A typical male costume
  The puppet's costumes consist of an under robe (juban), an inner kimono (kitsuke), an outer jacket (haori) or outer robe (uchikake), the collar (eri), and the belt-like sash (obi). In order to give the dolls' bodies the sensation of softness, the robes are lightly stuffed with cotton. Further, there is a hole in the back of the robes to allow the puppeteer to manipulate the dolls. For each performance, the costume masters choose costumes out of many of the same types of robes of different colors and patterns, deciding which robes to use with which puppet. The complete set of robes that they have chosen is then sent to the puppeteers.
 
The puppeteers then take part in what is called koshirae, or the dressing of the doll. Because they are used on the stage, the robes' lose their bright colors, they become soiled, and in places they are even worn out. Therefore, they are in constant need of maintenance and repair. Furthermore, preparing new sets of costumes for the characters in a new play is another important task of the costume masters.  

A typical female costume

 

Copyright 2004, by the Japan Arts Council. All rights reserved.