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

Get your Jinbei on

甚平

I love my Jinbei. 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.

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.

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.

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 Men's Jinbei

Cotton & Japanese paper made Jinbei from Ikisugata on Amazon

  • High-end, muted-tone Jinbei with 55% cotton and 45% Japanese Washi paper material!
  • Aerated seams
  • Pocket
  • Made In Japan
Dark Cotton Watanosato Jinbei on Amazaon

 

  • Cotton
  • Double stitched
  • pockets on front, pant side and back
  • Made in japan
  • Rich color
Jinbei M-LL image 0
Traditional Striped Jinbei on Etsy
  • Cotton
  • 2 piece
  • pocket
  • handmade
Watanosato Hemp Blend jinbei on Amazon

  • Made In Japan
  • Cotton 85% hemp15%
  • Aerated seams
  • Multiple pockets
  • Traditional navy
Ikisugata Jinbei Rich Black on Amazon

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

  • Linen material
  • Comes with bonus Kinchaku-bukuro bag 
  • Made in Japan
  • In cool muted tones
Trad-style Jinbei on AliExpress
  • Cost effective
  • 100% cotton
  • Aerated seems
Patterned Pajama Style Jinbei on AliExpress
  • Unisex design
  • Cotton
  • Cost effective
  • vibrant colored pattern

Recommended women's Jinbei

Summer white & red jinbei on Etsy
Peony Floral pattern Women’s Jinbei on CDJapan
Women’s cute cat print Jinbei on AliExpress
Muted tone, large dotted jinbei on AliExpress
Women’s Pink floral Surugajino Samue on Amazon

Tokyoin breathable Matte Cotton on Amazon

Tokyoin Pink Breathable Matte Cotton on Amazon

Simple red & white Stripe Women’s Jinbei on AliExpress
Kawaii floral cotton Jinbei on AliExpress

Recommended children's Jinbei

Hot Biscuits Boats & Bears boys Jinbei on Amazon

Hot Biscuits butterflies and bunnies Jinbei on Amazon

Kid’s colored spots jinbei on Etsy
Japanese Kimono Jinbei Children/Imperial Kamon CREST/Japanese image 0
Imperial crest pattern Jinbei on Etsy

Look for more Jinbei options on Amazon

Look for more Jinbei options on Etsy

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

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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