Terada Family Yukata
~Traditional Lightweight Cotton Kimono~
Mrs. Terada, whose works are featured here, has been making yukata for her local community for
over 30 years. Prior to making yukata, she was dissatisfied with her job at a sento, a Japanese
public bath. So she decided to put her seamstress skills to the test. Now, more than three
decades later, she is a master of the craft, and with the help of her protege daughter, is creating
some of the region's finest traditional yukata and kimono.
A yukata is a cool, lightweight kimono worn during the sweltering Japanese summers. Japanese
love their tradition of matsuri, Shinto festivals celebrated during the hot summer months in
Japan, and the yukata, made of soft cotton or silk, is the natural choice of dress for these hot
nights. Both men and women adorn themselves in yukata during the festivals, the women donning
brightly colored patterns with large, flowing obi (belts), while the men often choose darker
tones and sober obi.
Yukata are also customary dress at Japan's finest ryokan (inns). The Japanese find the comfort,
simplicity and beauty of the yukata a relaxing enhancement to a vacation. Yukata are made from
dyed cotton or silk, sporting the most current patterns and forms. Believe it or not, an
out-of-date yukata and obi can look as silly as a polyester leisure suit with bell-bottoms!
Japanese Festival Yukata