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Kanji, Kana & Pronunciation
Kimono kurotomesode 01.jpg
Romaji Kurotomesode
Kanji 黒留袖
Kana くろとめそで
Audio Coming Soon

Kurotomesode (also itsutsu montsuki susomoyo tomesode (five-crested, bottom-patterned short sleeves)) are the most formal kimono along with their coloured counterparts, irotomesode.


  • Solid black base.
  • No rinzu.
  • 5 dyed kamon.
  • Pattern sweeping across the lower half of body.
  • No patterns on upper body or sleeve.
  • Modern kurotomesode can come with hiyoku attached.
  • Antique kurotomesode may come with original white kasane layer that is either solid white or has a repeat of the kurotomesode pattern.

While antique kurotomesode often come with a variety of season specific motifs, in modern times, these items are typically worn for weddings and other happy celebrations. As such, the motifs are now often multi-seasonal and auspicious, so a woman will only have to invest in one.

Kuro Tomesode Examples

Formality & TPO

Kurotomesode are the most formal kimono worn by married women. At events at the Imperial Palace, the wearing of kurotomesode is forbidden due to the old vestige of black being an inauspicious colour. Due to their extreme formality, usually the only place they are worn in modern times are at weddings by the mothers of the bride and groom.

Modern Takes on Kurotomesode

As fashion in Japan around kimono moves to a combination of modern and traditional, it is common to see kurotomesode made into dresses. Variations include a two-piece straight skirt made from the suso of the kimono paired with a western style jacket, a dress made with the kimono paired with a sheer top, or a dress top made with the decorated part of the kimono paired with a ruffly black skirt with one of the kamon here and there.

TPO - Within Japan

Occasion Acceptable
Hotel Wedding Reception Yes
Restaurant Wedding Reception Yes
Formal Party No
Casual Party No
Dinner No
Lunch No
Tea Gathering No
Graduation Ceremony No
Practice No
Theatre, Concert No
Exhibition No
Travel No
Yes - Acceptable to wear.
OK - OK to wear if no suitable alternatives.
No - Unacceptable to wear.

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Authors & Contributors

Author/s: # (# (IG Username))

Contributors: Evan Mason (hikari_evyon (IG Username))