Kimono: Fashioning Culture

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9780300056396: Kimono: Fashioning Culture

This beautifully written and sumptuously illustrated book uses the history of kimono, from its beginning two thousand years ago, to explore Japanese culture. It shows how clothing fashions can illuminate our understanding of a culture, by considering why things change and what can be learned from a formal analysis of the elements of a system that is more or less fixed. The author uses kimono as a way to probe aspects of Japan that the Japanese themselves think of as close to the heart of their culture. She includes discussion of the social meaning of wearing kimono today; how kimono as we know it came to hold its pre-eminent place as the national garment of Japan; a historical overview of the genesis of kimono; and an exploration of the intersections of sexual identity and clothing in the early 17th century. The resulting book is an engaging mix of detailed fashion history and social history, enhanced by more than two hundred illustrations.

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About the Author:

Paul van Riel wrote the text and was the photographer.

Liza Dalby also wrote the captions.

From Library Journal:

Dalby, author of Geisha (Univ. of California Pr., 1983), has written a lively, informative study of the kimono, tracing its evolution throughout Japanese history to its current status as the national dress of Japan. Her book's coverage includes all types of "native" dress, past and present; her unique position as a Western "insider" allows her to demystify the complex social mores connected with wearing the kimono. The work is also notable for reprinting and translating sections from 17th-century pattern books and for its discussion of the Heian (794-1185) color palette. Jill Liddell's The Story of the Kimono (Dutton, 1989) and Alan Kennedy's Japanese Costume: History and Tradition (A. Biro, 1990) cover different aspects of kimono history and textile design. The three books nicely complement one another, providing almost complete coverage of the subject. At once scholarly and enjoyable reading, Kimono is recommended for academic and public libraries with collections on Asian culture.
- Katharine L. Kan, Aiea P.L., Hawaii
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Dalby, Liza Crihfield
Published by Yale Univ Pr (1993)
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