Houmongi ( 訪問着 )

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The houmongi is ranked just below the furisode and the tomesode in formality, so it can be worn by both married and unmarried women as a formal kimono.

From the end of the Taisho period to the beginning of the Showa period, the houmongi was often worn to formal occasions, and it became an alternative to formal Western clothing.

It can be worn to formal social events such as wedding ceremonies, parties, miai (meeting for an arranged marriage) and engagement parties.

There are formal houmongi kimonos made of chirimen (crepe), rinzu (satin) or mon isho with the design dyed on using the traditional kyo-yuzen or the kaga-yuzen technique, and decorated with elaborate or gold embroidery. For an elegant outfit, it is recommended to wear the kimono with a Nishikiori or Tsuzure obi tied in a nijuudaiko musubi (double layer taiko). A kimono made of pongee or one with a simpler pattern can be worn in a more relaxed style with a Nagoya obi.

To ensure that a complete design can be seen when a houmongi is opened up, the fabric is stitched into the shape of a kimono, and the same fabric is used for the hakkake (parts of the lining that can be seen). Unlike a tsukesage, the design on a houmongi extends across the seams of the kimono, and it is usually sold in the shape of a kimono instead of a tan-mono (fabric roll).

[quote style=”boxed”]In Japanese