Fundoshi refers to a traditional undergarment that has its origins in Japan. It is specifically designed for men. The material that is used to make this underwear is cotton. Those who support its use swear by its benefits. According to some people, this is comfortable underwear that enhances the circulation of air around the genital area.
Before the 2nd world war, this was the primary undergarment that the Japanese used to wear during the Edo period. Craftsmen, merchants, and fishmongers wore this underwear as part of their work attire. This however changed with the introduction of western styles. The Japanese market was full of new forms of underwear such as boxers and briefs after the war, and soon most males forgot about the use of the fundoshi.
How is fundoshi used?
Though the fundoshi is no longer used as the primary undergarment, it has not entirely lost its significance. It is mostly used during cultural festivals such as Matsuri. During this event, the males are expected to put on minimum clothes. They celebrate a bountiful harvest while half-naked during this event. Numerous men gather in the temple during this festival anticipating to gain luck throughout the year.
Some people also use it for swimming. Unfortunately, the youth in this country assume that the fundoshi is cumbersome to wear. They therefore rarely wear it unless under special occasions. The samurai is also known to wear this garment with armor. Sumo wrestlers also like wearing the fundoshi during matches.
Most men accompany the underwear with a short jacket which comes with straight sleeves. They wear this outfit during summer festivals and carry portable shrines. Drumming groups outside the country also put on a headband with white fundoshi.
By 2008, some people started marketing fundoshi for women. Though this has been a man's cloth for decades, some women began wearing them. The loincloths for ladies come in two designs and several colors.
The types of fundoshi
Fundoshi comes in different types. Each form has a unique design and serves a particular function. Some of the popular forms include rokushaku, mokko, etchu and kuroneko. Most people who praise this underwear prefer the most relaxed type. This is made up of a strip of cloth that goes around the hips. It can be secured at the back by either twisting or knotting it. The excess material goes between the legs and can be tucked through the belt of the cloth. It hangs like an apron from the front part.
There is also the rokushaku type which can be twisted to look like a thong from behind. This is the type that is mostly used for swimming. Male children in the past were encouraged to wear authentic cloth during swimming for safety reasons.
Etchu fundoshi is also commonly used. This comes in the form of a long rectangle cloth which contains tapes at the end. Its waist has a strip of material which is used to form a string or fastening. The material strip is used to form the fundoshi in front of the body. The fabric that remains during tying hangs like an apron on the front part.
The mokko fundoshi looks like the baskets that were traditionally used in construction. It may not form a front apron, but it contains a belt that creates a bikini effect at the back. Different materials are also used to make various forms of fundoshi. While some are made from white cotton, others are made from linen or silk. Linen is known to dry fast and has natural absorbency making it ideal for undergarments. It is not advisable to made fundoshi using plan silk.
The benefits of wearing fundoshi
Though the fundoshi may not be the easiest to wear, they are highly comfortable and beneficial to your health. Since this garment is made from a breathable material, it reduces the chances of itching or rashes as you wear it. Males that deal with constriction issues are also advised to try out fundoshi since this can eliminate such problems. The Japan Fundoshi Association was introduced to restore the love for this undergarment. The association has tried to reintroduce this garment to people and share its effectiveness through different media outlets.