That was fast!


Singing By the Plum Garden

So, I posted something about the westernization of clothing in Japan at what, sixish last night? And already, Karen (of Periodic Elements of Style) has sent me this image (“Illustration of Singing by the Plum Garden” by Toyohara Chikanobu, 1887), with this commentary:

I've attached an 1887 print of Japanese women wearing
Western-style dresses, but you can see (particularly on the women in
green and in black) how they used Japanese fabrics and traditional
Heian-era color pairings to suit their tastes. In the Heian era,
women of the imperial court would layer on up to twelve kimonos at a
time, choosing colors to evoke nature…particular favorites were the
plum blossom (pinks, purples, whites, and yellows), cherry blossom,
and morning glories.

Karen (who knows about all this because she studied Japanese fashion
history at Japan Women's University) also declared her love for the Tenth Doctor. (Like that's not the *default*, right? I mean, Chris Eccleston was absolutely great, but Tennant … )

Click on the image to visit a larger version at the website of Professor John Dower of MIT, who also has more about the Japan of this era.

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0 thoughts on “That was fast!

  1. “Kimono: Fashioning Culture” by Lisa Dalby is a great history of the kimono, and includes some really interesting bits about the replacement of kimono with western dress. I highly recommend it… and it’s even in paperback now :-).

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  2. The image reproduced in your post “Illustration of Singing…” is stunning, but I am surprised you did not go for the one immediately following it in the article: Illustration of Ladies Sewing by Adachi Gink, 1887. Maybe just TOO apt?Hope you are feeling better!

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  3. I’m with marie-christine – in fact, I just got a new copy of Kimono: refashioning culture. Ignore amazon telling you it’s out of print, that’s not true!Tennant – THE doctor. No question. Sexy, funny, charming – worth wearing a faboo dress for! SWOOOOOOOOOOON!

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  4. Now that I’m on a roll here…Liza Dalby is also the first (only?) Caucasion woman to fully train as a geisha, if you’re interested in that kind of thing. She trained in a geisha house while getting her PhD in Anthropology, I believe, thus her work on kimono and Japanese culture.After looking at that print for a few hours, I really, really want the black dress and the tiny, tiny hat! Tiny hats are just so beguiling.

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  5. I think it depends on when you started watching Doctor Who. I started watching in the early 80s and for me, “the doctor” will always be Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor. He had celery on his lapel.

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  6. Fashion AND Doctor Who? I love you! Tenth Doctor Rocks (and he has better fashion sense than Eccleston–leather jacket, puh-leese), but I’m still pinning over Paul McGann

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  7. My question is, given that I am a knitter and not a sewer, where can I get a great trench like Ten’s to surprise my husband with for his birthday? Thus far the internet has not been so helpful.

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  8. I have a lovely old book (Japan – A History in Art) with the left-most image in it. I just adore the whole east-meets-west motif so common during the Meiji era. ^w^

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