Garment worn by Japanese men and women from the Early Nara period (645–724) to the present. The essential kimono is an ankle-length gown with long, full sleeves and a V-neck. It is lapped left over right across the chest and secured at the waist by a broad sash known as an obi. The contemporary wide obi dates only from the 18th century. Though the kimono is originally of Chinese origin, its great beauty is attributable to 17th- and 18th-century Japanese designers.