HOME >> Reports >> wearing twelve-layered ceremonial kimono

Wearing Twelve-layered Ceremonial Kimono (Juni-hitoe)

44 people attended this special event. The event was held in a tranquil atmosphere with traditional court music and red carpet.

Juni Hitoe, twelve-layered ceremonial kimonos started to appear around the 10th century in the Heian Period, and were traditionally worn only by court ladies.  The number of kimonos was not necessarily exact twelve.


Two ladies dressed up the model (one of Niji-no-kai Japanese class students) using only two strings for twelve layers of kimono.  The color arrangement is very important, and each combination of colors has a name. The name of the color arrangement she was dressed in is 'the scent of red plum'. They started dressing her with a red kimono, moving on to lighter color, pink, and finally put on a purple coat. The participants were very impressed with beautiful color gradation appeared at sleeves and the neck.

It took only twenty minutes to put on twelve-layers of kimono.  They dressed the set of kimonos so neatly in order that even after her taking off, the kimonos remained just as they were worn, which is called “utsusemi”.  It means a cast-off skin of a cicada.