Josei shinshoku shozoku (女性神職装束)

Josei shinshoku shozoku are costumes for female Shinto priests, which appeared after the Second World War. They don't include costumes for miko or maihime (shrine maidens) because they are not Shinto priests.

This section introduces the costumes based on the dress code for female Shinto priests enacted by Jinja Honcho (The Association of Shinto Shrines) in 1987. The costumes based on the old code are only briefly explained.

Transition of costumes for female Shinto priests

Although keiko (a type of female formal outfit: a set of kiribakama (a instep-length Japanese skirt) and uchigi (or uchiki, a Japanese garment worn mostly inside a coat)) for formal attire, white keiko or suikan (a non-starched garment worn ordinarily in ancient Japan) for ceremonial attire, and suikan for everyday attire were provided in the old code enacted in 1946, the new code was published in 1987 because it was very difficult to move wearing keiko despite its gorgeousness, which has continued to this day.

The present costumes are a combination of uneme shozoku (costumes for lower-level court ladies) and keiko, so it is easy to move wearing them.
(described in the paragraph below)

However, suikan in the old code is still used and it is worn with its hem hanging out like male's kariginu (an informal garment worn by court nobles). It looks like kariginu having a ribbon around the neck, with its collar fastened by lacing up.

A costume called 'onna kariginu' (female's kariginu) in which the collar of kariginu is tailored in kimono's uchiawase (overlapping) style is also widely used these days.

The code provided in 1987

Formal attire (regarded as ceremonial attire when it makes a pure-white ensemble)

Kamiage no gu (a set of hair ornaments): Saishi (the same sort of hair ornament worn by female dolls displayed at the Girls' Festival), kokoroba (a kind of artificial flower) (only for formal attire), and hikage no ito (a hair ornament hanging plaited threads)
Karaginu (a waist-length robe worn at the top): No color is provided, however, futaeorimono (a fabric with another pattern woven from other threads on a patterned fabric) (sha (gauze) in summer) is used for nikyu (the fourth level of status of Shinto priests) and above, with mon (a pattern) woven by nuitoriori (a weave with which another pattern is woven on a patterned fabric as if it is embroidered). Patterned katajiaya (a thick and hard twilled fabric with a clear pattern) (monsha (patterned gauze) in summer) for sankyu (the fifth level of status) and yonkyu (the sixth level of status). Omigoromo (a ceremonial coat used for Shinto rites) is sometimes worn on it in major ceremonies.

Uwagi (a robe worn inside karaginu): No color is provided. A twilled fabric with a pattern woven on it (neriusu (a silk fabric woven from raw silk and glossed silk), nuitori or kenmonsha (gauze with a clear pattern) in summer) for tokkyu (the first level of status) and ikkyu (the second level of status), patterned aya (a twilled fabric) (neriusu or kenmonsha in summer) for nikyu-jo (the third level of status) and nikyu, patterned aya (kenmonsha in summer) for sankyu and yonkyu.

Hitoe (a single layer of kimono): Deep red aya with a light green lining. It is patterned with Saiwaibishi (auspicious diamonds).

Kiribakama: Short hakama; white kataorimono (a fabric woven tightly) patterned with fujimarumonyo (wisteria medallions) for tokkyu. Purple kataorimono patterned with fujimarumonyo for ikkyu. Purple kataorimono patterned with fujimarumonyo tomoyoko (woven from the same thickness of the warp and woof) for nikyu-jo. Purple hiraginu (or heiken, plain silk) for nikyu. Pale blue hiraginu for sankyu and yonkyu in the same way.

Ogi (a folding fan): About twenty-six-centimeter-long hiogi (a wooden fan) built of sixteen bridges painted with pigments such as gofun (whiting used in traditional Japanese style painting). Six-colored (white) decorative lace.

Tatogami (pieces of paper kept inside the bosom): Deep red torinokogami (smooth and glossy Japanese paper). Kutsu (shoes): Asagutsu (shallow shoes worn by court nobles). Patterned white aya is used for the insoles for ikkyu and above. White hiraginu is used for nikyu-jo and below.

Everyday attire

Nukaate (a forehead protector): Nukaate made of black sha.

Uwagi: karaginu is omitted. Aya, thin neriginu (glossy silk), nuitoriori, kenmon no sha, or hiraginu for ikkyu and above. Nuitoriori is omitted for nikyu-jo and nikyu. Thin neriginu is also omitted for sankyu and yonkyu.

Hitoe: It is the same as formal attire, however, sometimes omitted.

Kiribakama: Formal attire is applied.

Ogi: Bonboriogi (a fan, an end of which is slightly open even when folded) made of fifteen bridges
Kutsu: Formal attire is applied.

Costumes for miko

Because miko is not regarded as official Shinto priest and required any qualifications, there is no dress code for miko like that for female Shinto priests.

See the section of miko for their costumes.