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History of Kimono - Showa to Today

From the end of the Taisho era (1912-1926) to the beginning of the Showa era (1926-1989), young people dressed in Western-style clothing called "mobo" (abbreviation of modern boy) and "moga" (abbreviation of modern girl) appeared.
For kimonos, Western art deco style patterns such as Yamagata, semicircle, and sharp-edged rose patterns were favored.

While new fashionable colors such as celadon, apricot, and cobalt blue were born, traditional Edo colors such as ebicha, grape gray, and nato were also revived.
Even in the Showa era (1926-1989), the popularity of Meisen was still strong. In addition to Isesaki Meisen, there were Chichibu Meisen, Kiryu Meisen, Ashikaga Meisen, and others.
These were useful as everyday wear until around the 1950s.

In this era, the war had a major impact on kimonos.
During the war, glamorous fashions were restricted, and attire was changed to kappogi and monpe.
Simple kimonos such as cotton became the mainstream, and short sleeves with tubular sleeves became common.
The monpe was a type of hakama, a kimono with a shortened hem that was worn on the upper half of the body, with the monpe worn on the lower half.
Although it was not compulsory to wear the monpe, many women lived in the monpe as the battle for the mainland loomed.

After the War, the majority of men wore westernized clothes when they went out.
Even so, until the 1960s, some people wore kimonos on a daily basis, but this gradually fell into disuse.
This is because after the war, there was an extreme shortage of goods, and the only way to make clothes was to create them from materials on hand.

Many women wore kimonos as everyday wear until around the 1970s.
One trend that became popular in the Showa era was the wool kimono.
This was because wool kimonos were relatively inexpensive, beautiful in color, casual and easy to wear.
However, the percentage of people who wore clothes instead of kimonos continued to increase, and the kimono industry was forced into a slump.
In an attempt to recover from the slump in kimono sales, the kimono industry created rules such as "the rules for a kimono to be needed for various occasions".
The kimono industry, in an attempt to recover from the slump in kimono sales, created rules, such as "the requirements of a kimono for various occasions," and used this to promote sales.
However, in doing so, they ended up giving the impression that kimono was too difficult to wear.
As a result, people began to think that kimono was too difficult, and the kimono industry began to go bankrupt one after another.

The 1980s had a bit of a special time.
The economy was booming, so many high-class kimonos (with small and delicate patterns, gradations all the way down to the hem, full shibori, etc.) were being made, and unique kimono by artists were selling like hotcakes.
Of course, high quality means that the craftsmen put a lot of effort into their work.
The most popular colors were pastels such as white, pink, and light blue, and the most popular fabrics were the gorgeous lustrous figured satin.
However, this economic boom was only temporary. After that, the Japanese economy entered a prolonged period of stagnation, and people no longer had access to luxury kimono.

In the Heisei era (1989), the number of people who wear kimonos on a daily basis has decreased dramatically, not only for men but also for women.
It is common for women to wear kimono for ceremonial occasions only such as Shichi-Go-San, coming-of-age ceremony, graduation ceremony, and wedding ceremony.
However, this does not mean that people with a passion for kimono have disappeared.
Since the late 1990s, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of stores that deal in antique kimonos (from before the early Showa period) and recycled kimonos (from the mid-Showa period onward).
This is because a kimono boom gradually began to take place among women, sparked by magazines.
Antique kimonos in particular attract people with their unique colors, patterns, and textures, and people enjoy them in their daily lives.

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