The Kimono reference article from the Simple Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Kimono (çÝÀçÉé) are traditional Japanese style clothes. "Kimono" means "something you wear" originally. Long ago, people in Japan wore kimono every day. Now, people only wear kimono for special occasions such as formal ceremonies.

A Kimono is a robe shaped like a "T." Typical kimono reaches to the ankles, and has very long sleeves. Kimono for women have usually colorful design of flowers, butterflies, etc. People wear a wide belt called an obi with their kimono. Obi are also colorful.

Women's kimono are all the same size. They fold them and tuck them to make them the right size. People who are very tall or heavy have to have kimono made for them.

There are different types of formal and casual kimono. Kimono are usually made of silk, but there are cotton and polyester kimono as well.

Kimono are very expensive. One woman's kimono can cost more than US$10,000. The obi (belts) are very expensive too. They can cost thousands of dollars. Most people's kimono are not so expensive. Some people make their own kimono, or buy them second hand.

Japanese people have been wearing kimono for hundreds of years. Today, kimono are worn only at special times. More women wear kimono than men. Men wear kimono most often at weddings and Japanese tea ceremony. Men's kimono is comprised of haori (top) and hakama (loose-fitter pants pants).

People who play some sports like kendo also wear kimono. They are tough, thick and short, not like typical women's kimono. They are usually called do-gi.

In Japan people can take classes about wearing kimono and learn about how to choose kimono and how to tie the obi.

Most Japanese women do not know how to put on a kimono by themselves because it is very difficult. Some people work as "kimono dressers." They help people to put on their kimono.

Some people still wear kimono every day in Japan.

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