DIMSDRIVE Research recently performed a survey to find out what people thought about kimonos. Over one week at the end of January, they got 7,607 people, 60.4% female, from their internet monitor group to reply to the questionnaire. 1.6% of the respondents were in their teens, 19.6% in their twenties, 36.6% in their thirties, 26.2% in their forties, 11.9% in their fifties, and 4.1% sixty and over.
Note that I believe that the æµ´è¡£ yukata and ç”šå¹³ jinbei, the cheap summer wear that resembles just a fancy dressing gown more than a formal item of clothing, is excluded from this survey; they are focusing on the posh ceremonial item here. I base this supposition on “fireworks display” or “summer festival” not being listed as answers to the question on the place that people last wore one, as at these two places one regularly sees many young people kitted out in cheap and colourful loose cotton garments.
Personally, I’ve never worn a kimono nor have any great urge to wear one, although I should compare the results of this survey with my views on kilts. I own a kilt, which I’ve worn to three weddings here in Japan, and it always goes down well with the natives. In deference to Japan, and betraying my heritage, I do wear Hello Kitty boxers underneath…
This survey will be split into two parts, published today and tomorrow.
Q1: Have you ever worn a kimono? (Sample size=7,607)
Yes 70.6% No 29.4%
Looking at the breakdown by age and sex, as might be expected the older one got the more like one would have worn a kimono. Just over a third of men had worn a kimono, whilst 93.1% of women had.
Q2: When did you last wear a kimono? (Sample size=5,370)
Wedding ceremony 33.8% Coming of age ceremony 19.6% New Year 15.2% Shichi-go-san 6.8% Funeral ceremony 6.0% Just as daily wear 4.9% Learning event 3.1% At work 2.2% Other 8.4%
I wonder if the Shichi-go-san answer covers attending both as a child and as a parent? I suspect so.
For women, the two major events for wearing a kimono were weddings for over a third, followed by just under a quarter wearing one for coming of age celebrations. For men, it was New Year (over two in five) followed by a quarter at weddings. Since the survey was performed at the end of January, there may perhaps be some bias due to New Year and Coming of Age Day having both occurred earlier in the same month.
Q3: Do you have a kimono (material only, not accessories, etc)? (Sample size=5,370)
Yes 70.1% No 29.9%
As might be expected, the rate of ownership basically increases with age.
Q4: Can you put on a kimono? (Sample size=5,370, multiple answer)
Can dress myself 24.0% Can dress someone else 4.3% Can’t put one on at all 74.9%
As might be expected, people who own kimonos were more likely to be able to dress themselves – 31.5% versus 6.5%. Similarly, 92.8% of those who didn’t own one could not dress themselves or others. I wonder if there are any people who can dress others but not themselves?
Q5: From whom (or where) did you learn to dress in a kimono? (Sample size=1,347, multiple answer)
School teacher 38.2% Parents 36.7% Grandparents 7.3% At work 7.1% Friends 3.3% Brothers or sisters 1.0% Other 5.4% Was never taught (self-taught) 13.4%
Q6: How many kimonos do you have? (Sample size=3,763)
One 29.3% Two 18.2% Three 13.7% Four 4.2% Five 10.6% Six 2.7% Seven 1.8% Eight 2.2% Nine 0.3% Ten 6.9% Eleven or more 10.1%
The highest number recorded was one person who said they had 1,000 kimonos!