Geta (Japanese Sandals)

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Geta are a traditional type of footwear in Japan. Oita makes Geta that use the local cider trees as material. These are very popular because of the lovely appearance of the fine wood grain and the soft feel of the wood. Hita, Oita has been famous for its forestry for a long time.  Hita Geta manufacturing flourished around the turn of the 19th century when the local government acknowledged it as a new province industry.

Although Kirigeta (paulownia geta) was the main producer for Geta at that time, Hita also began making Geta around the late 19th to early 20th century, making use of the high quality cider and pine lumbers growing in the Hita valley. After 1907, machines were brought to the factories, and mass production commenced. Hita Gate was then distributed all over Japan, becoming one of the top three Geta manufacturers nationwide, along with Shizuoka and Matsunaga (Hiroshima). As Japanese peoples’ life style has evolved over the years, Hita has adjusted by adding contemporary style shoes and regular sandals to its arsenal. As a result, Hita is known today as the city of footwear.

By the way, unlike shoes or sandals, there’s no difference between right and left feet Geta.

Geta is the footwear that is generally used with Kimono. However, they are quite comfortable and may be nice for your feet after wearing your shoes all day. Some people wear Geta around the house and on weekends.  A geta’s surface is flat and hard.  The big and long toes need to get a grip of the laces. These subtle toe movements stimulate important acupuncture points, which promotes blood circulation for the entire body. Geta being flat is good for one’s posture as well, which can relieve some back and shoulder pain. Acupuncture points between the big and long toes are also connected to the eyes and neck, so wearing Geta may be good for when you are tired of sitting in front of your desk. 

By the way, Geta come in only one-width size and use laces for adjustments. You can have them adjusted to fit your feet right at the store.

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Photo by Hita City

 

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