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Beauty looking back 17th century, Hishikawa Mornonobu Collection of Tokyo National Museum
Beauty looking back 17th century, Hishikawa Mornonobu Collection of Tokyo National Museum
Program Program
Art and Cultural Treasures

KIMONO: Fashioning Identities

Title KIMONO: Fashioning Identities
Place Tokyo National Museum
Time June 30 – August 23, 2020
Details such as the exhibition period are subject to change depending on future circumstances.
Link https://www.tnm.jp/?lang=en


The kimono is one of Japan's most iconic symbols, its colors and designs exemplifying Japanese cultural sensibilities and aesthetics. The predecessor to today's kimono is a robe called the kosode (literally, “small sleeve openings”). The kosode first came into its own as an outer robe in medieval Japan during the Muromachi period (1392–1573). It was decorated with lavish dyed, embroidered, and gold or silver patterns. The kimono continues to evolve in various ways, portraying Japan's unique world of beauty. This exhibition traces the kimono from its inception some eight hundred years ago to its role today as a symbol of Japanese culture with growing influence on the contemporary fashion scene. Featuring over 200 pieces including kimonos worn by historical figures such as Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1561–1598), Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616), and Tenshoin (1836–1883), as well as kosode hand-drawn by artist Ogata Korin (1658–1716), national treasures portraying kimono, and kimono designed by modern artists, the exhibition promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to consider the past, present, and future of this quintessential Japanese garment. The exhibition will also feature collaborative initiatives with overseas museums. The folding screens of Tagasode (“Whose Sleeves?”), housed at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, will be displayed in Japan for the first time, alongside masterpieces from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Curators will be invited from the UK's Victoria and Albert Museum for an international symposium to be held as part of this exhibition. In addition, the Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition will be held concurrently, allowing visitors to get their fill of all things kimono.