Taisho Kimono : Speaking of Past and Present
This remarkable volume features and analyzes a private collection of some 130 textiles, mainly from the period between 1900 and 1940. An introduction explains the place of the kimono in Japanese society, including the essential cultural and historical background, but the heart of the book is formed by the photographs of the individual textiles, focusing on the decoration techniques and other main characteristics. No doubt women’s kimono are the most artistic ones as a result of their bold and colorful designs. But probably the most surprising garments are the men’s under kimono’s, since little has been published about them. Some designs show a longing for the past, but others are decorated with contemporary motifs, such as the popular baseball game and the beginning of the Second World War. The children’s section features the contrasting expectations for girls and boys in Japanese society: "sweet" decorations on girls’ kimono’s, strong animals or samurai on boys’ textiles. The book is generously illustrated with three hundred full-color photographs taken especially for this book and all never before published.