07 January 2011

Focus on Etchū Fundoshi

When you read about the fundoshi making a comeback in Japanese department stores, what's being referred to is usually etchū fundoshi.

Etchū fundoshi are a simplified variation of fundoshi. Still a rectangle of cloth, the main differences are that the rectangle is about half the length of a rokushaku fundoshi, and there are two ribbons or strings sewn to the corners of the rectangle. These ribbons are tied around the waist, forming the "belt" of etchū fundoshi.

The cloth rectangle falls from the small of your back, then is drawn up between your legs and pulled under the strings, forming an apron that hangs in front of you. Etchū fundoshi are remarkably light and cool, feeling barely there at all against the skin, and are virtually invisible under clothing. For a person who is interested in fundoshi, but whose tastes tend towards boxer shorts for their freedom and comfort, Etchū fundoshi rule all over boxers. They are lighter, sexier, and don't ever creep up -- the plague of boxers.

Etchū fundoshi also offer the greatest variety in appearance. Not only can the apron be long or short, but they come in a dizzying range of colors, stripes, tartans, patterns, and prints. Often, the apron portion is decorated with silk-screened designs, i.e. dragons, anime characters, flower blossoms, or kanji.

Although perhaps not quite as easy to make yourself as rokushaku fundoshi, etchū fundoshi are also much more widely available, often called "classic pants" at various Japanese retailers. Etchū fundoshi also have a newfound popularity among female wearers (which will very likely be the subject of a future blog).

Etchū fundoshi also make a nice transition into fundoshi-wearing if any of the aspects of rokushaku fundoshi seem intimidating (the complexity of tying, the slight bulk of the twisted portions underneath clothing, the hygiene issues, or simply the more revealing outline). They are superbly comfortable, and especially ideal as summer underwear or sleepwear, or something light and comfy to wear while doing laundry. The ease with which they can be untied and shed is also an asset!

As far as public wear is concerned, etchū fundoshi also offer a little more coverage of the buttocks than rokushaku, however if you will be swimming or running you may prefer the security and support of rokushaku fundoshi, which are much less prone to "wardrobe malfunctions."

90% of the time when I reach for a fundoshi, it's rokushaku-style. I like the look, I like the feel, and I like to make my own fundoshi. However I've ordered a few pair of etchū fundoshi from www.jbox.com, and they've gone over quite well. I can't say enough how feather-light, comfortable, and barely-there they feel.

Here is an assortment of pictures of others enjoying ettchu fundoshi:


Francisco said...

I like the rokushaku, but it's funny drawing of a ettchu henohenomoheji, for me is a male garment fundoshi ... women and has a thong

Tim said...

I decided to try a variation today, a combination of the ettchu and rokushaku styles. You might recall me saying that my first rokushaku fundoshi ere created by tying 2 two meter lengths of fabric together as it turned out, that two 2 meters by themselves were too short, and with the two lengths tied together, it was a bit too long and bulky to be comfortable under clothing, so I then picked up some 3 meter lengths of fabric which were just right for me. That left me with these two oversized rokushaku fundoshi taking up space in my airing cupboard, so today, I decided to try something with them... I separated them back into the two meter lengths, so four individual pieces of fabric. I took one and wrapped it round in the same style as one would use to don a rokushaku fundoshi, and wound up with a belt, T-Back, but single layer pouch, with an 8 inch apron at the front. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results. Certainly less bulky under jeans than a rokushaku fundoshi, but just as modest in coverage (maybe even more so, as the apron screens the shape of the genitals completely) but I'm not too sure I would trust it to stay in place whilst swimming (and of course, the white material would go see-through) but at least I now have more options for my fundoshi collection, and something which would probably be totally discrete under Western suit pants (very rare occasion that I have to wear a suit), so overall, a successful result, so I just thought I'd share my findings :)