Do Geishas Wear Underwear? Unveiling the Secrets of Their Traditional Dressing

They serve as the traditional undergarments for geishas, allowing for unrestricted movement while maintaining modesty. The intricately designed kimono, with it’s elegant folds and meticulous draping, is a true work of art, and any additional layers such as underwear would disrupt the flawless silhouette that represents the epitome of grace and beauty. Adorned in vibrant colors and exquisite patterns, geishas carry themselves with allure and poise, captivating all who’ve the privilege of witnessing their refined performances. From their delicate makeup meticulously applied to their iconic hairstyles adorned with exquisite hair accessories, every aspect of a geisha's appearance is carefully curated to evoke a sense of mystery and intrigue. And while the question of underwear may not be at the forefront of one's mind when admiring the enchanting world of geishas, it’s through these unassuming details that their dedication to perfection becomes truly apparent.

What Do Geishas Wear Under Their Kimono?

The hada-juban is a flesh-colored undergarment that covers the entire body, resembling a slip. It acts as a barrier between the kimono and the geishas skin, preventing any oils or sweat from staining the precious fabric. Made from silk or cotton, this garment is beautifully adorned with delicate patterns and exquisite embroidery.

On top of the hada-juban, the naga-juban is worn. This is a longer and more formal undergarment, extending to the ankles. It’s usually made from silk and features intricate designs that are hidden beneath the layers of the kimono. The naga-juban not only enhances the overall appearance of the kimono but also ensures a comfortable fit for the geisha.

To secure these undergarments in place, geisha wear a wide sash called an obi. The obi not only provides support but also adds a touch of elegance to the ensemble. It’s skillfully tied into a beautiful bow at the back, creating a decorative accent that complements the kimono.

Although geisha refrain from wearing underwear, they do wear tabi socks, which are split-toe socks made from cotton or silk. These socks play a crucial role in providing comfort as well as maintaining the overall aesthetic of the geishas attire. Tabi socks are specially designed to be worn with traditional Japanese footwear, such as zori and geta.

The absence of underwear beneath their kimono isn’t just a matter of tradition or aesthetics. It’s also a practical choice. Considering the intricate designs and layers of the kimono, wearing underwear could disrupt the smooth lines and create unnecessary bulk. By forgoing underwear, geisha are able to achieve a flawless silhouette and maintain the integrity of their stunning attire.

Geisha girls are known for their elegant and intricate attire, with a significant part of their ensemble being the silk kimono they wear. To secure their kimono, geisha use a wide belt called an obi, which is intricately tied in a knot at the back. This traditional garment not only serves a practical purpose but also adds a touch of grace and beauty to their overall appearance.

What Do Geisha Girls Wear on Their Back?

Geisha, renowned for their elegance and grace, don captivating ensembles that showcase the essence of Japanese culture. A pivotal part of their attire is the iconic silk kimono. These beautifully crafted garments are tailored to perfection, adorning the geisha in a symphony of colors and patterns that signify their status and role. The kimono, traditionally made from delicate silk, envelops the geishas body in a flowing and regal manner.

To secure the kimono in place, geisha employ a wide belt, known as an obi. This belt is meticulously knotted at the back, adding an exquisite touch to their ensemble. The obi, often crafted from silk or brocade and embellished with intricate designs or embroidery, not only serves as a functional accessory but also as a statement piece. Geisha invest considerable time and effort in perfecting the art of tying the obi, as it significantly contributes to their overall appearance.

The obi plays a fundamental role in defining the geishas style and status. Maiko, or apprentice geisha, typically wear an obi that’s tied in a more elaborate and ornate manner. The intricate knotting techniques employed by maiko signify their apprentice status and their youthful exuberance. On the other hand, geisha who’ve attained seniority within the profession showcase their maturity and sophistication by wearing a more simplified and understated obi.

Source: Geishas, ​​guardians of Japanese arts | Japan Experience

In addition to their Western-influenced clothing choices, Japanese people also wear underwear that aligns with global fashion trends. Men commonly opt for briefs, boxers, or boxer briefs, while women often choose thongs alongside brassieres or bras. This integration of both Western and Japanese styles is reflective of the modernized parts of their society.

Do Japanese People Wear Underwear?

Japanese people, like people in most modernized societies, do indeed wear underwear. However, it’s essential to note that traditional Japanese clothing didn’t originally include undergarments, as the kimono and yukata were traditionally worn directly against the skin. However, with the influence of Western fashion, Japanese people have adopted Western-style undergarments as part of their everyday clothing choices.

In terms of mens underwear, Japanese men mostly prefer briefs, boxers, and boxer briefs, similar to their counterparts in other Westernized societies. These options offer comfort and support for everyday activities. On the other hand, womens underwear choices extend beyond traditional briefs and boxers. Women in Japan also opt for thongs, which provide a minimal amount of coverage, as well as bras to support their upper body.

For instance, in more traditional or formal situations such as wearing a kimono or attending a traditional event, traditional undergarments may be worn instead. This adherence to traditional attire showcases the rich cultural heritage that still plays a significant role in Japanese society.

This includes the adoption of Western-style undergarments as part of their daily clothing routines.

The availability of various types of underwear for both men and women reflects the countrys openness to global fashion trends and it’s ability to merge traditional customs with modern influences.

Evolution of Japanese Underwear: Explore the Historical Transition From Not Wearing Undergarments to Adopting Western-Style Underwear in Japan.

The evolution of Japanese underwear is a fascinating journey that traces the transition from not wearing undergarments to the adoption of Western-style underwear in Japan. Historically, traditional Japanese clothing didn’t include undergarments, as the kimono, a highly popular garment, was worn loosely. However, with the influence of Western culture and fashion, particularly during the Meiji era, Western-style undergarments started making their way into Japan. The introduction of Western-style clothing, like pants and skirts, necessitated the need for suitable undergarments such as bras and underwear. This gradual shift in fashion and lifestyle led to the prevalence of Western-style underwear in Japan. It’s interesting to explore this cultural shift and the impact it had on Japanese fashion and daily life.

However, some traditionalists still choose to adhere to the traditional way of dressing, particularly when it comes to wearing a kimono. This prompts the question: do people still wear bras under a kimono?

Do People Wear Bra Under Kimono?

However, there are exceptions to this rule when it comes to traditional attire such as the kimono. Traditionally, the kimono is worn in layers and the fabric itself is quite thick, which minimizes the need for undergarments. Additionally, the way in which a kimono is tied and wrapped around the body helps to create a smooth and streamlined shape without the use of a bra.

Furthermore, the kimono is often worn for formal occasions such as weddings or traditional ceremonies where modesty and propriety are highly valued. In these instances, it’s still considered proper etiquette to forgo the use of a bra or underwear, as it’s believed to detract from the elegance and simplicity of the kimono.

Many younger individuals, in particular, tend to use their own discretion and personal preferences when it comes to undergarments and traditional attire.

Fundoshi, the traditional Japanese underwear, is a fascinating attire that holds historical and cultural significance in Japan. This unique garment is created by skillfully wrapping a long cloth around the body and securing it with different intricate knots. Not only are there numerous wrapping styles to choose from, but fundoshi can also be crafted using a variety of materials. Let’s delve deeper into the diverse world of fundoshi and explore it’s cultural importance in Japanese society.

What Type of Underwear Do Japanese Wear?

Fundoshi are one of the oldest forms of underwear in Japan and have been worn by men for centuries. Traditionally, they were made from cotton or silk, but nowadays, they can also be found in other materials such as synthetic fibers. They come in different styles and patterns, with some being plain and others featuring intricate designs or symbols.

Fundoshi are typically worn by men during traditional events like festivals or sumo wrestling matches. They also have symbolic significance and are believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.

There are various ways of tying the fundoshi, depending on the occasion and personal preference. The most common style is the “Mokko” style, which involves folding the cloth in half and tying it around the waist, leaving the buttocks exposed.

In recent years, there’s been a growing trend among younger generations to incorporate fundoshi into modern fashion. This has led to the creation of contemporary designs and materials that are more comfortable and suitable for everyday wear. This fusion of tradition and modernity highlights the adaptability and ongoing evolution of Japanese culture.

In contrast to women’s yukata, men often opt for suteteko, boxer-shorts-like undergarments, when wearing a yukata. Additionally, men’s yukata are specifically tailored to ensure the proper length, as they don’t fold at the waist like women’s yukata. This distinction ensures a comfortable and personalized fit for men, while women’s yukata offer a more flexible one-size-fits-all option.

Do Men Wear Anything Under a Yukata?

When it comes to traditional Japanese attire, the yukata holds a special place. A question that often arises is whether men wear anything under this garment. The answer lies in a specific type of undergarment called suteteko. These boxer-shorts-like garments are worn by men underneath their yukata. Suteteko provide a comfortable and supportive layer, ensuring that the yukata fits properly without causing any discomfort.

Unlike the yukata for women, which can be adjusted at the waist, mens yukata don’t fold at the waist. This means that the length of the yukata needs to be just right for men. Hence, wearing suteteko becomes necessary to maintain a proper fit. It ensures that the yukata hangs elegantly and falls at the desired length on the wearers body.

In contrast, womens yukata are designed differently. They can be adjusted and folded at the waist to suit different heights, making them more versatile and closer to a one-size-fits-all solution. This unique design feature eliminates the need for additional undergarments like suteteko for women.

It’s commonly worn during festivals, summer events, and even as loungewear. Understanding the nuances of what men wear under their yukata adds to the appreciation and respect for this traditional clothing style.


In exploring the traditions and customs of geishas, it becomes evident that underwear isn’t a part of their attire. This is due to the belief that it disrupts the smooth lines of the intricate kimono they beautifully adorn. Instead, geishas emphasize the significance of hada-juban and naga-juban, the intimate layers worn beneath their garments. These layers not only provide comfort but also reflect the attention to detail and craftsmanship that are ingrained in the geisha culture. By delving deeper into the world of geishas, we gain a newfound appreciation for their timeless elegance and the significance they place on preserving tradition.