Japanese Culture - Footwear Waraji, Zori, Setta, Geta and Okobo

There are many beautiful traditional Japanese costumes, such as elegant kimonos, colorful yukatas, stylish happi coats, and simple yet elegant hakama. Similarly, footwear also has a footwear culture based on a unique aesthetic sense.

In this article, we will introduce Japanese footwear, which has been rediscovered for its health benefits in recent years, and whose design and materials are being arranged in a modern style.

type of footwear
-Waraji
The simplest traditional Japanese footwear, made from woven straw rope.
In the past, Japanese people wore straw sandals on a daily basis. In ancient times, they were worn by lower-ranking samurai, but nowadays they are mostly worn by monks. In addition to rice straw, hemp, cotton, and palm fiber are also used. The characteristic of straw sandals is that when you wear them, your toes come out slightly forward.

-Zori
General Zori is made of rush, the same material as tatami mats. There are also Zori made of cloth, lacquered wood, and leather. In recent years, artificial material Zori has also appeared, and Zori's characteristic is that it can be matched with various Japanese clothing, from formal kimono to casual jinbei, depending on the material.

-Setta
A type of zori, the leather is attached to the back of the bamboo sandals to give them a waterproof function. It is a traditional footwear from the Edo period, with a butt iron attached to the heel part of the leather sole for durability. Even today, Setta is often used when men wear kimonos. If you wear Setta from a young age, your feet will spread and become more stable and less prone to bunions. These footwear are suitable for humid Japan, as they do not cause your feet to get stuffy and are resistant to athlete's foot (tinea pedis).

-Geta
It is one of the common footwear in Japan, and it is characterized by making a unique sound called "karankoron" every time you walk. Geta is a type of wooden sandal that fits snugly to the foot with a strap made of soft fabric called a thong. A typical Geta is made up of a flat plate "pedestal" supported by two "teeth". Geta is usually worn with a yukata, but it goes well with casual summer fashion such as jeans and shorts.

-Okobo
Okobo is a type of geta worn by maiko (apprentice geisha). The material used is willow, and although the stand is usually made of wood with a grain finish, black lacquered summer okobo are also available. The color of the nose ring indicates the rank of the geisha: veterans wear yellow, while newcomers wear red nose ring okobo.

Zori and Setta, in which Igusa is used, are healthy footwear that stimulates the soles of the feet and absorbs sweat and sebum. Many people are captivated by the feel of tatami as well.

Why not incorporate them into your daily life?