Developed during the Edo Period, hanten is a traditional Japanese coat that has gained popularity among the masses since the 18th century. Back then, it was mostly worn as a work uniform by laborers such as carpenters, landscape gardeners, firefighters, and sales clerks; and it was also widely used by people carrying portable shrines on their shoulders during festivals.
It is said that since the late Edo Period, hanten padded with cotton was also worn daily by common folk for protection against the cold. Because it is padded with cotton and retains heat like a futon blanket, it is still used as winter clothing today.
Instead of hanten, there is also a traditional coat often worn during festivals called happi. From a clothing history point of view, there are several theories regarding their differences but these differences remain unclear. Today, the distinction between the two has disappeared, and they refer to the same piece of clothing.