A Brief History of Japanese Clothing

Although the “kimono” seems to be the same garment that has been around for millennia, it is not. This misconception arises from its status as National Costume of Japan, implying ancient origins.  Although it is true that what we call “kimono” today originated in the 7th century, it is hardly true to say it is the same thing it was then. The long, narrow, obi-tied silhouette of the modern kimono wasn’t achieved until late in the Edo period (17th – 19th c). The original garment from which the modern costume derived displays obvious similarities, but no so much that one can wear modern apparel and still be considered “Period.” This pamphlet intends to lift the misconceptions of “kimono” and provide a source book for the construction of “kimono” for the use of re-enactors.

Get the rest of this splendid article on the History of Japanese Clothing by clothing historian Kass McGann:


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