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Okobo (Wooden Clogs)


NO.37
Okobo (Wooden Clogs)
Okobo is the type of unique wooden clogs, used by the maiko (apprentice geisha) girls of Kyoto. Their refined and gentle sound reverberates throughout Gion.
Gion in April is all dancing festivals. When the weeping cherry tree in Maruyama park reaches its full blossom, the streets and houses become more and more bright and gorgeous. In the crowded Hanamikoji street, one can hear the sound of the maiko girls' walk- 'Kobo-kobo-kobo'. Looking at their feet, one can notice that their wooden clogs have extremely thick soles. These clogs are called 'okobo'. The height of maiko girls' okobo is 11cm. The okobo of the girls during the 'Seven-Five-Three' Shinto Festival are a bit lower- about 6cm. They might be the origin of the thick soles shoes so often seen nowadays. However, to run with those shoes would be quite unsuitable. According to the Japanese language dictionary, the words 'koppori' or 'pokkuri'express the sound of walking in a similar way like okobo. Both of them are sound imitations.

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