Seasonal Change of Clothing
(the beginning of June and October)

●衣替え seasonal change of clothing
●衣類 clothes
●制服 uniform
●夏服 summer clothes; summer dress
●冬服 winter clothes; winter dress
●クール・ビズ cool biz; Cool Biz campaign
●ウォーム・ビズ warm biz; Warm Biz campaign
●タンス a chest of drawers
●クローゼット closet
●防虫剤 mothball
●虫に喰われた moth-eaten; eaten by moth
●クリーニング cleaning; dry-cleaning; drt-cleaners

Japan has four seasons and its climate changes from season to season.

Therefore, Japanese change clothes and place them into storage each season, and this custom is called Koromo-gae.

Speaking of Koromo-gae, some people are reminded of the uniforms of schools or workplaces.

Many schools, public facilities, banks, and department stores used to change their uniforms simultaneously on June 1st and October 1st.

However, it is already hot in June and continues to remain hot in October due to global warming, so now the timing of Koromo-gae changes every year.

As part of the environmental protection measures, the Ministry of the Environment has carried on a campaign called “Cool Biz”; to wear casual business clothes for summer such as short-sleeved shirts without ties and jackets is advocated.

Therefore, the temperature inside offices can be set at 28 °C (82.4 °F) to reduce electricity consumption for the prevention of global warming.

The Cool Biz campaign was suggested by the then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2005 (Heisei 17th yr), and the name derives from the combination of “cool” and “biz” (a shortened form of business) and was chosen by the public.

In addition, the “Warm Biz” campaign for winter was also initiated by the Ministry of the Environment in which it is encouraged to wear vests, cardigans or sweaters under jackets and to wear thick socks in slightly cool offices set at 20 °C (68 °F).

Though there are various theories on the origin of Koromo-gae, it was already carried out during the Heian period (794-1191).

It was called Koi at the court in the Heian period and was done on April 1st and October 1st according to the lunar calendar.

Samurai warriors during the Edo period (1603-1868) carried out Koromo-gae four times a year following more detailed manners.

Even now, there are traditional customs of Koromo-gae for Wafuku or Kimono (traditional Japanese national costume).

Formally we wear Hitoe (unlined Kimono) from June to September, and Awase (lined Kimono) from October to May.

We avoid a moist rainy day and choose a sunny day following a spell of fine weather for Koromo-gae.

We also carefully check clothes in chests and closets in the Koromo-gae season; for example, old clothes are discarded, and others are mended.

After we wash the clothes at the end of the season or send them to the dry cleaners, we store them with mothballs.

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