Vintage Japanese Women’s Ashida Geta | Traditional Footwear
Since the Edo/Meiji-era in Japan, people enjoyed changing their geta for appearance just as we enjoy changing our shoes to suit our mood, clothing and occasion.
Geta come in many designs, styles and shapes, and are based on a form of traditional Japanese footwear that resembles clogs. Geta have an elevated wooden platform, (dai), held onto the foot with a fabric strap/thong to support comfortable use. Geta are also worn with traditional Japanese clothing such as kimono or yukata, with or without socks, (tabi), depending on the season and occasion, including going to the public baths (Onsen). Geta are worn in rain and snow to keep the feet dry, due to their extra height and impermeability compared to other footwear. This is a beautiful, unused pair of natural finish, willow wood geta, with a two-tone purple strap (pure silk/velvet), a metal ‘finishing’ ornament underneath to keep the strap well affixed to the base, two “teeth” to raise the platform from the ground, and are stamped by the maker. Age: 1970. Dimensions: 9-0” long x 3-1/4”w x 2-0”h. Note: the image of the four Japanese women, illustrate shape and height diversity between geta.
Ashida geta have two teeth, the height of which can be short or tall (which the person’s age, weather, and use dictates). The most common ashida geta are commonly two inches in height. This type is good for everyday wear in fair weather or light rain, but, in the monsoon season, puddles on the unpaved Edo era streets, (when the geta were first developed), were often deep, so deeper puddles called for higher geta, and the geta-makers rose to the challenge. Craftsmen designed geta with tall teeth, (gakusei ashida geta), and ones with tall thin teeth, (takageta), as the thin teeth kept splashing to a minimum.
If a person wore a very expensive kimono or yukata, which traditionally hung all the way to his/her feet, they would not want the garment to get soiled when outdoors. Geta are typically made of very strong but light-weight kiri or willow wood, which make a distinctive “clacking” sound, (karankoron), while walking. Karankoron is noted in numerous writings as one of the sounds that older Japanese miss most in modern life.