I tried it on and was quite perplexed by a few things: Firstly, how do you tie it? It has two lots of ties, one at the front and one at the back. Secondly, what do you wear underneath? That may sound a little like asking a Scotsman what he wears under his kilt, but honestly I have no idea. You have to wear something because there are large vents either side. I can't imagine wearing my gi pants underneath - surely that would be too bulky and too hot? Do I wear shorts, big bloomers or what? Thirdly, what is that little hard plate at the back for?
I managed to find an answer to my first problem, how do you tie it?, in this YouTube video:
Okay! Now I just need to practice all that.
I had a look around some forums to see if there was anything about what people wear underneath the hakama. Apparently, a lot of people wear their gi pants or cut-off gi pants. Some wear cycling shorts or ordinary shorts. Traditionally a kimono is worn under the hakama but I think this is when it is being worn ceremonially.
According to Wikepedia the spoon shaped plate hanging at the back of the hakama is called the hera and slots into the obi, keeping the hakama in place.
Just out of interest the pleats of the hakama have a symbolic meaning: There are seven pleats, five at the front and two at the back, and they represent the seven virtues of Bushido: the five at the front represent- Jin (mercy), Gi (righteousness), Rei (etiquette), Chi (intelligence), and Shin (trust). The back pleats represent the virtues of Makoto (loyalty) and Chu-kou (allegiance). The front pleats are also arranged asymmetrically, in keeping with Japanese aesthetics.
So now I know all about the hakama. However, I still want to know - What do you wear under your hakama? (Or gi)?
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