A firm from Aichi Prefecture has created a simple to wear kimono for wheelchair users.
In the past it has been extremely difficult for people in wheelchairs to wear kimonos for special events. It usually takes about half an hour for a person to put on a kimono, and being made from one piece of fabric intended for standing or kneeling, it usually counts people in wheelchairs out of the traditional costume. A local company in Kasugai, Achi Prefecture called Hanayome Kobo has created a traditional kimono that can finally be worn easily by people in wheelchairs. They even set up a subdivision of their company called Hagoromo Style for the venture.
The kimono shop divided the entire outfit at the waist with a simple zipper to attach the upper and lower garments. It can be put on easily while sitting down and worn comfortably that way as well.
The president of the firm, Akiko Nakajima, suggests that people in wheelchairs shouldn’t have to give up wearing a kimono on a special day because of their disability.
The shop currently offers 40 different types of kimonos for women and men and they can be rented and delivered anywhere in Japan. The company even has plans to offer up dispatch services for staff to do professional makeup services as well as photographing for their kimono rentals.
Kimono are very dear to people in Japan and many look forward to wearing them for special events. Not only have customers of the firm worn these traditional kimonos at wedding ceremonies and coming-of-age ceremonies but the company is continuing to see increases in ordering for these specialty items.
This simple, two piece kimono design is an innovation for those in wheelchairs and it will be interesting to see what other custom items that Hagoromo Style comes out with in the near future for custom rentals and traditional dress!