Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
The modesty thing was told to me by someone in a dojo who requires all women to wear hakama. She said that the dojo-cho considered the gi as pajamas for women (why not men?) and it was immodest to be on the mat without a hakama. For that matter, women were also not allowed to fold their hakama on the mat and had to do that in the dressing room.
Kimono (clothing) for women are by their very nature de-feminizing (is that a word?). The male dominant society of Japan does not like to include women for much. They have a particular aversion to seeing women as curvy and feminine, as is typical or maybe a little overdone in the West, and heaven forbid seeing legs and a crotch. (Sailor Moon is popular with boys and girls for this very reason.)
This is the same society whose national sport consists of two large, mostly fat men dressed in an oversized loincloth ramming into each other (I love sumo, by the way). If men and women in Japanese society are going to participate with one another, there are very clear lines of engagement. If they are going to practice budo, touch bodies and rub around on each other, well then better make sure there are really clear lines of engagement....
Sound crazy? Maybe, maybe not.