If you're interested in learning how to wear the Japanese fundoshi, this site is a clean and practical primer to get the basics, and for you to share with friends who might be interested in fundoshi, too.
First, you'll need about 3 yards of lightweight fabric. You can purchase some perfect, inexpensive fabric for fundoshi here.
Some people like an even lighter, filmier cotton voile, some like the warm swaddled feeling of thicker cottons, but don't go too thick or it will be bulky and uncomfortable. Not to mention much heavier while you're swimming! The traditional fabric for a fundoshi is sarashi, but it's difficult to find (unless you're in Japan). I made my first fundoshi out of a soft old bed sheet. Any fabric that's light and soft will work.
Think texture when selecting your fabric. The fundoshi is held securely on your body basically by a little simple knotting and friction, so a cotton gauze or even cheesecloth works great but you might find silk or satin frustrating. Think softness next to your skin and more open weaves so there's some airflow.
Selecting fabrics is one of the fun things that comes with fundoshi-wearing!
You don't need scissors or any knowledge of sewing -- just tear the fabric lengthwise into long strips. Each strip should be about 8-10 inches wide, depending on your taste. Right now I'm favoring 9.5 inches for my medium/tall body style. If you're feeling fancy you can hem the edges, but I prefer a soft, raw edge. The fundoshi will just get softer with each laundering.
Of course, if all this sounds too slow and you'd rather just shop for a fundoshi online, they are available in a wide range of sizes and styles.
Now here's how to tie your fundoshi:
(this style is called "rokushaku fundoshi") Would a video help you get the hang of it?
Don't worry if it takes a few tries, practicing is actually fun! When you're all done, it should look something like this:
Now just adjust it to your taste. A fundoshi is uniquely customizable to your shape, whether worn snug for activity or a little looser for lounging, all it needs is twists of cloth to stay securely in place. Even while swimming or being vigorously active.
Here is the kanji for fundoshi:
And here it is in informal writing:
You can become a fundoshi master! Enjoy.