Taisho Era Kimono
Taisho era (1912-1926) is interesting as during that time a new style of kimono was born. Modern, totally new, something never seen before. Now, the modern clothes designers in Japan copy the same patterns of the kimonos from this fascinating period. A brief walk in Nippori textile street proved this true.
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What defines a Taisho kimono are many things:
- red inner lining in sleeves and back (although this may have been replaced in some kimono, since linings seem to rot quickly)
- longer sleeves than modern kimono, when it is not a childs' kimono or kofurisode. Taisho-era sleeves for young women not wearing ofurisode were around two feet long or a little longer. Today, it is almost a foot shorter.
- certain colours were used repeatedly; a certain shade of rose nearly always paired with mustard, a purple that photographs as blue often paired with red. This isn't something I can describe easily. I suggest looking up Taisho kimono on Ichiroya to learn the specific shades.
- Big, bold patterns were often seen on Taisho work, but not always. There were two styles of Taisho: Taisho Roman (romantic) and Taisho Modern. Taisho Roman involved lots of flowers, rivers, traditional motifs in bigger, more grandiose patterns. Taisho Modern involved lots of geometrics, oddly-paired colouring for Japanese tastes, etc.
- The collar. Some Taisho kimono, you have to fold the collar as on modern ones, but many that I own, the collar is narrow and pre-sewn down, folded.
- Taisho kimono are much shorter than today's kimono most of the time. A hikizuri back then (geisha's kimono) is the length of a short woman's tomesode now. If women used ohashori in Taisho (a tuck at the waist, and many did), judging by the average length of kimono back then, a woman was often around 4'4"-4'6". Today, most young women are around 5'3" in Japan.