Summer festivals are a really important part of the Japanese calendar. Each occasion is a great opportunity to celebrate the country’s culture, enjoy warm evenings with friends, and get stuck into some of the freshly cooked food on offer (or fresh from the freezer, if you’re eating kakigori).
Festivals are also a time for both visitors and locals to switch up their image by arriving in kimono, or more likely the less time consuming and more comfortable yukata, which are basically just fancier pyjamas.
This casual cotton clothing may have an impressively long history, but it’s no secret that Japan’s soft spot for tradition is rivalled by a love of modern pop culture, and nothing is safe from the country’s desire to mix them together to create something new. If I remind you just how popular Disney is over here, you might see where I’m going with this.
If you guessed Disney themed yukata – you’d be correct! The global entertainment powerhouse announced plans to release two Yukata designs, along with other brand new summer accessories.
Each of the yukata follows a specific theme, so we’ll take a look at the Mickey Mouse edition first. Rather than grabbing your attention, the outfit keeps things fairly reserved with a light but traditional style. It’s only upon closer inspection you’ll start to notice the iconic Mickey Mouse symbol linked within the checked pattern, which has been finished with a scattering of plum blossoms. Just as Disney Japan says, the yukata manages to present a kawaii style while staying subtle enough to suit adults.
Personally, it’s the second style of yukata which gets my vote. This version has been designed around one of the most popular Disney films in Japan, the bizarre vision of Lewis Carroll turned quirky cartoon, Alice in Wonderland. The film has always been charming but a little eerie, and the midnight navy blue of the yukata works rather nicely with this pattern.
Set against the darker background are more vividly coloured butterflies and flowers (which you may notice are looking back at you). Alice herself hides a little deeper as a silhouette in the background, and you’ll have to peer more closely still to find an image of the infamously immaterial Cheshire cat.
The Yukata for women are both 10,890円, but if you’re interested in completing the look keep an eye on the Disney website to check out the fans and handbaskets – coming soon!
We’ve talked about the adults, but there’s three brand new children’s yukata too. The Little Mermaid and Frozen inspired designs for girls are focusing on a cuter image, with pink and pastel blue colours for Ariel and similar design but a different character for the second yukata, where Elsa is surrounded by icy blue and mauve snowflakes.
Finally, for the younger boys, there’s a male style yukata printed with Toy Story characters in hexagonal black and white. Costing 3,850円 it’s a little cheaper than the girls’ editions, which are set slightly higher at 4,950円.
The children’s sets have already been released, but you’ll have to wait until June 9th for the adult yukata to be available.
These will be perfect for festivals, visiting Tokyo Disney Sea or simply wearing as basically just fancier pajamas!
For more informaton and to purchase, check out the Disney Japan Shop (Japanese):