Yukata VS Jinbei

Some of you may be familiar with yukata (浴衣) due to its close resemblance to kimono (着物), or perhaps because you have worn one during your onsen (hot spring) trip in Japan. But how about jinbei (甚平)? Are they the same thing? How are they different? When do you wear them?




In this article, we are going to answer all the questions you may have about these amazing Japanese traditional clothes, yukata and jinbeiAs a bonus, we will also share with you where and how you can get your own set of yukata or jinbei (or both!) at a cheap and affordable price, directly from Japan. So, make sure you read until the end!



Are kimono and yukata the same?

No, kimono and yukata are two different types of clothing that serve different purposes. However, they are related. While kimono has several layers, mainly used in formal settings such as wedding ceremonies, and is more difficult to wear; yukata, on the other hand, has only one layer, mainly worn in a more casual setting and is a lot easier to wear. Nowadays, yukata is most often worn at summer festivals; or as loungewear at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn (usually with hot spring) all over Japan. Apart from that, a complete set of yukata is way cheaper than a kimono-set.


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A man in a kimono (source: Instagram)


How are they related, you might wonder. To put it simply, yukata is a simplified version of kimono. In fact, some people refer to yukata as the summer kimono.

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How different is yukata from jinbei?

Very different. Historically, yukata was mostly worn by the nobles in the Heian period (year 794 to 1185) in Japan. As mentioned earlier, yukata was modified from kimono. In those days, kimono was formal wear that was worn daily. However, putting on a kimono was not easy and almost impossible to be done alone. Also, it was not particularly comfortable to move around in a kimono. Even breathing and eating were a struggle when one was wearing a kimono. Therefore, yukata was introduced as a type of clothing people wore when relaxing at home after taking a bath.

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 An elegant man in yukata (source: Instagram)


Meanwhile, jinbei was originated from jinbaori (陣羽織), a combat dress for samurai in the Sengoku period (the year 1467 to 1615). As jinbaori was meant to be worn during a battle, it was easy to wear, to take off, and to move around in. Unnecessary details or accessories were gotten rid of. Jinbei was the commoners' version of this clothing, and it consisted of two parts, the top and the bottom, just the same as the jinbei that we see nowadays. 

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 A man in a striped jinbei (source: Instagram)

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When do you wear yukata and jinbei?

Summer festivals. Although back in those days, yukata and jinbei were commonly worn as loungewear by the nobles and the commoners, respectively; nowadays, they are more popular among youngsters and kids to wear during summer festivals. Some older generations, however, still wear jinbei as everyday clothing. 

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Yukata VS Jinbei

Now, to the showdown! Which one is better, yukata or jinbei? Which one should you wear, yukata or jinbei? Well, unfortunately (or fortunately), there is no right answer. It depends on many different factors such as your mood on that particular day, or what kind of looks you wish to achieve.


The three main silhouettes for men's styles (source: https://clubd.co.jp/wp/post-6460 )


Based on the list of silhouettes above, yukata belongs to the Y-silhouette, wide on the top and it goes narrower down to the bottom. This look creates an elegant and stylish vibe.  Apart from the fact that yukata is made up of just one piece of cloth; since it is often paired with a traditional wooden sandal, geta (下駄), wearing a yukata makes the wearer inevitably move in a more careful manner, thus making one seem more graceful. Besides, the long design of yukata actually helps to make the wearer look taller. So, if you are lacking in the height department, yukata is definitely a good choice!


Jinbei, on the other hand, is more recommended if you are feeling wild and playful. The A-silhouette that jinbei belongs to is said to be capable of making the wearer look manly. The short pants allow one to move freely. And as opposed to yukata that is usually worn with a pair of geta, the footwear for when you don a jinbei is not fixed so you can just rock your favorite sneakers and it won't seem weird at all! 


One great thing that both yukata and jinbei share is the fact that they are rather loose-cutting, so anyone regardless of body types can wear them and look absolutely stunning.

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Where can I get yukata and jinbei?

You might not know this, but you can actually get your own set of yukata and jinbei directly from Japan at a cheap and affordable price! In average, a pretty decent yukata and jinbei can be bought at 2000 yen (around 20 USD) from many of the Japanese online marketplaces such as Rakuten Japan, Yahoo! Shopping Japan, ZOZOTOWN and Amazon Japan.


However, most of them do not offer international shipping, which is why you should use ZenMarket! We have integrated Rakuten Japan, Yahoo! Auctions Japan, and Amazon Japan's websites into our own site, so you can access them directly without the hassle of having to register a separate account for each of those sites. Plus, you don't have to know Japanese as the sites are automatically translated. All you need is a ZenMarket account, and you can add items from different Japanese online stores in one cart. 


※Read a complete step-by-step guide on how to use ZenMarket here.


Check out cheap and affordable yukata and jinbei from the following Japanese online marketplaces:


i) Rakuten Japan

Buy Yukata From Rakuten Japan

Buy Jinbei From Rakuten Japan



ii) Yahoo! Shopping Japan

Buy Yukata From Yahoo! Shopping

Buy Jinbei From Yahoo! Shopping



iii) Amazon Japan

 Buy Yukata From Amazon Japan

Buy Jinbei From Amazon Japan




ZOZOTOWN is the largest fashion online marketplace in Japan.

Although their website is not integrated into ZenMarket website, you can make a purchase via our service simply by copying the item URL and pasting it onto your ZenMarket shopping cart!


Buy Yukata From ZOZOTOWN

Buy Jinbei From ZOZOTOWN 

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We hope we've helped you understand more about yukata and jinbei

So, which one are you gonna get? Yukata, jinbei, or both?


About ZenMarket Japan

“Most Japanese online retailers don’t ship internationally, but we solve this problem. We buy, consolidate and ship Japanese goods to your address. Our goal is to make buying Japanese goods online as smooth as possible. We have integrated the biggest Japanese online shopping websites: Rakuten, Amazon, and Yahoo! Auctions. You can also make purchases from any other Japanese online shop or auction with us. Just add an item URL from the desired product page to the cart and place the order.” — From the website about section.


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Article| 03/03/2020 | FashionJapanese Culture