What is a kappogi?


Seen during kyushoku school lunchtime, and donned by the elementary school children who serve the meals to the rest of the class, a kappogi (割烹着) is a type of apron that looks like a hospital gown. It was first designed to protect the kimono from soiling it has its origins in Japan and is unique to Japan. It has baggy sleeves terminating just after the elbow, and flows down to the wearer’s knees. Strings are tied around the shoulders, like a bib. And it is usually worn together with a flimsy beret-like cap of the same material as the kappogi. It is the dreaded laundry (ironing) item for parents of kids who have just completed their kyushoku toban (lunchtime service) duty as it is rather difficult to iron with the frilled cap and corners and curves of the gown.

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