Japanese Art, Culture and Kimono - a brief history

Japans rich History of Art and Culture has been entwined with its national costume the Kimono from the very beginning ......

We hope to add content showing the deep links between our kimono designs and the rich history and culture of Japan. Starting with our Hokusai Kimono. Katsushika Hokusai was a leading artist, painter & printmaker of the Edo period. His most iconic print is the "Great Wave off Kanagawa" which is the main influence for the wave pattern on our Hokusai kimono.

To fully explore the History of Kimono and Art in Japanese Society and its relationship with Onlykimono designs, it is best to explore the world of Ukiyo-e. A genre of woodblock prints which depict images of Kimono in all their infinitude of detail and ornamentation. The Rites of Imperial Japanese Courts and the courtesans that frequented them are fabulously displayed in perpetuity as is the rich association between the Kimono and the Art of Kabuki.

The “floating world” of Ukiyo-e, displays a world of aesthetic appreciation, contemplation, and celebration of nature and the arts as opposed to the mundanities of everyday life. A world in which the Kimono design, truly reflects the world if evolved in.

From the original prints of Hishikawa Moronobu (1618 – 1694) which depicted Ukiyo-e as monochrome prints through to the polychromatic printing endorsed by Suzuki Harunobu in the 18th century which depicted Kimono so intricately using an technique known as Nishiki-e.

With the arrival of new print forms such as Sosaku-hanga which subscribed to western concepts of creativity, the Kimono featured less and less.It is only now evident how appreciative we are of the age of Ukiyo-e, an age that gave us a spectacular glimpse into the world of Kimono.

Artists of Note:

Ando Hiroshige: (1797 – 1858)
Hishikawa Moronobu (1618 – 1694)
Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849)
Utagawa Toyokuni (1786 – 1865)
Suzuki Harunobu (1724 – 1770)
Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 – 1806)