Bukan Sokutai Sugata


This is the formal court wear of the military official (which is the meaning of bukan”). It was worn only by military officials of the fourth court rank and below. Men of the first through third rank wore the bunkan sokutai even if they held military appointments.

The principal garment is the
ketteki no hô.
The bukan sokutai sugata is made up of several parts.  These parts include shitozu, kosode, oguchi, akome, hitoe, shitagasane, hanpi, uwabakama, okatabira, and the ketteki no ho.  There are also various accessories that are worn with the bukan sokutai sugata.  These include kutsu, ishi no obi, hirao, tato, hiogi, shaku, hoso tachi, hirayanagui, yumi, and kanmuri.

I will be making this outfit as an A&S Competition project for the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and the individual parts of the Bukan Sokutai Sugata will be documented within this page and the pages linked at the top of this page.  I expect to take about six (6) months to sew the individual parts, and then another six (6) months to build the accessories. 

The above links are set up in the order of wear, starting with the kosode being the first item to be worn and the Ketteki no Ho being the last to be worn.

After spending a few moments looking at the above photos, there are two parts of the outfit that could become problematic, the shoes and the blue dangly belt.  The shoes, called kutsu, have solid uppers but rubber soles.  The blue dangly belt, called hirao, is made using a karakuni-dai which is a Chinese loom used to braid wide braids such as the hirao.  While it is easy to build the karakumi-dai, I have not found any instructions on how the braid is made.
What I Learned While Sewing This Outfit
  1. Never assume everything is being sewn correctly.
  2. The Ornate dangly belt, called a hirao, takes upwards of two (2) years to make.
  3. Hand sewing the Japanese way can be fun and is almost Zen like.
  4. Hand sewing the Japanese way is economy of motion at its best.
  5. Lightweight linen, while light in weight, is a bear to work with.
  6. Linen will keep whatever crease the is put in it, until it is sprayed woth water and ironed.
  7. Looking at red fabric for too long, really messes with the eyes.