Why is the Karate Gi (dōgi 道着) White?
Was the Karate Gi a marketing tool to popularise KarateDo?
It has been claimed that when Jigaro Kano’s Keiko Gi (稽古着) was formerly adopted by Karateka, that it was in an attempt to make the Okinawan art of Karate more appealing to the Japanese on the main land, The Japanese had at the time in part, looked unfavourably on Okinawan's and their fighting systems.
What about a deep and meaningful answer…
In Karate there is always a deeper meaning, and in this case we can look at a few different historical references and theories. The samurai, immaculate in dress and prepared to die in battle, would wear a white Gi like undergarment beneath their Kimono, White in Asian culture, can be a symbol of death…possibly dressed prepared to die in battle?
Also by wearing a single colour of Karate Gi it forms unity and can remind us that we all start the same, mutual respect is always observed. Finally, the Gi is perfect for the job! Ease of movement, breathability, and comfort are all in support of the design. Perhaps this is a case of simple clothing with minor adjustments to compliment the physical aspect of Karate practice.
Why is it so important to keep the Dogi immaculate?