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TPO Japan

TPO stands for "Time, Place, Occasion". Kimono publications commonly include a TPO chart or table to assist wearers with determining what type of kimono would be appropriate for certain events.

Ensemble Planning Considerations

When planning to wear kimono to an event in Japan, there are several things to consider, other than the TPO guidelines:

  • will other people be wearing kimono
  • will those people be non-Japanese
  • will there be Japanese people who know about kimono culture in attendance
  • who the event is for
  • if wearing kimono would upstage the host/hostess
  • what kitsuke items you have in your collection
  • if a foreigner wearing a kimono would cause a bit of a commotion/draw eyes away from the host


In general, being a foreigner gains you a little bit of leeway when in Japan. They are often more astounded that you are wearing a kimono properly that they can overlook seasonality or formality issues. When in doubt, err on the more casual side (so as not to upstage the host(ess)).

TPO Chart

TPO - Within Japan

Occasion Furisode Kurotomesode Irotomesode Formal
Houmongi
Casual
Houmongi
Formal
Tsukesage
Casual
Tsukesage
Iromuji Edo Komon Komon Tsumugi
(Houmongi)
Tsumugi
(Muji)
Tsumugi
(Kasuri, Shima)
Hotel Wedding Reception Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OK No No No
Restaurant Wedding Reception Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OK OK No
Formal Party Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OK OK OK No
Casual Party OK No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OK
Dinner OK No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OK No
Lunch No No No No OK No OK Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OK
Tea Party Yes No OK Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OK OK Yes No
Graduation Ceremony No No No OK Yes OK Yes Yes Yes Yes OK OK OK
Practice No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes OK Yes Yes
Theatre, Concert OK No No OK Yes OK Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OK
Exhibition OK No No OK Yes OK Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Travel No No No No No No No OK OK Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes - Acceptable to wear.
OK - OK to wear, providing you have no suitable alternatives.
No - Unacceptable to wear.

This table has been translated from Utsukushiikimono by claw789 (IG Username)


Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions


Authors & Contributors

Author/s: Erica Pai (Iyolin (IG Username))

Contributors: Naomi Graham Hormozi (Immortal Geisha (IG Username))