- edit2/ Split a part to create another trope entry.
- edit1/ Split most of the bulk into a Useful Notes entry.
Notes to self:
- link XXX Holic "tradition carried on" when corresponding YKTTW is launched
Needs Better Title
, Rolling Updates
, Needs More Examples
In Japan, kimonos have a very special place in people's hearts, and are a medium for a thousand symbols. For more information about kimono, see the useful notes
. For non-Fanservice use, see Kimono Is Traditional
(currently in YKTTW
Kimono are also a specific type of Japanese Fetish Fuel
, in ways not easily explainable. First, people are expected to not
wear normal/western-style lingerie underneath, including bra and panties, as bra will ruin the chestline (which should be smooth), and panties will without exceptions create pantylines. Second, most of the body will be covered in a lovely package, spelling out (in the case of a young girl) "youthful", "innocent", "pure", "proper", "cheerful" and "
eligible for marriage" - in kimono code. Few people in Japan know enough about kimonos to get every nuance, but much of the message seems to trigger some subconscious understanding. There's the fact that the idea of getting to open a present wrapped neatly like this thrills many a mind, similarly to corsets. There's also the fact that no matter how much of the body is wrapped up and hidden, the Ultimately And Most Bewitchingly Sensual Mystery of Female Body will-- no, not boobs. The nape of the neck. Then add to that the garment restricts the movements of arms and legs to appear rather lady-like (ore more disciplined and manly) - what's not to like.
Yukata are worn by nearly everyone come summer and festivals. The feelings they awaken are rather similar to kimono. By nature, a yukata is relaxed home-wear (comparable to shorts and a tank top), and situations where one can wear it are very limited. A big deal of the allure of summer festival or hot springs (filler) episodes in anime and manga is related to having the cast in yukatas. Because there's nothing underneath.
On young children, the special fluffy yukata obi makes for an excellent chance for extra big bows and super-cuteification.
comes in two flavours, which can and do overlap:
Where the audience appreciates the garments themselves. Especially in periodic pieces.
Where the audience appreciates getting to see their favourite bishoujo or bishie in this specific dress. Caters to such fanservice tropes as Going Commando
, mixed Action Dress Rip
and Show Some Leg
, and in case of geishas, Sexy Back
due to inverse Impossible Low Neckline
B2: regular fanservice per Rule of Cool
Where kimono is a mean of Impossibly-Low Neckline
, Absolute Cleavage
, or a variation of Showgirl Skirt
, or any such type of fanservice which would not occur if the kimono was worn properly.
Due to its complexity and obscurity to modern (and non-Japanese) folks, also constantly fodder for Did Not Do The Research
-induced Unfortunate Implications
(right flap over left means you are dead and soon buried) and Accidental Innuendo
(obi tied in front means you are a working girl
and need to be able to get it off on a short notice; and a million more). Has in itself suffered from Adaption Decay
; a single man can be blamed for today's tubular kimono fashion, its rigid rules, and the death of the more fluid style of pre-WWII times. As per Rule of Cool
, many of those rules get kicked out of the window in fiction, and heroines won't get accused for "abusing a national symbol" by a mob of angry aunties.
Anime and Manga
- Ichihara Yuuko from XXX Holic has stunning ensembles breaking every conceivable rule of kimono propriety, while remaining elegant and very stylish despite her... suggestive fashions.
- Also notable for a relatively normal teenaged male protagonist example. The tradition is carried on by Watanuki after Yuuko's death.
- In Persona3, on New Year's Day, when the girls are all wearing kimono, Junpei claims that every guy fantasizes about how there's nothing underneath.
- If he got to try he'd be sorely disappointed as there in fact would be underlayers upon underlayers underneath. Especially in winter.
- In Persona4, Yukiko wears one when she works at her family's inn.
- It also has all the girls wearing yukata for the summer festival, which Teddie finds very exciting. Kanji is too embarrassed to even look at them.
- Iro Otoko centres around a designer who is trying to market fashionable men's kimonos, which isn't working very well for him. Both he and others models walk around in them to advertise, invoking this trope.
- Sakaki buys Yuki a kimono in Heart Strings in order to present him as a "yakuza wife." Very much fanservice.
- In Legal Drug the main characters all wear yukata at one point and Kazahaya immediately begins complimenting the beautiful Kakei. Saiga, on the other hand, gets the opposite reaction as he looks like a nightclub worker wearing yukata and Sunglasses at Night.
- In Kaze No Yukue while at a summer festival Kento starts talking about how pretty women in yukata are and his lover Akira makes a sulky comment about yukata not suiting him. This of course spawns an Imagine Spot of Akira in yukata that is actually a bit of a fanservice fail.
- Ai Yori Aoshi has the female lead always wearing a kimono. This is "justified" because her father owns the largest kimono manufacturing company, and it just wouldn't do if his daughter was seen wearing something besides a kimono made by her family.
- In the last chapters of InuYasha, Rin is seen receiving "yet another" kimono from Sesshoumaru. It's highly heartwarming for anyone who knows what giving a girl kimonos meant in those days.
- Fai's furisode in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.
- Sumire Kanzaki does B2 var.  in Sakura Taisen.
- In Hidamari Sketch, a festival offers free snacks to those who come in yukata (and bring the flyer). Miyako, who doesn't have one, is ready to pull down her curtains to make one, but Hiro offers her old one with a Mahou Shoujo Minky print. It comes down to about a centimeter below her buttocks. She thinks it's a perfect fit, and Yuno and Hiro say it looks "cute" and "fashionable", respectively, though Sae thinks she looks like a hooker.
- In Lucky Star, at the matsuri, Konata muses that if they were in a Dating Sim, they'd trigger a flag because they're at a festival outside, wearing yukatas.
- Nearly any manga and anime long enough features a summer festival episode/chapter, or a ryoukan/hot springs resort one, or both, with male members of the cast expressing gratitude for getting to see the ladies in yukata, and sometimes vice versa as well.
- The film version of Memoirs of a Geisha offers type A. Unless you're one of those people who notice and complain about small mistakes such as inappropriate seasonality.
Live Action TV
- Tale of Genji includes pedantically detailed descriptions of about everything the female characters wear. In addition to being Coatume Porn, this also provided contemporary and history-savvy readers with loads of insight into the character's personalities. Most translations omit these descriptions for obvious reasons.
- The racier pulp stories of the Thirties would often have a Western character wearing a kimono as an "at-night but not actually in bed yet" garment; the fashion took a sudden nosedive in the Forties for reasons that should be obvious.
- In a live action western male version, Blonde, a Marylin Monroe biopic, is mostly notable for featuring Patrick Dempsey and [[Jensen Ackles]] in a threesome. It also is notable for having Ackles swishing around in a kimono, much to the pleasure of fangirls (and probably a few fanboys too).
- Some hostess bars have a few girls wearing kimono to cater to the fancy of men who like this kind of thing