Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Hakama History Traditions?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hakama History Traditions?

    I was wondering if anyone knew the reasons for the way the hakama is made? Like five pleats in front, 3 on one side 2 on the other? Why is the left leg always put in first? Is there a reason we fold it the way we do besides just keeping the pleats nice? Things like this I started thinking about and just can't find the answers on google.

  • #2
    http://www.winnipegkendo.com/pdfs/Ke...ent_Manual.pdf on page 21 tells a smaller backstory for it.

    OR COPY/PASTEd it says..

    About the hakama
    There are many kinds of hakama: hunting, field, long and short, but
    only two types are still worn today: men's (horse-riding) and women's
    (undivided hakama, with no back plate). Wearing a hakama with a
    stiff back plate straightens your spine, while keeping the collar of your
    jacket on the back of your neck, pulls your chin in and gives you
    perfect posture.
    A hakama has five pleats in the front and one at the back. The five
    pleats represent the five Confucian relationships of :righteousness
    between ruler and minister; affection between father and son;
    attention to their separate functions between husband and wife; order
    between elder and younger brothers and faithfulness between friends;
    as well as the five Confucian virtues of humanity, righteousness,
    propriety, wisdom and faithfulness. The single pleat reminds us that
    just as loyalty and filial piety are one and the same we should follow
    the true path without double dealing. The hakama is designed so that
    we should think of these things whenever we put it on.

    Comment


    • #3
      This is what I've heard.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sometimes it's five pleats in front only and sometimes two are also counted in the back as some list seven bushido virtues rather than five.

        The going down on left leg first has to do with being prepared to get back up quickly and fight. By keep the right leg up until last, it's easier to draw out the sword if you're halfway down. The same reason is given for putting the left hand down first then the right hand when bowing in seiza, although ZNKR now prescribes both hands down at the same time for kendo, perhaps to say there's no mistrust in kendo. Iaido and some kendojo stick to the traditional order though.

        I wasn't aware there's a convention regarding which leg to stick in to the hakama first though. I would have reckoned it's whatever is natural to the individual since this is a private matter in the changing room and not involving etiquette to someone else (aside from whatever is considered sanitary). If there is a rule then it's probably only observed by people who have decided there's some symbolism to it.
        Last edited by dillon; 12th March 2012, 02:02 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I hate to burst folks' bubble, but the simple reason you put your left leg in first is because that's the larger hole (due to the way the middle seam is folded). You put your left leg in first because there's less chance of getting both feet in one pant-leg.

          Comment


          • #6
            left first because that's what i do putting on any kind of pants and shorts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Josh Reyer View Post
              I hate to burst folks' bubble, but the simple reason you put your left leg in first is because that's the larger hole (due to the way the middle seam is folded). You put your left leg in first because there's less chance of getting both feet in one pant-leg.
              Well that's an interesting take.

              I asked this question about the whole left-right question of my senseis in Japan and the reply was exactly to remain in a state of readiness.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Curtis View Post
                Well that's an interesting take.

                I asked this question about the whole left-right question of my senseis in Japan and the reply was exactly to remain in a state of readiness.
                It's not an unappealing theory, but it ignores the fact that the hakama was not worn only by samurai. Also, dropping the left foot first when kneeling does indeed make it easier if one has to suddenly draw in mid-kneel. But if you're putting a hakama on, you're not wearing a sword, so which leg you put in first is largely immaterial from a combative point of view.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd attribute it more to the Japanese "we all do it the exact same way" mentality than anything else, personally.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Josh Reyer View Post
                    It's not an unappealing theory, but it ignores the fact that the hakama was not worn only by samurai. Also, dropping the left foot first when kneeling does indeed make it easier if one has to suddenly draw in mid-kneel. But if you're putting a hakama on, you're not wearing a sword, so which leg you put in first is largely immaterial from a combative point of view.
                    The original question did not relate to the hakama. For as long as I have done kendo everything was left-right, right-left without any explanation. So I wrote to my sensei and asked why. Frankly I think a lot of the people simply did the do as you're told and did not ask why. Sorry that doesn't work for me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LOL I'm glad to see I got some people really thinking and I'm glad it's not just bugging me. There are a little simple reasons for certain things that have been lost over the years, which means sadly we have lost knowledge. Maybe not the most important knowledge in the world but the little traditions I find are almost the most meaningful. I hope we can dig into the minds of our great Senseis around the world and hopefully somewhere the knowledge still lives on.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Curtis View Post
                        The original question did not relate to the hakama. For as long as I have done kendo everything was left-right, right-left without any explanation. So I wrote to my sensei and asked why. Frankly I think a lot of the people simply did the do as you're told and did not ask why. Sorry that doesn't work for me.
                        Generally, kendo folks are a bit less interested in the origins of these things and it is more of a "just going along with what I'm told" situation (unfortunately). In iaido, however, these rationales are very much explicitly explained. What seems mysterious in one art is often bread and butter in another.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by prings View Post
                          LOL I'm glad to see I got some people really thinking and I'm glad it's not just bugging me. There are a little simple reasons for certain things that have been lost over the years, which means sadly we have lost knowledge. Maybe not the most important knowledge in the world but the little traditions I find are almost the most meaningful. I hope we can dig into the minds of our great Senseis around the world and hopefully somewhere the knowledge still lives on.
                          I don't think anything was lost, people just didn't bother to ask. I don't operate that way. I just go to those that know.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dillon View Post
                            Generally, kendo folks are a bit less interested in the origins of these things and it is more of a "just going along with what I'm told" situation (unfortunately). In iaido, however, these rationales are very much explicitly explained. What seems mysterious in one art is often bread and butter in another.
                            Not me. I'll hunt down someone who knows.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The (Kodansha) Noma Dojo Shihan, a retired Police Kendo instructor, also says - as people head out after keiko - put your left shoe on first.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X