Kukurio no Hakama (括り緒の袴)

Kukurio no hakama is a general term for hakama (a type of traditional Japanese clothing) whose hem is tied.

One well known variety of hakama is also called the 'sashinuki' and features a cord that is run through the hem and drawn tight.
At Shinto shrines, these are often called 'nubakama.'

Kukurio no hakama originally emerged as clothing worn by commoners during the Nara period, but became adopted by the noble class in the Heian period with the traditional hemp fabric being replaced by silk and tailored into longer styles using fabrics such as plain silk, twill fabric, kata-ori and brocade.

Wearing Sashinuki

Sashinuki are generally made using eight pieces of fabric with four used for each leg (nowadays, each piece measures 1-shaku 2-sun (36cm) in width. Each leg measures approximately 180 cm in circumference) but those worn by Shinto priests are narrower than this.

The cord is usually the same color as the garment, but young nobles would wear a white and purple cord known as a 'harajiro.'

During the mid-Heian period, women such as uneme (lower-ranking court ladies) wore sashinuki while riding horses. There were no regulations governing the color of sashinuki but it is thought that bright colors such as ebizome (a very light purple dye) were used.

Sashinuki naturally consisted of excess fabric but were tied with a cord at the knee or ankle in order to allow freedom of movement. Allowing the excess length of the cord to hang down and tying it at the ankle in a style known as 'gekukuri' was the normal way of wearing sashinuki while tying the cord above or below the knee was known as 'shokukuri' and not favored as it displays the lower leg but was adopted when playing kemari (Japanese ancient Imperial court game like kick-ball) or in emergencies. In order to prevent the hem from sliding down, a cord was used to reinforce the garment at the waist.

Since the Edo period, samurai families turned to frequently wearing sashinuki suspended from the waist in a 'hikiage shitate' style which remains used today.

It was worn with hoko (a personal style of formal dress in which a sokutai (old ceremonial court dress) hakama has been replaced with a sashinuki), noshi (an unlined, long-sleeved garment), kariginu (a narrow hakama was used with kariginu until the period of cloistered rule) and a variety of colors were worn depending on age and status.

The fabric used in winter was glossy silk (a fabric created using a tight weave) whereas any lightweight fabric could be used in summer depending on climate.

Regulations dictating which fabrics could be used had been established since the period of cloistered rule, which stated that woven fabrics were to be worn during formal events and lightweight or twill fabrics were to be used for everyday wear.

Muromachi period regulations dictated that generally only kuge (court nobles) were allowed to wear fabrics bearing crests and that colors were to change from purple to pale indigo to light blue to white as ones age increased. Those below the fourth rank wore plain purple silk while those below the sixth rank wore light blue.

The designs worn by retired emperors and imperial princes were 'hachiyogiku' (eight leaved chrysanthemum), 'rindo karakusa' (gentian floral pattern), 'kumo tatewaku' (vertical seething clouds, this design was previously also used by regents and the father of the imperial advisor but now only worn by imperial princes), and many kuge wore 'yato maru' (eight wisteria circle), young men wore 'fusecho no maru' (prostrated butterfly circle) on a tortoise shell patterned fabric, boys wore designs including 'toridasuki' (interlocking circular units comprising eight stylized birds around a central floral diamond) while there were also cases in which a family would use a particular design.

Other Kukurio no Hakama

Kuzumari bakama: A type of hakama now used during kemari matches. Made using a cloth woven from kudzu fiber.

[Original Japanese]