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Japanese Fashion History Essay

1039 words - 5 pages

Perhaps because the country is an island country and has four different seasons, Japan has really delicate and unique culture such as its clothes. A japanese word “kawaii” is now getting known by non-japanese speakers, and it is not rare today to see people wearing kimono pajama in a book or during TVshow. Over a thousand year, japanese culture changed by getting influenced by other countries and economic states. This research will focus on why it has changed over a time, and what factors have influenced it.

kimono changed greatly over time. It was first appeared in 7th century. During the Heian period 794-1185, the custom of elaborate layers of colored kimono robes became popular among ...view middle of the document...

Clothes from other parts of the world were bought and started to fit into japanese life. Also, as many of the old and variable kimono were lost at Tokyo Great Earthquake, japanese trend started to be even more concentrated on western clothes. (History of Kimono) Kimono designs became less complex and material was conserved during Showa period. After World War II, as Japan's economy gradually recovered, kimono became even more affordable and were produced in greater quantities. But it is rare to see people wearing Kimono unless you are in traditional city like Kyoto city today. Why is it so? What do japanese people wear today? Is kimono almost dead now in Japan?

Indeed, today Japanese people rarely wear Kimono in everyday life. But it is not completely dead. There are still jobs that require their workers to wear Kimono such as old Japanese restaurants in Kyoto (a traditional city), and Geisha. Common people also wear it but only when there are special events such as festival, funerals, weddings. (History of Kimono) Also, a simplified kimono (used to be wore for summer in Edo period ) called Yukata is wore by a lot of people in traditional summer festivals. These days, It is getting even more simplified. There are kimonos and yukatas that are westernized with decoration of ribbons and laces, and are popular among young people.(Macgan) Comparing recent yukata and kimono, it seems to be that Japanese clothing changed even after Kimono going after date. What happened to japanese people and what influenced them?

As the country got westernized, clothes taste of japanese people got similar to the western style too. Our culture has its origin in ancient China. We introduced a lot of their letters, food, religion, and clothes into our culture until Heian period; when our culture started to create its originality, our clothes are quite similar to what people in the chinese continent (including Korea) wore. But even after opening the country to the world (about 200 years ago), our clothes were still based on Kimono, and it was rare to see people wearing 洋服(western...

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