Summer Kimono (2004-07-13)

Now here's another Japanese tradition that I don't understand.  It is the wearing of cotton kimono known as yukata in the summer by Japanese women when they go to watch firework display.  Yukata is worn just like the usual kimono and is made of cotton instead of the heavier material, but it's still pretty thick if you ask me.  Nothing strange about this tradition except it is the wrong choice of clothing for Tokyo's sweltering summer heat.

If you've ever been to Tokyo in the height of summer when firework display is held, you know what I mean when I say sweltering heat.  It is so hot and sticky you will be dripping wet with sweat just walking ten minutes on the street in tank tops and shorts.  Temperature at night does fall a little but not much.  It is still unbearably muggy and hot.  I can't begin to imagine how rolling hot it will be under a kimono that covers the body from neck to ankles plus a thick sash that winds tightly around the waist to increase the internal temperature by about 200 degrees.  Heat is trapped under that piece of garment with nowhere to go.  Yet so many Japanese women wear yukata enthusiastically to see fireworks.  They must be so uncomfortable and sweating like mad underneath that yukata.  Super short slinky sundresses are much more appropriate for the occasion.  I'm sure guys would agree with me on that.

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