All about Jinbei clothing (or Jimbei, Jimbe, or Jinbe if you prefer)

Get your Jinbei on

甚平

I love my Jinbei. I’ve owned a lot of them over the years. In summer you can’t get me out of the thing. They are just so light and airy, with their open hatched seems and light cotton/hemp fabric.

For this page, I’ve gone through and looked a lot of the Japanese language pages about Jinbei, to gather information from the source. I’ll go through a bit of a background of the garment and then show you some of my favorites.

I’ve also written about other forms of Japanese clothing including kimono shirts, male kimonos, samuehanten jackets, that may be of interest.

Jinbei 1
A typical Jinbei

There is a long history of women wearing Kimonos as Japanese nightwear stretching back to the Japonism movement in Europe. Here’s a Klimt painting of a European woman in a kimono.

Gustav_Klimt_-_Dame_mit_Fächer
Klimpt painting of woman in Kimono

Jinbei are light cotton or hemp material top and bottom pairs that are made to be airy by including hatched gaps along the stitching. The great thing about Jinbei is that they pass both as pajamas and as casual wear that can be worn outside the house. In Japan, you sometimes see people wearing these at festivals, or around hot springs. A common pattern goes: relax in hot-bath, put Jinbei on for the evening, then wear them straight to bed.These garments are designed to be super cool for hot summer nights, loose fitting and comfy.

Another option to consider if you don’t want to go the whole top & bottom set is to get a Haori style kimono shirt or wrap around.

Are Jenbei worn by both men and women?

Cotton vs. Hemp

Traditionally Jinbei have tended to be worn mostly by men and children. Recently there are a lot of designs that have been made for women also, but the more robe-like Yukata (of which Jinbei are considered to be a sub genre of) are more common. 

Many of the Jinbei are “unisex”. Indeed the only real difference between these Jinbei is the coloring and visual patterns.

Jinbei materials are roughly divided into cotton and hemp (linen), either of which may be 100% or mixed. The more cotton you have, the better it feels and the easier it is to clean.  Hemp tends to wrinkle more than cotton, but will give you a breezier feel.

Some jinbei also use Japanese paper, “washi”, as a mixing material – especially in some of the more high end examples.

Types of Jinbei Fabric

A couple of fabrics you will see in Jinbei are Shijira and Waffle. Both are relatively crepe-like fabric that are not so much soft, as light on the skin and less likely to stick to the body. 

Shijra 

Shijira features fine wrinkles created on the surface of a woven fabric by shrinking  the vertical and  horizontal thread. 

Waffle

Waffle is a kind of 3-dimensional fabric, also called “Honeycomb” which uses raised rectangular threads. The nature of the fabric creates less friction with the skin, further increasing the breezy nature of the garment.
Jinbei Shijira Fabric

When to wear Jinbei?

  • In hot weather
  • In bed as pajamas
  • Going out to a festival
  • Before and after a bath

What to wear with Jinbei?

Generally people wear open footwear with Jinbei in the form of Geta. Sandals will do the job just as well.

File:Geta.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Jinbei vs. robe style Yukata

Jinbei are a bit closer to Western style clothing than a full blown robe-style Yukata. So they are a little bit less of an overt “statement”. They are also easier to slip on and off because you don’t have to worry about tying up your obi belt.

People often accessorize with tradional, such as a kinchakubukuro bag.

File:Kinchaku Sack.jpg - Wikipedia

Now you’ve got all the info you need to embark on your quest for the perfect Jimbei. We’ve searched across the internet to find a selection across a range of outlets:

Recommended women's Jinbei

#1 Seigaha Jinbei

Women's Jinbei

Seigaha Ocean Wave Pattern Women’s Jinbei on Foxtume

Pros

  • Quality materials and craftsmanship
  • Distinctive Seigaha Pattern, at once classic and modern
  • Soft, breathable cotton
  • Aerated seams
Update: Use Discount Code “japanoscope” for  15% discount from Foxtume

#2 Muted Tone Jinbei

Muted tone, large dotted jinbei on AliExpress
 Pros
  • Muted Tone with subtle, sparse polka dots
  • Elastic waste shorts suitable for using as sleepwear
  • Very reasonably priced

Cons

  • No aerated seams 

#3 Kawaii Cotton Print Jinbei

 

Pros

  • Range of Cute Designs
  • Relatively long pants
  • Front Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#4 Traditional Dark Jinbei

 

Pros

  • Distinctive dark design
  • Traditional design

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#5 Traditional Light Floral Jinbei

 

Pros

  • Bright, floral design
  • Traditional design
  • Front Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#6 Unique High Contrast Jinbei

Peony Floral pattern Women’s Jinbei on CDJapan

Pros

  • Highly unique contrasting black & floral design
  • More vivid colored pattern than more traditional designs
  • Peony & Sakura

Cons

  • 70% cotton, 30% polyester

#7 Kawaii Pink Jinbei

Women’s Pink floral Surugajino Samue on Amazon

Pros

  • Kawaii design
  • 100% cotton
  • Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#8 Kawaii Red & White Jinbei

Women’s floral Jinbei Surugajino Samueya on Amazon

Pros

  • Kawaii design
  • 100% cotton
  • Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#9 Black Floral Jinbei

Tokyoin breathable Matte Cotton on Amazon

Pros

  • Kawaii design
  • 100% cotton
  • Drawstring Elastic Waste
  • Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#10 Pink Floral Jinbei

Tokyoin Pink Breathable Matte Cotton on Amazon

Pros

  • Kawaii design
  • 100% cotton
  • Drawstring Elastic Waste
  • Pocket

Cons

  • No aerated seams

#11 Simple Striped Jinbei

Pros

  • Simple striped design
  • 100% cotton
  • Aerated seams

Cons

  • No pockets

Recommended Men's Jinbei

#1 Foxtume Seigaha Jinbei

High quality cotton, all purpose Jinbei appropriate for outside use, bath wear or sleep wear.

Pros

  • High quality materials and construction
  • Classic traditional Japanese pattern
  • Fully aerated seams
  • drawstring
  • elastic waste

Cons

  • Patterning may be too “Loud” for some

Use Discount Code “japanoscope” for  15% discount from Foxtume

#2 Newchic Seigaha Jinbei

A light Jinbei appropriate for outside use, bath wear or sleep wear.

Pros

  • Simple, reasonably priced jinbei
  • Classic traditional Japanese pattern
  • drawstring
  • elastic waste

Cons

  • No aerated seems

#3 Foxtume Dragon Jinbei

High quality, striking Dragon themed blue cotton Jinbei.

Pr0

  • Striking design
  • Quality materials
  • Aerated seams
  • drawstring

Cons

  • Dragon theme too overtly masculine for some
  • Use Discount Code “japanoscope” for  15% discount from Foxtume

#4 Ikisugata Jinbei With Washi Paper

Cotton & Japanese paper made Jinbei from Ikisugata on Amazon

Pros

  • High-end, muted-tone Jinbei with 55% cotton and 45% Japanese Washi paper material!
  • Aerated seams
  • Pocket
  • Made In Japan
  • Cons
  • Relatively expensive

#5 Linen Jinbei

  • Linen material
  • Comes with bonus Kinchaku-bukuro bag 
  • Made in Japan
  • In cool muted tones

#6 Hemp Blend Jinbei

Watanosato Hemp Blend jinbei on Amazon

  • Made In Japan
  • Cotton 85% hemp15%
  • Aerated seams
  • Multiple pockets
  • Traditional navy

#7 Dark Minimal Jinbei

Trad-style Jinbei on AliExpress
  • Cost effective
  • 100% cotton
  • Aerated seems

#8 Calligraphy Jinbei

Calligraphy Jinbei on Aliexpress
  • Calligraphy meaning : 本気でやれば、何でもできる “Do your all and anything is possible”
  • Aerated seems
  • Reasonable Price
  • Pocket

#9 Black Ikisugata Jinbei

Ikisugata Jinbei Rich Black on Amazon

  • High end item
  • Cotton:55%, Japanese paper:45%
  • Made in Japan
  • Rich shijira black

#11 Dark Watanosato Jinbei

Dark Cotton Watanosato Jinbei on Amazaon

 

  • Cotton
  • Double stitched
  • pockets on front, pant side and back
  • Made in japan
  • Rich color

#10Traditional Striped Jinbei

Jinbei M-LL image 0
Traditional Striped Jinbei on Etsy
  • Cotton
  • 2 piece
  • pocket
  • handmade

Recommended children's Jinbei

Hot Biscuits Boats & Bears boys Jinbei on Amazon

Hot Biscuits butterflies and bunnies Jinbei on Amazon

Japanese Kimono Jinbei Children/Imperial Kamon CREST/Japanese image 0
Imperial crest pattern Jinbei on Etsy

Overall, for women the Seigaha Ocean Wave Pattern Women’s Jinbei on Foxtume and for men the Foxtume Seigaha came out as our clear favorite.

If you’re looking for something a bit warmer, take a look at our Hanten page.

 We’ve also got a page on male kimonos here.

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Look for more Jinbei options on Amazon

Look for more Jinbei options on Etsy

Contributor

Hi, I’m Peter.  I lived in Japan for four years as a University student completing a Masters Degree in Musicology.  I have succesfully completed the  highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N1).  have toured the country six times playing music and singing songs in Japanese and English.

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