Called flip-flops, slippahs and other names around the world, the zori have been a fixture of footwear in Japan for centuries. Originally made of straw and perhaps rope or fabric, you can now find zori made of modern materials like rubber or vinyl as well as more expensive materials like silk brocade, which are generally paired with the formal kimono and must be worn with tabi socks. The humble straw zori was the footwear of laborers and allowed protection and air circulation of the feet while also drying quickly. The ubiquitous rubber flip-flop was an idea based on zori exported from Japan after WW2.

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