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Have you ever heard of jikatabi shoes (jika-tabi)? These truly brilliant traditional Japanese footwear are at the origin of TABITABIYA’s venture. I am literally crazy about them! There are shoes that have a history, leave their mark on a country before they eventually conquer the world. England has the Dr. Martens (another big favorite of mine since my teenage years) and Japan has the jikatabi (jika-tabi) shoes! The two also have in common to actually originally be work shoes.

On Tabitabiya, here is featured my favorite type of jikatabi shoes. They are traditionally available in 3 colors:

Jikatabi, or jika-tabi, are a modern-day adaptation of tabi, you know, those Japanese socks with their split big toe. They have now become one of the biggest symbols of Japanese clothing culture. We can trace their existence back to very very old times. It would seem that the nobility already wore them more than 1000 years ago, In those days, they were called "shitouzu".

Under the visionary eye of Shojiro Ishibashi, the founder of the Bridgestone firm, around the Meiji Era, the tabi were revolutionized and completely change the life of Japanese workers. In his desire to see his father’s firm prosper, Shojiro Ishibashi decided with great determination to make the most of the technological and industrial revolutions that appeared after the First World War and create new shoes that would feet the needs of these industrial days.

At the time, most workers still wore unsafe and weak straw shoes. They often had to be changed and, at a time when the daily wage was only 1 yen, this represented a heavy financial burden for such a meager income. One can easily imagine this was a perfect time for these shoes with their plastic sole to appear on Tokyo’s markets. The demand for safer and more efficient footwear was strong!

After several trials, the first jikatabi (jika-tabi), under the Asahi brand, were finally features in the markets of Tokyo. Their success was immediate and it never diminished.

Because, if today, Japanese workers use all kinds of safety shoes, they still continue to wear jikatabi (jika-tabi). They are still part of the daily landscape in Japan. And each profession has its own style of jikatabi (jika-tabi)! With the evolution of the world of work, the jikatabi (jika-tabi) have undergone many other changes to continue to be in tune with the needs of the nowadays workers.

This is how jikatabi (jika-tabi) have been worn for more than 100 years by Japanese workers, craftsmen, farmers and baseball players during practice. Jikatabi (jika-tabi) are also worn by Taiko musicians and during traditional festivals, the matsuri. This is why they are also called "matsuri-tabi". Outside of Japan, they are sometimes knows as « ninja shoes ».

Their fame has even crossed borders. Jikatabi (jika-tabi) are revisited by fashion and nowadays come in different styles and colors. Designers and major sports brands, such as Adidas, or Nike and its famous airift, have adopted their split big toe shape for its qualities. Indeed, in addition to their unique design, these Japanese shoes are very comfortable and very pleasant to wear.

And, this is how, over twenty years ago, I fell madly in love with these traditional Japanese shoes! Here is the small collection of jika-tabi shoes I am wearing at the moment:

My father and my sister have also become huge fans of jikatabi shoes! So you too, give them a chance ! Give them a try!

Jika-tabi (jikatabi), traditional Japanese shoes with an incredible look and comfort!

With their incredible look and comfort, these Japanese boots are fabulous footwear that will easily fit your every day lifestyle and fashion. Their design, both traditional and resolutely modern, is perfectly suited to Western clothing. I don't hesitate to put these split big toe Japanese shoes with my jeans, my skirts, and wear them to work.

A perfect curve!

The jikatabi (jika-tabi), traditional Japanese shoes, are closed by kohaze, metal fastener hooks that are located on the side of the shoe. Thanks to their three rows of kohaze, these jikatabi (jika-tabi) shoes will perfectly fit the shape of your calf and be a guarantee for a flawless look.

chaussure japonaise jikatabi boutique d'articles japonais Tabitabiya-boutique japonaise

Comfortable walking shoes!

The sole of the jikatabi (jika-tabi) is made of natural rubber. It is very flexible and adjusts to the arch of the foot. It will give you a feeling of maximum walking comfort. It is also non-slip and guarantees a firm grip each time the food comes in contact with the ground.

chaussures japonaises jikatabi boutique d'articles japonais Tabitabiya-boutique japonaise

A shape that stands the test of time.

You can wear your jikatabi (jika-tabi) shoes every day, they will retain their shape. The upper part of the shoe is made of light and airy, yet durable cotton. Double stitched seams reinforce the fabric at the ankle and toe.

chaussures japonaises jikatabi boutique d'articles japonais Tabitabiya-boutique japonaise

A split big toe?!

Their split big toe is certainly the most distinctive feature of the jikatabi (jika-tabi). The shape of these shoes, unique to Japanese culture, fills a purpose: it provides comfort, flexibility and stability when you walk as well as more flexibility and greater mobility. The unique shape of jikatabi shoes, so emblematic of Japan, is actually modeled on that of the tabi, Japanese indoor socks.

chaussures japonaises jikatabi jika-tabi boutique d'articles japonais Tabitabiya-boutique japonaise

Since their creation at the beginning of the Meiji era, their shape has remained practically unchanged. This is how the jikatabi (jika-tabi) are shoes that are not only well-designed and functional, but also the embodiment of a tradition that is still very much alive.


Boutique d'articles japonais Tabitabiya-boutique japonaise

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