Hakama

by Ayumi Mito Hakama is probably best known as traditional piece of samurai clothing and as a part of keikogi or training uniform worn in Japanese martial arts such as Kendo, Iaido, Kyudo, and Aikido. Samurai had to wear a long hakama when visiting Shogun castle. This holds back the ability to walk or doing fast shikko (the knee-walking that we practice in Aikido). This helped preventing a surprise attack or assassination attempt. History of Hakama The history of hakama dates back to the third century. Some clay figures excavated from early Japanese gravesites (250AD - 538 AD), are wearing hakama. "Hakama" used to mean any type of baggy pair of pants and skirt-like bottom wear in Japanese.  The word appears in the Japanese creation myths described in Kojiki, the oldest surviving book in Japan (712 AD). The type of hakama used in Aikido appears much later in the 12th century when theBushi (warriors) started to rule the country.  The hakama originally worn bybushi/samurai was divided like trousers, tied at the...
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