April 14 to June 7, 2020
The kimono — literally “something to wear” — is not only one of Japan’s most iconic symbols, but also perhaps one of the most recognizable pieces of clothing in the world. A garment for all occasions, it is surprisingly utilitarian in its functionality. Yet the kimono is also a culmination of outstanding craftsmanship, with the garment’s different textiles, patterns and colors all signifiers of Japanese culture and aesthetics.
Enter “KIMONO: Fashioning Identities,” an exhibition examining the remarkable evolution of the garment since its inception roughly 800 years ago. From precursory kosode (“small sleeve opening”) garments to contemporary interpretations of kimono by modern artists, the exhibition is an array of over 200 pieces celebrating this remarkable and most distinctive apparel. Such is the kimono’s worldwide allure that several major museums — New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; and the Victoria and Albert Museum — are also involved. People are invited to see showcase pieces debuting in Japan, or attend the international symposium held in conjunction with the exhibition.
Venue: Heiseikan, Tokyo National Museum