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roadster
11-21-2007, 06:59 AM
In all martial arts I have seen, folding your dogi top left over right is the way to do it.

I have seen (never in person, only in pictures) people wearing theirs right over left. I have seen both women and men do this.

I was always told that only the dead are seen with their clothing or dogi right over left.

Am I wrong? I know it seems like no big deal but when I see it, it makes me think why people do it.

Marc Abrams
11-21-2007, 07:10 AM
It is a big deal to the Japanese. The right goes over the left on DEAD PEOPLE! Unless you are training at a dojo in which the "living dead" are practicing, then I would not suggest that you get this one wrong.

Marc Abrams

Pierre Kewcharoen
11-21-2007, 07:26 AM
From what I remember from my sensei Fred Little is that it has something to do with the japanese strictly enforcing people to be right handed with certain techniques or with swords, i forgot which either.

Chris Farnham
11-21-2007, 08:05 AM
I have been told that it comes from sword drawing. The tradition in Japan was always to wear the sword on the left side of the body and draw with the right hand (there is an interesting post somewhere on Aikiweb that explains why a left handed swordsman would be at a disadvantage). If someone were to draw the sword with the right side of their kimono over the left, the fabric would hinder their draw, and they would be more likely to be cut down by their enemy.

We have a similar tradition here in the west. I have also heard that the reason that men's dress shirts and coats button up with the left side over the right comes from old military tradition when men wore swords (on their left like in Japan)

crbateman
11-21-2007, 08:10 AM
It is also said that smaller weapons and such were once concealed inside the dogi flap, and that the left-over-right arrangement facilitated reaching these items with the right hand.

Chris Farnham
11-21-2007, 08:26 AM
I have also heard that the reason that dogi are generally white is that white signified purity and death, and the Samurai wore white under their armor to show that they were prepared for death*

*Maybe someone else knows whether this is true? I heard it on the History Channel program Human Weapon's episode on Judo and it's Samurai legacy. I am not sure that I trust i, because their were some erroneous facts on the episode.

roadster
11-21-2007, 08:38 AM
Sooooooo, any idea why someone (a breathing someone) would wear it right over left?

Fred Little
11-21-2007, 08:41 AM
Both the drawing of large swords and smaller objects reflect a cultural enforcement of right-handedness.

My tendency is to think that the rigidity of Japanese culture's enforcement of right-handedness developed as a matter of practical safety, to prevent excess occurrences of saya-ate.

In my house, we just seat the lefties at an appropriate corner of the table.

Men's shirts in the West follow the Japanese model, although the cut is rather different.

Now here's a question for the historically fashion minded: why do Western women's blouses close right over left?

Best,

FL

roadster
11-21-2007, 08:51 AM
Now here's a question for the historically fashion minded: why do Western women's blouses close right over left?

FL

Because they were dressed by the maids. It is much harder to button up someone else when it is the other way around.

gdandscompserv
11-21-2007, 09:58 AM
Now here's a question for the historically fashion minded: why do Western women's blouses close right over left?
Here is an opinion: http://www.goines.net/Writing/button_button.html

Aristeia
11-21-2007, 10:48 AM
if you've only seen it the other way in picutres it may well be that the picutres have been flipped in production. This often happens.

batemanb
11-21-2007, 12:21 PM
It is a big deal to the Japanese. The right goes over the left on DEAD PEOPLE! Unless you are training at a dojo in which the "living dead" are practicing, then I would not suggest that you get this one wrong.

Marc Abrams

Ditto.

It's what I was told by my sensei in Japan, and my wife, who is Japanese.

Interestingly, I'm sure I saw a Seagal movie one time in which he has his "kimono" silk top done up the wrong way (he was in a boat going up a river in Thailand I think).....maybe I was just seeing things......

Fred Little
11-21-2007, 12:28 PM
Ditto.

It's what I was told by my sensei in Japan, and my wife, who is Japanese.

Interestingly, I'm sure I saw a Seagal movie one time in which he has his "kimono" silk top done up the wrong way (he was in a boat going up a river in Thailand I think).....maybe I was just seeing things......

Or maybe someone flipped the negative in post-production, something I've seen in at least one Chuck Norris film....

Best,

FL

Bronson
11-21-2007, 03:05 PM
Sooooooo, any idea why someone (a breathing someone) would wear it right over left?
Lots of reasons.

They don't know about the left-over-right convention
They don't care
They were taught incorrectly
They just made a mistake the day the pictures were taken
Etc etc.

Bronson

Ketsan
11-21-2007, 06:14 PM
Sooooooo, any idea why someone (a breathing someone) would wear it right over left?

I did it once by accident on a grading. No-one noticed. :D Either that or they were impressed by my resolution to pass the grading or die trying. :D

Nikopol
11-21-2007, 06:48 PM
As long as you are not actually dead, don't worry too much about which way your dogi should close.

Just close it so the corner with the label is on the outside.

Keep your guard up if you absolutely MUST stare down at your dogi in confusion.

CitoMaramba
11-21-2007, 07:09 PM
Perhaps they have taken the words of the Hagakure to heart ("The Way of the Samurai is found in death.") and are acting as if they are already dead.

Carl Thompson
11-21-2007, 07:19 PM
A cultural way of showing respect for the dead is one factor, influenced by the tendency for most humans to be right-handed.

Here's an interesting article on handedness called "The Throwing Madonna." (http://www.williamcalvin.com/bk2/bk2ch1.htm)

Qatana
11-22-2007, 09:18 AM
I'm a member of a performing troupe that play Dead. I've been known to go out on parade in a black gi tied wrong and a ninja mask.
Unfortunately I sometimes forget that I'm not playing a dead renaissance floozy and start flirting with soldiers...