袴のデザインと身体の機能 (with English translation)

Handa, Aichi (December 2023)


















I began to see hints how the kimono (Hakama) is designed and how to wear it, which I had been questioning for a long time. (Also, its link with the function and the structure of the body.)

On these two days, an important ceremony called “Houonkou” was held.

During this once-a-year ceremony, we monks wear “Hakama”, which is purple one below the white kimono.

(Hakama is what you see beneath the brown robe in yesterday’s photo.)

I usually tighten my kimono Obi(=belt or sash, which you can’t see in this post’s photo) at the height where it rests on my pelvis (actually between the greater trochanter and iliac crest), and I can feel it gives kind of stability for the pelvic girdle (→ resulting in freedom of the hip joints and stability of the torso).

However, Hakama is long. If I tighten it at the height of the pelvis, I will step on the hem.

On the other hand, if I make it higher and tighten the lower ribs, breathing will be constricted. And I don’t want to put too much pressure on the belly by bringing it bit lower.

Which height and tension is better? A question I have had for over 10 years since I began working at the temple.

An idea comes;

The Obi of the Hakama is tightened around the belly in the “suitable” tension so that it works with the transversus abdominis muscles.

It suddenly came up to me, and I gave it a try. In my case, the height in the photo felt good.

(*The transversus abdominis muscle is the deepest muscle in the abdominal muscles and surrounds form the back to the front of the abdomen. The fibers run horizontally. That is, it runs in the same direction as the hakama obi.)

I tighten the obi around the belly at a height that does not interfere with the motion of the 11th and 12th ribs, with just suitable tightness (tension) at the level where I can feel support for the belly.

Then, just as the transversus abdominis muscle works, the lumbar spine and internal organs gain support and the felt central axis emerges.

(That is the area that Rolfers call the prevertebral space. The space on the anterior side of the spine.)

It is a sense of support that can be felt because of its solid fiber and weave structure of Obi, and perhaps can never be gained with rubber band.

This could be pretty good! That’s what I realized today.

(The knots are still rough, and I’d like to learn how to tie them nicely.)

The second (last) day of the “Houonkou” has been successfully completed, and I will gradually get back normal daily operations from tomorrow.

And there was a comment which resonates to me.

“When we stat to see (experience) the “real” body, it becomes clear what kind of abilities were drawn out by clothing and costumes (work clothes). And when the subject-object relationship becomes clear, the samadhi state is brought about which tells the fact (felt sence) that there is no subject-object relationship.”

By Isao Koseki, balance trainer, Himo-tore inventor and teacher of Chinese martial arts “HanShiYiQuan”