in the UK
The kimono, one of the most emblematic symbols of Japan, it is more than a garment - governed by a wealth of codes and traditions, it is the essence of Japanese culture itself. "Kimonos" beautifully illustrates the various facets of the garment, historically and in modern times, evoking the grace of Japanese graphics with its elegant layout and original photographs and drawings. Wearing a kimono and knotting an obi (the wide belt that secures the garment) according to traditional rule is extremely difficult. Lively colours are for unmarried girls only and long sleeved kimonos are not to be worn by married women.Once passed down from mother to daughter, today there are specialised schools that certify students in proper kimono etiquette. Codified in the seventeenth century, the principles of the manufacture and wearing of kimonos haven't changed since, although the kimono exists today in endless varieties, thanks to the diversity of fabric, weaving techniques and printing patterns. The simple T-shape of the kimono can have thousands of different appearances, depending on the style of folds and tucks of fabric.
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
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