Japanese Wooden Geta Sandals

What are Geta Sandals?Geta wooden Japanese Sandals

Geta sandals are Japanese sandals which have a wooden sole usually featuring two large teeth. They are very simple in design, not too dissimilar to a flip flop or a clog, when viewed from above!

The Geta sandal was introduced to Japan by the Chinese well over 2000 years ago.

They are commonly used in wet or frosty conditions to help keep the feet elevated and avoid damaging or soaking the Japanese Kimonos.

Where to buy Japanese Wooden Geta Sandals?

Traditional Japanese Geta Wooden Sandals

Handmade Japanese Geta sandals 

Chrysthanthemum pattern wooden Geta  Mens Geta Paulownia Sandals
The traditional wooden Geta sandal, traditionally styled and crafted to a very high standard. Traditionally styled basic wooden Geta sandals with large teeth. Ladis Chrysthanthemum patterned wooden Japanese Geta sandal with much smaller teeth. Made from Paulownia wood and with rubber soles these Getas are a more comfortable version of the traditional Japanese sandal.

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Different types of Japanese Geta Sandals

Pokkuri/Koppuri

Pokkuri, also known as Koppuri, are given this name because of the sound they make when worn. These are crafted from one solid piece of wood which is around 3-4 inches thick through the centre, the front is slanted sharply in at the front. Pokkuris are usually worn by women.

Image result for Pokkuri sandals wood

Zori

Zori have much shorter teeth than a typical pair of Geta and they also have rounded soles. Womens Zori have a slightly higher rear tooth, whereas mens Zori as flat.

womens zori wooden sandals

Orian’s Koma Geta

Orian’s were high class prostitutes during the Feudal period where Japan was governed by the Shoguns (1185 – 1603). They wore these incredibly tall Koma Getas which were lacquered and featured three teeth. Unlike Geishas, Orians would wear their Getas without the use of socks.

Orian Koma Geta
Oiran Koma Geta

How Wooden Geta Sandals are made

Geta sandals are fairly simple to make. They are hand made to measure. The perfect fitting Geta should be a couple of centimetres shorter than the actual size of the foot.

The best type of wood to use is Red Oak as it is hard wearing, long lasting and easily available. This is then cut to the length of the foot at a thickness of about 1/2 an inch.

The inside and outside of the Geta teeth are then sanded down and marks are made on the shoe to show where the teeth should go. The teeth are drilled and attached to the rest of the shoe with dowel and glue. Some styles of Geta construction may add metal or rubber bottoms to the teeth to help them last longer.

Holes for the thong are then drilled in the sandal and the thong which is made of string or fabric is tied into the holes.

Finally the corners of the Geta are sanded smooth, they are then ready to be worn!

For more detailed information on how to make Geta sandals have a look here.

The History of Japanese Wooden Geta Sandals

Wooden Geta Sandals are believed to have originated in the rice paddy fields of China sometime between 300BC and 300AD these quickly spread and became popular in Japan’a paddy fields too.

The design has barely changed for over 2000 years but is now often seen worn with Japanese Kimonos as well as in the paddy fields!

two pairs of Japanese geta sandals being modelled