Japan Australia Pages

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Japanese Zori and Geta

Zori and Geta are a form of traditional Japanese footwear that remains popular and widely worn in Japan today. They are simply constructed with a base to support the foot and a strap for the toes to grip.

Zori (草履) which are flat Japanese sandals have a long history in Japan, but little has changed over the years in terms of design and construction. The only difference from now and the past is the material that is used in modern construction. Today many different materials such as leather, plastic, cloth and rubber are used as opposed to just rice straw and lacquered wood of the past.

There are many different kinds and styles of zori from formal zori, which are traditionally worn with a kimono, to casual ones that you can where anytime, and are a common sight during the summer in Japan. 

Here is a picture of my zori from Japan

Japanese Zori

Geta (下駄) consist of a flat piece of wood with two ribs underneath known as teeth (歯) to raise the wearer off the ground. Japanese started wearing geta as footwear in the 5th century. At first they were only worn on special occasions like festivals, but by the 17th century they had become everyday footwear.

Like zori, there are many different styles and shapes of geta. They are traditionally worn with Japanese clothes such as kimono or yukata.

They are also very useful in Japan as they can be easily slipped on and off, which is important in a culture, where shoes must be removed before entering a house. 

Did you know that zori and geta are good for you?

Zori and geta exercise the muscles of your feet and promote good posture. They also allow for free circulation of air around the feet. Good for your feet and foot health.

Japanese Geta

16 comments:

  1. I love zori! I swear it's better than bare feet. It's also the most popular present I've ever taken to South Africa.

    PS: Your zori look brand-new! I like the dragons. ^^

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    1. Thanks Rurousha, They are great in summer aren't they? They also make a great souvenir from Japan. These ones are brand new and just had them sent by the folks in Japan. How cool are the dragons :)

      John

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  2. I heard it before. Geta and zori are good for our health but I'm not good at wearing them. :)

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    1. Thanks Cocomino, I love wearing them in the summer and Aussies love them as they are so similar to our flip-flops :)

      John

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    2. and it is similar to our terompah. The beautiful ornate ones are worn by the Peranakan and the simple, red lacquer one usually are worn to the loo. ;)

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    3. Thanks Lina, Interesting that there are similar types of footwear around the world. I know our flip-flops or beach sandals were inspired from zori. How about terompah?

      John

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    4. I believe it originates from the Netherlands, which once ruled over Malacca some 700years ago.

      You know, we used to call the plain kind of flip-flops "selipar jepun" in Malay? It literally means Japanese slippers. ;)

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    5. Thanks Lina, Yeah, that makes sense. I like the name "selipar jepun" and its reference back to Japan. Very Cool :)

      John

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  3. The biggest selection of geta I've ever seen was in Guji (Gifu Prefecture). I own one pair only, because I don't think I'll ever need more than that! *g*

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    1. Thanks Zooming Japan, Do you mean Gujo in Gifu? One of my favourite places and close to home. Yeah, I'm the same, only have one pair, which I use during the warmer months :)

      John

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  4. I bought some Geta from Amazon jp, but obviously Japanese ladies have teeny tiny feet and I do not! So I had to wear sandals with my yukata.

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    1. Thanks Lisa, I'm sorry to hear that! I guess I have big feet in Japan (28 cm) but have still been able to find my size, It can be hard at times and you are more limited in your choice of styles, etc.

      John

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  5. Nice info. I've tried them but it never lasts long because I don't like having the thing between my toes. Lol

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    1. Thanks Thomas, A summer favourite for us :) We get used to wearing flip flops here in Oz, so there is no real change and they feel quite comfortable :)

      John

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  6. Your pair of zori looks great. The straps seem to be soft and comfy.

    Do you know how I could get a similar pair online? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anon, They are really comfortable and great here in summer. These were bought in Japan, not sure about an online place where you can buy something like this.

      John

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