Last updated
Black tomesode at a wedding. Kuro tomesode 2010.jpg
Black tomesode at a wedding.

Tomesode (留袖) is a type of kimono. It is a formal dress worn by married women.

Originally, there was a custom that the long sleeves of the Furisode were shortened after marriage, thereby creating Tomesode. This was because the long swinging sleeves would be impractical when the married woman worked in the kitchen. The word "Tomesode" itself consists of two kanji meaning "to fasten" (留) and "sleeve" (袖).

Tomesode distinguishes itself from other kimono by only having patterns under the waistline. It has five or sometimes three family crests, or kamon, which indicates the formality of the kimono.

Kuro-Tomesode (black Tomesode) are often worn for wedding ceremonies by married female relatives of the bride or groom. The eri, obijime and obiage are always white, and the obi matches the colourful pattern of the kimono to signify a happy occasion. It is believed that the black colour is to match the clean white colour of the bride, as this kimono is rarely used at other occasions than weddings of near family members (sisters or daughters). A friend of the bride or groom would not wear Kuro-Tomesode, but Homongi or Iro-tomesode.

Iro-Tomesode (coloured Tomesode) is similar to Kuro-Tomesode except that the basic colour is not black and is now worn by both married and unmarried women. It is a semi formal kimono with the only exception; Iro-Tomesode with five crests will be considered as formal, thus, unmarried women who are not willing to wear Homongi or Furisode to a wedding of their family members or relatives can also wear this.

In the events held at the Imperial palace, it is strictly forbidden to wear Kuro-Tomesode as black is considered to be a colour of mourning.

Related Research Articles

<i>Kimono</i> Japanese traditional garment

The kimono (きもの/着物) is a traditional Japanese garment, and the national dress of Japan. It is a T-shaped, wrapped-front garment and is worn left over right. It is usually worn with an obi belt, alongside a number of other accessories, such as zōri shoes and tabi socks.

Wedding Ceremony where people are united in marriage

A wedding is a ceremony where two or more people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by a couple, presentation of a gift, and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or celebrant. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers, or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony, as well as superstitious customs originating in Ancient Rome.

Engagement Promise to wed; period of preparation before marriage

An engagement or betrothal is the relationship between two people who want to get married, and also the period of time between a marriage proposal and a marriage. During this period, a couple is said to be betrothed,intended, affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged. Future brides and grooms may be called the betrothed, a wife-to-be or husband-to-be, fiancée or fiancé, respectively. The duration of the courtship varies vastly, and is largely dependent on cultural norms or upon the agreement of the parties involved.

Japanese clothing Japanese clothing, traditional and modern

There are typically two types of clothing that the Japanese wear: the Japanese clothing, such as kimonos, and Western clothing. Japanese traditional fashion combines multiple styles that reflect early Japan's visual culture. It represents the culture's visible artistic and traditional values and joins them together to create a form of fashion recognizable to foreign cultures. The most well known form of Japanese traditional fashion is the kimono, but other types include the yukata and the hakama. The different styles have been produced, expressed, and transformed by artists well known in Japan, including fashion designers Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and Rei Kawakubo. Their works have influenced numerous designers outside of the country that showcase their designs in fashion shows exposed internationally. From the intricate patterns to the layers of fabric, the essence of beauty that was found in traditional wear has influenced the modern fashion that is immersed in Japan's community on a daily basis, specially found in Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

Culture of Japan pattern of human activity and symbolism associated with Japan and its people

The culture of Japan has changed greatly over the millennia, from the country's prehistoric Jōmon Period, to its contemporary modern culture, which absorbs influences from Asia, Europe, and North America.

Wedding dress dress worn by a bride during the wedding ceremony

A wedding dress or bridal gown is the dress worn by the bride during a wedding ceremony. The color, style and ceremonial importance of the gown can depend on the religion and culture of the wedding participants. In Western cultures, the wedding dress is most commonly white, which fashion was made popular by Queen Victoria when she married in 1840. In eastern cultures, brides often choose red to symbolize auspiciousness.

Mehndi form of body art originating in ancient India

Mehndi is a form of body art originating in ancient India, in which decorative designs are created on a person's body, using a paste, created from the powdered dry leaves of the henna plant. Dating back to ancient India, mehndi is still a popular form of body art among the women of the Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Middle East.

<i>Obi</i> (sash) sash for traditional Japanese dress

Obi is a sash for traditional Japanese dress, keikogi, and part of kimono outfits.

<i>Jūnihitoe</i> elegant and complex kimono that was only worn by court-ladies in Japan

The jūnihitoe (十二単) - lit. "the twelve layers" - was the style of formal court dress worn by ladies-in-waiting at the Japanese Imperial Court in the Heian period. The jūnihitoe, despite the name, varied in its exact number of layers, and was composed of several different kimono-style garments.

<i>Furisode</i> type of kimono with long hanging sleeves

A furisode is a style of kimono distinguishable by its long sleeves, which range in length from 85 centimeters for a kofurisode (小振袖) to 114 centimeters for an ōfurisode (大振袖). The sleeves are attached to the body of the kimono only for a short distance; the inner edge is open for the rest of its length, allowing the lining to show on the inner edge.

Wrapper (clothing)

The wrapper, lappa, or pagne is a colorful garment widely worn in West Africa by both men and women. It has formal and informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully tailored ensembles. The formality of the wrapper depends on the fabric used to create it.

Traditional Vietnamese wedding

The traditional Vietnamese wedding is one of the most important ceremonies in Vietnamese culture, which is influenced by Confucian and Buddhist ideologies.

Marriage in Pakistan

Marriage in Pakistan pertains to wedding traditions established and adhered by Pakistani men and women. Despite their local and regional variations, marriages in Pakistan generally follow Islamic marital jurisprudence. Culturally, marriages are not only seen as a union between a husband and a wife, but also an alliance between their respective families. These traditions extend to other countries around in the world where Overseas Pakistani communities exist.

<i>Hōmongi</i> type of kimono

The hōmongi (訪問着) kimono replaces the role of the furisode when a woman marries. It is given to the woman when she marries, to signify her womanhood has transcended into a married life. It is of a less colourful and attention-drawing than the kimono of unmarried women, but it can be worn by unmarried women too. Directly translated homongi means "visiting wear" and it was very popular among the upperclass women in the Meiji era to wear as a formal dress for going out. The homongi is the most ostentatious kimono for married women and the second most for unmarried women. Usually, the homongi kimono is worn to tea ceremonies and weddings.

Religious clothing is clothing which is worn in accordance with religious practice, tradition or significance to a faith group. It includes clerical clothing such as cassocks, and religious habit, robes, and other vestments. Accessories include hats, wedding rings, crucifixes, etc.


A kanzu is a white or cream coloured robe worn by men in the African Great Lakes region. It is referred to as a tunic in English, and as the Thawb in Arab countries. The kanzu is an ankle or floor length garment. It serves as the national costume of Tanzania as well as the Comoros, where it is called/pronounced 'Kandu' as well as thawb. The robe is also worn in some coastal Muslim regions of Tanzania and Kenya. The men of Uganda in Uganda consider it their most important dress. Kanzu is a Ganda word of Swahili origin, which means "robe" or "tunic". In Tanzania, the term is used interchangeably with kaftan.

Indian wedding clothes

Indian wedding clothes are elaborate set of clothes worn by the bride, bridegroom and other relatives attending the wedding.

<i>Maiko</i> Apprentice geisha

A maiko is an apprentice geisha in Kyoto and Western Japan. Their jobs consist of performing songs, dances, and playing the shamisen or other traditional Japanese instruments for visitors during banquets and parties, known as ozashiki.

Shinto weddings, Shinzen kekkon, began in Japan during the early 20th century, popularized after the marriage of Crown Prince Yoshihito and his bride, Princess Kujo Sadako. The ceremony relies heavily on Shinto themes of purification, and involves ceremonial sake drinking of three cups three times, the nan-nan-san-ku-do. Shinto weddings are in decline. Fewer Japanese people get married, and those who do often choose Western-style chapel ceremonies.

Khalili Collection of Kimono collection

The Khalili Collection of Kimono is a private collection of Japanese kimono assembled by the British-Iranian scholar, collector and philanthropist Nasser D. Khalili, containing more than 450 items. It is one of eight collections assembled, published and exhibited by Khalili, each of which is considered among the most important in its field. The collection includes formal, semi-formal and informal kimono made for women, men and children. It illustrates the evolution of the kimono from the 17th to the 20th century, in terms of the garments' cut, construction and materials and also in the variety of motifs, patterns and decorations used. The kimono are not on permanent public display, but some from the collection are lent or donated to cultural institutions. These have included the Kremlin Museums in Moscow and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.