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  • Japanese: 直垂 (hita tare)

Hitatare was one standard style of samurai dress. It consisted of two pieces: a long-sleeved jacket, and hakama trouser-skirt.

The upper-body portion of the hitatare is open down the front and the sides; the sleeves are attached only halfway down the body, and are free below that. It has an open neck, unlike the standing collar of the kariginu. It originated as commoner garb in the Heian period, but was sometimes worn by courtiers over their other clothes, for warmth. Already thus present within the repertoire of court garb, the hitatare was then adopted by the Taira clan and others at the end of the Heian period, as these samurai clans adopted more aristocratic practices. Within a relatively short time, by some point in the early Kamakura period, the hitatare had spread widely among both courtiers and samurai. Its large sleeves made it more impressive than what had been standard for samurai previously, and by some point in the 13th century, the hitatare became truly the standard samurai outfit.

Though generally worn by both courtiers and samurai as everyday wear, by the Muromachi period, it had become formalwear for samurai, and had come to be worn in more lavish materials and patterns within the Kyoto court. Tall tate eboshi were typically worn with the hitatare up into the Kamakura period; from the Muromachi period onward, it became more typical to wear folded, or flatter, ori eboshi with the hitatare.

In the 1710s, shogunal advisor Arai Hakuseki worked to make the shogun's court more kingly, or aristocratic, and had the practice of wearing hitatare replaced by the wearing of nôshi for a variety of particular occasions. The nôshi was worn by courtiers and emperors when the hitatare was still commoner garb, and so even as late as the Edo period, it still bore a stronger connotation of aristocracy or royalty.[1]


  • Anthony Bryant, "Japanese Garb," SengokuDaimyo.com. Last modified 4 Jan 2015.
  1. Kate Wildman Nakai, Shogunal Politics: Arai Hakuseki and the Premises of Tokugawa Rule, Harvard East Asian Monographs (1988), 191.