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Worn waraji on Hiei Mountain

Waraji (草鞋?) are sandals made from straw rope that in the past were the standard footwear of the common people in Japan. Waraji were also worn by the samurai class and foot soldiers (ashigaru) during the feudal era of Japan.


Traditionally the rope material was made of rice straw, however waraji can be made out of various other materials such as hemp, stalks of myōga, palm fibers, and cotton thread.[1] Now they are mostly worn by traditional Buddhist monks.

Traditionally, the Japanese wear the waraji with their toes protruding slightly over the front edge. However, there are no set rules or guidelines on wearing waraji.

Remnants of Baekje-era straw footwear that is similar to the Japanese waraji had been found in Gungnamji (궁남지) Buyeo County, South Korea in 1995, which suggests the level of interaction between ancient Korean and Japanese culture.[2]


How waraji are tied depends on the user. For instance, a monk ties the waraji differently from a farmer, a soldier ties it differently from a townsman, and so on.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "WARAJI" (PDF). Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "百濟의 짚신". Buyeo National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. 2003. Retrieved 2011-11-06.