Houmongi: The Japanese Visiting Kimono

When it comes to special occasions in Japan, wearing a kimono is still a cherished tradition that holds a special meaning for many women. There are several types of kimono, but when you are celebrating a wedding, attending an formal party or even visiting your partner’s family for the first time, the houmongi is the kimono of choice.

What is Houmongi?

Houmongi is a type of semi-formal kimono which first appeared in the Taisho period (1912-1926) and it means ‘Visiting Wear’ in English. It can be worn by married and unmarried woman, and its design often has a pattern on hem and sleeve, sometimes sweeping up across the body in a diagonal direction. This type of kimono is typically worn for social visits or formal events where you want to be dressed up and have a respectful, modest or elegant appearance.

Kimonos in Modern Society

Wearing a kimono has declined over the years, due to its complexity, difficulty to wear, preference for modern clothing and more, but at kay me, the kimono is ingrained in our heritage and we believe it still has a place in modern society. To bring the kimono into the contemporary wardrobe for everyday or occasion wear, we have our new dresses directly inspired by Houmongi kimonos, the Hyakka and Kazehana dress.

Made with our signature stretch jersey for ease and day-long comfort and in our Gather dress pattern designed to accentuate the bodyline for an beautiful hourglass silhouette – it is perfect for making a striking impression and made to wear with modern clothing and accessories.

A Taste of Japan

We hope our dresses can spark more conversation about kimono and Japanese culture and make your next occasion that extra bit more memorable. Each dress is proudly made by our artisans in Japan and we offer free worldwide shipping to any destination. For more Japanese-inspired modern dresses, see our Modern Kimono collection, or to see more of the Visiting dress series, see our Modern Meets Culture page.

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