I hope my clothespin fu is strong

The biggest bitch of wearing hakama, other than getting the tab thing in the back into your obi, is the whole pleat situation. There are seven pleats in hakama (five in the front, two in the back), representing seven virtues of bushido; which, according to whatever list you happen to find, or what goes for acceptable in your dojo, can be any of the following: Yuki (courage, valour), Jin (humanity, benevolence), Gi (justice, righteousness), Rei (courtesy, civility), Makoto (sincerity, honesty), Chugi (loyalty), Meiyo (honour, dignity). Chi (wisdom, intellect), Shin (sincerity), Chu (loyalty), and Koh (piety).

See, here’s the thing – if you can’t find some magic that will miraculously keep the pleats in your hakama, they will eventually come out, especially after you wash them. You can add stitches in here and there to help keep the pleats, and after they’re dry you can iron the pleats back into place if you can find where they were, but it’s the whole washing/drying situation that’s the problem.

I found a little trick online a while back; where, after washing his hakama by hand (which I have just done, along with my keikogi), the gentleman in question squeeze-pleated the wet hakama for each pleat – from top to bottom – with his fingers, then used clothespins to hold the pleats in place at the hem until they dry. If you’re lucky, you won’t need to iron them back in after that, but if you do, it’s not difficult, just a pain in the ass incongruous-wise.


Addendum: Looks like it worked a treat!

2016 01 03 - 09:01