Featured Kimono

I arrived in Japan in 1984, fresh from two years traipsing outlying villages in China. I was curious about modern kimono, as I’d only seen precious antique examples in Western museums. As I sought guidance at the universities, I was repeatedly told that such a subject wasn’t worth researching. (Something which has changed greatly in this interim!) So I found myself in a country with exceptionally high literacy but not much available to read. I began by gathering samples & questioning everyone: retailers, older ladies, craftspeople. I owe so much so my generous translators, including one fellow retired from the forensic department of the police, who began each section with a look at fiber under the ‘scope.

When Lawrence Smith, then Keeper of the Japanese Department at the British Museum, came to visit, he supported this effort.

It was the beginning of my long fascination and years of study. The specifics of materials and techniques have widened to an interest in the movement of goods, the marketing of style trends, and the strong emotions binding the owner to the garment. I can’t help continuing to acquire and pass on the garments, with ever more backgrounds to the stories.

Here are just a few. If you have special interests, please get in touch.