Japanese wooden shoes: description and features, photos

Japanese wooden shoes: description and features, photos
Japanese wooden shoes: description and features, photos

At the beginning of the 21st century, interest in the cultures of the countries of the East, including Japan, has greatly increased. Original art and dissimilar traditions attract the attention of European society and Russia. Traditions can be attributed to completely different aspects of the life of the people. One of the most understandable and close, and at the same time historically meaningful, can be considered the features of ethnic clothing and footwear. Traditional Japanese shoes are quite diverse. Of particular interest to modern people is wooden shoes. She will be discussed.

Classification of traditional Japanese shoes

As in many traditional cultures, the type of clothing and footwear depends on geographical and climatic conditions. So, in Japan, there are two directions for the development of shoe craft:

1. Southern (southern China and southeast Asia) - wooden and wicker shoes with one interdigital loop (between 1 and2 fingers).

2. Northern (northern China and North Korea) - resemble shoes that completely cover the feet.

And the name of Japanese wooden shoes is of particular interest to both specialists and ordinary people.

Medieval ancestor

The very first historically established type of footwear that has been identified are waraji and warazori - "slippers", reminiscent of Russian bast shoes. The engravings of the medieval Japanese poet and artist U. Kuniyoshi helped to establish this fact. The images show that such shoes were worn by Japanese samurai.

Waradzori was woven from linen fibers, rags, tree bark, etc. They had poor wear resistance and were very cheap. As a rule, commoners wore warazori and had a sufficient supply of pairs of shoes.

Waradzori were made in standard sizes, so the owner's foot could hang both in front and behind the sole. The shape of the sole was oval. In a pair of sandals, they were not divided into right and left, they did not have a heel, sides and toe as such. Fastened on the leg with a traditional loop and ties.

Waraji were made from straw. They were more durable, and therefore they were preferred not only by samurai, but also by monks with travelers. The bottom sole was reinforced completely or partially with leather, straw plaits and even a metal plate.

For those who moved a lot and actively, it was important that in addition to the toe loop, waraji had additional side loops - ti and a heel loop with a bow - kayoshi. Through the loopslaces were skipped, which fixed the foot on the sole like a side.

There are two types of waraji:

  • etsuji - with four loops;
  • mutsuji - with five loops.

Kanjiki can also be considered a variation of wicker shoes - lattices made of woven fibers or straw, which were tied with laces to the soles of sandals so that the feet would not fall into the snow.

Snowshoe replacement

Japanese geta shoes

This type of wooden shoes is one of the basic and most popular models for Japanese women. Traditionally, geta are Japanese shoes for walking on the street. It was invented about two centuries ago. Its other name is "bench". This is due to the peculiarities of its shape: a flat horizontal bar is fixed on two bars-columns, and is attached to the leg with straps or ribbons like the well-known flip flops. Geta are male and female.

Geta made of wood

For men's sandals, as a rule, expensive woods and a shape different from women's models are used.

Women's sandals have several varieties:

  • square toe;
  • sloping down toe (nomeri).

These sandals didn't fit well. The foot did not have a secure position on the platform. This is clearly seen in the wooden shoes shown in the photo. And besides, this type of shoe was quite heavy. In order to keep herself and not lose her "slipper", Japanese women had to move slowly and in small frequentstep by step. This is how the traditional soaring-minching gait of Japanese women was formed in culture. Japanese geta were complemented by narrow kimono, which also fettered the step.

Geisha shoes

Traditionally, both men's and women's wooden Japanese shoes of this type are put on special white cotton socks, which have a separate thumb. Everyone except geisha wore tabi socks.

White "socks"

There is another amazing detail for the geta - a special waterproof cap-cap for the bow, made of waterproof material and attached with laces to the heel. It is usually used in case of bad weather.

According to the purpose and manufacturing features, they are distinguished:

  • nikkoi-geta;
  • ta-geta;
  • yanagi-geta - household shoes made of wicker for geishas;
  • pokkuri-geta - luxurious, exquisitely and expensively decorated shoes for aristocratic girls;
  • kiri-geta - dark color with "teeth" and flat geta for men;
  • hieri-geta - often leather-covered male geta with fine teeth;
  • sukeroku-geta - have an oval sole with a bevel in the toe area and one prong, used in the Kabuki theater;
  • tetsu-geta - iron geta, fastened with a chain, for training ninjas and wrestlers;
  • sukeeto-geta - a kind of "skates" for skating on ice, in which blades or wire are attached instead of bar teeth.

There are many names of Japanese wooden shoes. And all of them sound unusual for Europeans andintriguing.


This modification was created specifically for mountainous areas where Japanese monasteries are located and there is snow. So that the feet do not slip, do not freeze, and their position is stable, they combined two types of shoes: geta and zori. A woven zori sole was attached to a variant of the wooden sole of the geta, forming a platform at the toe and a wide heel-like bar under the heel. The laces are fastened in the toe area and on the sides in such a way that they are not threaded through the entire thickness of the sole and are not attached to the sides, but are sewn between the straw sole and the wooden platform. These sandals are cool in the heat and warm in the cold.

nikkoi geta


This type of Japanese wooden shoes existed 2 thousand years ago. Farmers working in the flooded areas harvesting rice needed to protect their feet from moisture and injury. Therefore, the easiest way was to tie boards to the feet. They were tied to the leg, passing the cords through special holes. This type of footwear was not light and elegant, and with dirt adhering to it, it became unbearable at all. To control them, special ropes were used. And for work at sea, they put on a kind of ta-get - nori-get, which had two tiers. Large stones were tied to the bottom so that a person could move along the bottom and not float up. And after World War II, the Japanese wore o-ashi, a type of ta-geta.


This type of Japanese shoe is a type of pokkuri geta. It is designed for apprentice geishas and is a pair of high heels.outsole with a bevelled toe angle. Their height fluctuated around 14 cm. However, the highest rank geisha wore very high okobos, such that it was almost impossible to move without outside help. The advantage of this type of shoes was that they could, without getting their feet dirty, move through a rather serious mud layer. But if we recall the peculiarities of the climatic conditions of Japan, then numerous rivers, often overflowing their banks, carry with them a lot of dirt, which they leave behind when they go back to their course.


This type of Japanese wooden shoes is shown in the photo. It is very similar to the geta. It used to be made only from wood, but now a variety of materials are used to make zori: from straw to synthetic plastics. The main feature that distinguishes zori from geta is the presence of a large thickening of the platform at the heel and its almost complete absence in the toe area. Zori are quite comfortable and practical shoes and are suitable for everyday wear. However, modern Japanese women, since we are talking about the female form of Japanese wooden shoes, prefer to wear soft shoes in everyday life, and wear traditional sandals only on special occasions.

Zori wicker

At its core, zori are modernized waraji. Japanese warriors wore asinaka, a type of zori without heels. The toes and heel stick out of the sole.


The name of this Japanese wooden shoe can be found out by studying the information about zori. Turned out these sandals were trickyconstructions are a variety of them. The difficulty lies in the fact that the sole has several layers:

  • top - woven from bamboo;
  • lower - sheathed in leather;
  • heel;
  • the bottom of the heel is a metal plate.


Medieval Japanese woodcuts from the 18th century show another type of Japanese footwear. It does not apply to varieties of wooden shoes. These are woven silk shoes for noble ladies and girls from aristocratic families.


Tabi has already been mentioned above as socks worn under geta or sometimes under zori. However, the Japanese consider tabi as a separate type of footwear, not wooden, but made of cotton. The tabi has a strap hole that makes it very comfortable to wear.

A variation of the tabi, the jiko-tabi, is more like a shoe, as here a rubber sole joins the traditional tabi. These shoes allow you to walk without other shoes, even on wet soil. In addition, jiko-tabi do not allow slipping when working on slippery surfaces, as they have special grooves on the sole that help to provide better grip for the toes.

Japanese shoes

Japanese indoor shoes

Changing shoes at the entrance to a Japanese home is a long and very enduring tradition in Japanese culture. Instead, national variants of slippers are used. A long time ago, the Japanese at home did not use shoes at all - they walked barefoot. Over time, they began to use white socks as home shoes.tabi.

And later came surippa. Soft indoor shoes, which act as slippers, are very loved by the Japanese. She gives them a feeling of peace and tranquility, coziness and comfort.

Shoes for home

One of the varieties of surippa is toire surippa or in other words - "toilet slippers". They are put on instead of surippa at the entrance to the toilet or bathroom. They are made of plastic or rubber, and sometimes sheathed with a soft cloth on top.

There is another type of once popular Japanese indoor shoes - shitsunaibaki. Most often they are used in the cold season, as they are made from very dense cotton or wool. Outwardly, they resemble socks. Similar socks were previously used for training in martial arts.

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