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Japanese culture is one of the oldest in existence. More and more people are taking interest in its culture and traditional practices. One such traditional Japanese thing is Geta sandals. If you have heard of them or are trying to get some information about this wonderful footwear from the old Japanese era or shop the collection of Japanese geta sandals, then you are at the right place. Here’s everything that you need to know about Geta sandals.

What exactly are the Geta sandals?

Geta sandals, as mentioned, are traditional Japanese footwear. They bear a great deal of resemblance to wooden clogs or today’s flip flops. They are just like sandals but are different in some key aspects. For starters, unlike regular sandals which have their sole touching the ground, Geta sandals are elevated off the ground.

Flip flops, sandals, and most types of casual footwear are made up of some kind of plastic or fiber. However, these traditional sandals were made of wood to give them quite the sturdiness. The feet in the sandals are made to stay with conventional methods. Generally, a thin piece of cloth or fabric placed in between the toes runs to the edge of your foot. This cloth strap is known as a Hanao.

These sandals often come in various varieties and sizes. While most of the sandals have two teeth that help with the elevation part, some Geta, precisely the Tengu-geta, consists of only one sole that is placed in the middle of the sandal.

A brief history of the origin of Geta sandals

Geta sandals were recorded in a neolithic archaeological site near Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. The date of the record dates back to the Liangzhu culture which was around 3400-2250 BCE.

In the Heian period of Japan, Geta sandals were used to prevent Yukatas from getting dirty in mud or snow as the elevation helped them avoid anything on the floor. These sandals were also very common among sushi chefs as they made them easier to stay away from food scraps. Priests in Japan were also seen wearing geta sandals with only one ha, to help them climb mountains.

A special version of Geta sandals known as Koma-geta was also used by a group called the oiran. The special thing about Koma-geta sandals, also known as Mitsu-ashi, was that they had three legs as opposed to one or two in the usual geta. The Oiran were a group of courtesans who were at a higher ranking than everyone else.

How are Geta worn and used today?

They became a fashion trend in Japan in the late 90s. They were a hit among young girls as they were attracted by the increased height of the sole. Geta sandals are most commonly used for the thing they were first designed for, that is, to safeguard traditional Japanese clothing like Yukata and Kimono. The Japanese also wear Geta in the summer with plain western clothing.

Apart from the usual use, Geta is mostly used by sumo wrestlers. Geta sandals are used as a sign to show a person’s achievement in wrestling. While new recruiters only wear Geta sandals, people who have proven themselves worthy wear Seta, another Japanese footwear.

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