Dentsu Advertising Museum

Kimono lovers, be sure to visit the Dentsu Advertising Museum, which covers the Edo, Meiji and Taisho eras. The Edo exhibit has a section dedicated to kimono, while the Meiji and Meiji to Taisho exhibits have several advertisements with women dressed in kimono of the day.

An excerpt from the Edo exhibit that I found interesting:

People in the Edo period wore kimono (the category of goods was called gofuku). The majority of townspeople wore kimono purchased at second-hand kimono shops. This was partly because fabrics were expensive at that time, but it was also the manifestation of a characteristic Edo philosophy of recycling resources to the greatest extent possible.

While most townspeople relied on second-hand kimono, there were people affluent enough to afford new kimono. New garments were sold by large stores, such as Echigo-ya, Shiroki-ya, Daimaru and Matsuzaka-ya, all of which later became well-known department stores.

What a change from the modern philosophy of “if it’s a year old, it’s obsolete”! (Although second-hand kimono are making a comeback in Japan currently, the fad seems to focus on those from the Taisho and early Showa eras.)

My favorites can be found in the Meiji to Taisho exhibit:
Enjoying nighttime illuminations
Bundled in kimono
Young woman sitting
I especially like the lady’s han eri in the third link, and the art nouveau style, which is so very Taisho. Last but not least:
Young mother and daughter
A Western hairstyle combined with Taisho iki!

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