Kouchigi (小袿)

Kouchigi is one of Japanese clothing.

It is an outerwear worn especially by those who were high class among the noblewomen.

According to the "Ihon Shimeisho," a commentary of Genji Monogatari (The tale of the Minamoto clan) from the mid Kamakura Period, its length was about Kosode (a kimono with short sleeves worn as underclothing by the upper classes) (in other words, the length is close to one's height), made in threefold (with nakabe, a lining cloth attached between the outer material), and a hitoemon (a single design, diamond shaped design such as ones used on a single layered kimono) pattern is used on the lining. There is an article left by the deceased in Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine which originates in the Kamakura Period. Outer garment and kasane-uchiki (a series of brightly colored unlined robes) were worn underneath Kouchigi for semi-formal attire.

Kouchigi in the present-day is a costume for the young ladies of the royal family, and it is called nakabe which is similar in style to Uchigi, having a cloth attached between the outer and inner lining, but larger in size than Uchigi. It is lined in hiraginu (plain silk) without any design. Kouchigi was originally smaller than Uchigi, but said to have become larger.


Silk was used after the mid Heian Period.

[Original Japanese]