Let it not be said that SoraNews24’s reporters don’t push the limits of speedy kimono suit-ups.

Our Japanese language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was strolling around when he came across this intriguing poster.

“A kimono you can put on in 29 seconds flat!”

Now, Masanuki is no expert on kimono. He would be the first to admit as much! But this poster had given him pause for thought. 29 seconds is an incredibly short amount of time to get dressed, period. The notoriously complicated process for entombing oneself in layers of silk kimono fabric should take far longer than that, surely? Furthermore, the poster boasted that it was so easy to put on that “anyone could do it”. Anyone! Anyone including Masanuki.

When he called the proprietor of the shop responsible for these snappy posters, Masanuki received a grim call to reality: the 29-second kimono was expressly for women. However, he convinced the shop owner to let him try one on in the interests of fashion, journalism and possibly science as well. He would test whether or not he could wear one in 29 seconds or not, and put the poster’s claims to the test!

So it was that Masanuki came to the town of Sue in Fukuoka prefecture, to the door of a clothes store called Shitateya Jingoro. This chain of clothes stores has many outlets throughout Kyushu, and the store in Sue was actually right on the verge of a relocation as he visited. From March 19 this store would operate out of Yume Town in Hakata instead.

▼ This is why there are discount signs posted everywhere.

The 29-second kimono is something of a point of pride at Shitateya Jingoro, hence the tasteful border of posters extolling its incredible speed.

“It takes only nine seconds to put on this kimono! 29 seconds with the obi sash tied!”

What an incredible claim! Masanuki noted that it was very difficult to do almost anything of note in nine seconds, so his expectations were piled high. Still, his initial challenge was why he was here: could he dress himself in this kimono, obi sash and all, in 29 seconds or less?

That seemed to be the case when he asked the staff. You see, Shitateya Jingoro’s approach to kimono does away with the fancy dressing, the restrictive shapes, the maintenance and repair and preservation that goes with classic kimono. Instead, their kimono are treated more like garments for everyday wear.

▼ The shop assistant kindly modeled a kimono for Masanuki’s benefit.

Easy to put on and remove, easy to wash, easy to move in — and Shitateya Jingoro’s kimono also come in a wide array of beautiful designs, including custom patterns!

But now for the main event: the time trial itself. In order for Masanuki to challenge the kimono on its own terms, he would need to know how to put it on. Thankfully, the trusty shop assistant was on hand to demonstrate in a series of easy steps.

▼ First, tie the inner string. Be careful not to tie it so tight that you can’t undo it, and ruin the kimono!

▼ Then the outer string. Again, even when being speedy, make sure you don’t mess up the knot!

▼ Then the final act: wrap the obi sash around, tie its string, and tuck the whole thing inside the obi to hide it.

▼ Ta-dah!

And now, for Masanuki to try!

▼ Ah, right. It’s a women’s kimono, so the sizing is all off.

▼ Also, winding the sash around and tying it tight is much harder when you haven’t practiced it.

When attempting this challenge, Masanuki was plagued with many trials and tribulations, like being an entirely wrong build for the kimono’s intended wearer and wondering at various points why he was trying to dress himself in a woman’s kimono within a strict time limit. But through perseverance, he triumphed!

And the timer says…

▼ Masanuki dressed himself well within 29 seconds!

He actually came in well under the 29 second target, with a second and several milliseconds to spare. Congratulations, Masanuki!

▼ He captured the heart-pounding process on video for all to witness.

Of course, the store sells regular kimono and provides rentals too. Shitateya Jingoro has all your kimono needs covered, unless you’re specifically in the market for a kimono in official Disney print.

Images © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]