Kimono’s Evolution Reflects Changing Japan

Over robe (Uchikake) with scenes from "The Tales of Ise" Japan, Meiji period, second half of the 19th century, made of silk plain-weave crepe (kabe chirimen), paste-resist dyed (yuzen), hand-painted with ink, embroidered with silk, and couched with gold-wrapped thread. (AP Photo/Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Over robe (Uchikake) with scenes from "The Tales of Ise" Japan, Meiji period, second half of the 19th century, made of silk plain-weave crepe (kabe chirimen), paste-resist dyed (yuzen), hand-painted with ink, embroidered with silk, and couched with gold-wrapped thread. (AP Photo/Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

NEW YORK—It’s difficult to imagine a more eloquent symbol of Japan than the deceptively simple, T-shaped kimono. Traditional, yet ever changing, the kimono (“thing to...


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