Matagi BootsTohoku district Japan, 1800-1900S84.201
Matagi Boots
Tohoku district Japan, 1800-1900

Shoes for Sport

The three major Japanese traditional shoe styles were worn daily and served many functions. When specialized shoes were needed for sport and leisure activities they were adapted from existing styles.

Matagi Boots

This pair of wild boar-skin boots were worn for hunting fierce game in the woods of the Tohoku district in Northeastern Japan. Stubs of the boar's trimmed tusks are visible on the sides; these symbolically give the hunter the sly characteristics of the boar when he wears them.

Falconry Boots

This pair of depilated rawhide shoes with high protective brocade cuffs were worn by samurai when practicing falconry in the countryside.


These boots are worn while playing football and are named kamo-gutsu, which means duck-billed shoes because of the wide toes. They are made of lacquered leather and the sole is comprised of two pieces with a split in the middle. This allows for strong foot protection and flexibility during kerami, which is a soccer-like game traditionally played at the imperial court.