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28391gores and gussets

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  • Dean Wayland
    Oct 3, 2012
      Greetings All,

      Hopefully someone here can help me settle a discussion that I am having
      about the use of gussets in the making of hakama.

      Did the Japanese use gores (triangles) and gussets (squares and diamonds) as
      in western clothes making?

      The only real examples of something similar that I have seen were a crotch
      panel between the legs of a couple of pairs of period hakama that I was
      lucky enough to examine in a museum and a private collection . In both cases
      this was a piece of fabric about 3 to 4 inches wide and long enough to go
      from the centre back to the centre of the front at the waist, passing
      beneath the groin. In one case it was sewn on both sides, thus sealing the
      hakama, while the other had two such panels that overlapped each other and
      were held closed by a button at the centre bottom. This latter pair were
      kobakama and as I understand it, were supposedly intended for use by a
      warrior in armour, allowing him to relieve himself without taking his kit

      Apart from manuscript evidence, the only other images I have that show the
      crotch panel in a pair of hakama, is in "The Armour Book In HONCHO GUNKIKO"
      edited by H. R. Russell Robinson, Plate XXIX between pages 104 and 105.
      However it is unclear if these are of the closed or open style with
      overlapping panels.

      In the files section Tony (Effingham) has an old pattern for hakama with a
      square/diamond shaped gusset at the crotch, this is what my opponent is
      arguing in favour of. But apart from that pattern and others on the web,
      which look like they have copied his, I can find no evidence for this

      To date we have been making all our hakama with this straight narrow insert
      between the legs. It normally is hidden behind folds, and the garments lay
      absolutely flat when folded, something the one pair we have with a gusset in

      Does anyone have any evidence for how the two legs of hakama were joined
      together, or are we all still making a best guess?

      All the best


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