Kimono jacket


The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Male dress is Japan was generally characterised by sober colours and subtle patterning. Yet such garments could hide rather fabulous interiors which spoke more of individual personality than the restrained exterior might suggest. In the 1930s designs for juban (under-kimono) and haori (jacket) linings often carried images that were symbolic of Japanese progress, modernity, and empire building. That the Japanese did not wear such sentiments on their (outer) sleeves does not reflect a lack of patriotic fervour. Indeed in many ways it meant that they aligned themselves to the nation’s goals on an even more intimate level. The exterior of this jacket has a small scale hatched design, while the lining celebrates Japan’s colonisation of Manchuria. It features smiling Chinese and Japanese children waving the flags of Manchuria and Japan, with camels, pagoda and the characters for ‘East Asia’ (tōyō) and ‘peace’ (heiwa). The lining of the sleeve is of a different fabric, printed with a design of gourds, horses and chess pieces.

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  • Title: Kimono jacket
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1932/1940
  • Location: Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 99 cm, Width: 129.5 cm
  • Medium: Plain weave; resist-dyeing; printing

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