traditions performing labour duty such as temple maintenance and field work.
In modern times they have become popular as general casual or work wear. Shakuhachi players today, because of the instrument's historical association with Zen Buddhism, sometimes wear samue.
Samue are often worn by many farmers, and home owners when performing general landscaping and gardening tasks as well.