The origin of the haramaki is Japanese but the truth is that in many cultures the center of the body has been protected for centuries with a sash, a scarf or a wide belt.
Haramaki is a belly warmer. By keeping the waist area warm Increases blood circulation throughout the area, right where some of the main organs are located, such as: the stomach and intestines, the liver, the kidneys, the uterus and the ovaries... If you think about it, except for the heart and lungs! everything is located in this area!
What is the origin of haramaki?
Its origin dates back to the Shinto rituals of the Japanese Empire. When a soldier went to fight he received a senninbari or belt sewn between the women of the family and the village. Each woman contributed by giving a stitch until completing “the belt of 1,000 points”.
This senninbari it provided warmth to the soldier, who spent most of his time outdoors, and served as a protective amulet against the dangers of war. That feeling of protection and security that you feel when wearing the haramaki still lives on today.
The Japanese word haramaki is formed by combining Hara , the central part of the body (what we would call here the trunk) and Maki, which means to roll up (like the makis of the sushi rolls). The result is that the term Haramaki means roll up the center of the body .
The value of the hara
In many Eastern philosophies the hara It is a point of great energetic value, the place where the vital force of the person resides. Following in Japan, the hara it is a central axis of the work of Shiatsu therapists. In the Opinions section you can read the experience of Josep Durán . And if you are interested in going deeper, you can take a look at this book: "Hara, vital center of man" by K. Graf Durckheim.
If you practice yoga, you will remember that this center coincides with Svadhisthana , the chakra located between the abdomen, genitals, and lower back. Its name in Sanskrit means "the abode of the vital force or of being".
Other cultures identify the area where the navel is located as the point of connection with the ancestors that preceded us, since during pregnancy, the navel is the door of the nutritional channel with the mother.
Shawls and sashes
Throughout history we have covered the center of the body for different reasons, whether healthy or aesthetic. We have selected these as an example:
The rebozo is a garment used in Mexico and some areas of Central and South America. Its rectangular shape is reminiscent of a shawl and is currently woven with cotton or wool thread. Regarding its origin, it is not clear whether it was created as a variant of the mantillas worn by Spanish women or it was the evolution of the ayate indigenous and mamatl . Its scarf shape allows it to be worn over the head, covering the shoulders, wrapped around the waist or to carry the baby on the back.
the girdle A sash is a piece that is longer than it is wide and wraps around the body at the waist, rolling it up several times. Its use was, for a long time, the only way to join or fasten the different pieces of clothing when belt loops and belts did not yet exist. Being highly resistant in many cases protected the lower back of physical efforts (labourers in the field, loaders of merchandise...) or it was used as a military badge to easily and visibly differentiate marshals and generals.
The haramaki is not a girdle!
In case you have doubts, we end up clarifying that the haramaki is not a girdle because it does not squeeze or hide the belly. It's a belly warmer whose purpose is to warm up and accompany you throughout the day so that you can enjoy its embrace and its healthy benefits. As it happens with a sock or a glove, you will notice its pleasant contact with the skin or its presence on the clothes, but we know that if it squeezed you, you would surely end up taking it off!