New Exhibition in Tokyo Explores 1,500-Year History of Women’s Kimonos

Women's Kimono Exhibition in Tokyo

As the national dress of Japan, kimonos have a long and colorful history. While today, the costume is being incorporated in modern streetwear, the traditional version of the robe is still celebrated. A new exhibition in Japan explores the evolution of women’s kimonos over its 1,500-year history.

This remarkable show is hosted by the Tokyo-based Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in collaboration with the Kyoto Dyeing and Weaving Cultural Association—the latter of which is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Visitors will be able to view genuine costumes from the 19th century to contemporary times, as well as see an assortment of recreated kimonos from the Kofun period (about 300–538 CE) up until the Meiji period (1868–1916) displayed on mannequins.

Additionally, the exhibition will also showcase the methods and materials used to make kimonos, and highlight the special dyeing and weaving techniques involved in making select pieces. Interested guests also have the option to sign up for dyeing demonstrations and in-depth lectures on women’s kimonos.

The exhibition will run from July 15 to September 28, 2021. You can purchase tickets and sign up for workshops and lectures on kimono sewing and dyeing via the exhibition website.

A new exhibition at the Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Tokyo, Japan features an extensive collection of women’s kimonos over a 1,500-year history.

Japanese Women's Kimono

Costume from the Kofun period
[Reproduction], 1931. (Kyoto Dyeing and Weaving Cultural Association Collection)

The exhibition will run from July 15 to September 28, 2021.

Japanese Women's Kimono

Costume from the Asuka / Nara period
[Reproduction], 1931. (Kyoto Dyeing and Weaving Cultural Association Collection)

Japanese Kimono Dyeing Technique

Yuzen dyed kimono in the middle of the Edo period
(Reproduction), 1931. (Kyoto Dyeing and Weaving Cultural Association Collection)

Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum | 文化学園服飾博物館: Website

All images via Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum.

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