For Every Tobi There Are A Pair Of Tabi

originally uploaded by okinawa hai.

CONTRIBUTED BY MEREDITH NOVARIO

I just decided what I’m going to be for Halloween.

A Tobi. Or a tobi. Not sure if a capital letter is called for. But for the sake of the clever and fashionable one-two punch of the pants and shoes, I think a capital is warranted.

Tobi means something like “scaffolding man/woman” in English. The name comes from a certain kind of device – a Japanese style pike pole – which was used during the Edo period in Japan. The shape of the device reminded people of the hooked beak of the bird Tobi and soon Tobi became a generic term used for those working at high places. The work of a Tobi involves a great deal of danger, therefore, Tobis are admired as “star performers” on the construction site. As I found out, many of them have been chic and fashionable since the old days.

Then chic and fashionable I’ll be especially if I can get my hands on these jika tabi. I haven’t decided on which outfit to get yet but I’ll be scouring these catalogs for the perfect complement to the shoes. This ONE and this OTHER one.

Read further HERE for a thorough investigation into the mysterious WHY behind the pants and shoes. That’s what started me down this road. And here I am hours later with the perfect costume.

Go ahead and invite me to your party. Or invite me next year because I plan to wear this very same costume from here on out. Year after year.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I knew I was not the only one who took notice of Japan’s fashion forward construction workers! Thanks for the explanation!

  2. I LOVE it! This has always been one of my favorite aspects of Japanese “culture”. Perfect costume/conversation starter!

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