Concept

Fundoshi

Summary
is a traditional Japanese undergarment for adult males and females, made from a length of cotton. Before World War II, the was the main form of underwear for Japanese men and women. However, it fell out of use quickly after the war with the introduction of new underpants to the Japanese market, such as briefs, boxer briefs and panties. Nowadays, the is mainly used not as underwear but as festival () clothing at or, sometimes, as swimwear. The is first mentioned in the classic Japanese history text, the . They are also depicted on clay figures, . The was the underwear of choice of every Japanese adult male and female, rich or poor, high or low status, until after the Second World War, when Americanization popularized elasticized undergarments. There are several types of , including , , and . The comes in several basic styles. The most relaxed type consists of a strip of cloth, wound around the hips, secured at the small of the back by knotting or twisting, with the excess brought forward between the legs, and tucked through the cloth belt in front to hang as an apron. The second style, for people who are active, is formed when the cloth is wound around the hips so that there is an excess of an apron, which is brought back again between the legs and twisted around the belt-cloth in the back. The is a length of cloth, the dimensions being one () wide and six () long; is Japanese for 'six', hence . The is often twisted to create a thong effect at the back. It was also the standard male bathing suit. Male children learning to swim during the early 1960s were often told to wear this kind of because a boy in trouble could be easily lifted out of the water by the back cloth of his . The third style, called , which originated in the vicinity of Toyama Prefecture, is a long rectangle of cloth with tapes at one narrow end. is a length of cloth; however, it has a strip of material at the waist to form a fastening or string. The dimensions are width by about length, and it is tied with the material strip in front of the body.
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