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A kimono is a Japanese dress and is an important part of this country's history, culture and tradition. Through the ages, its form has changed somewhat due to Chinese and Korean influence. It got its present shape, the letter T with broad sleeves frequently reaching the floor, during the late Edo period (1603–1868).

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A kimono is a Japanese dress and is an important part of this country's history, culture and tradition. Through the ages, its form has changed somewhat due to Chinese and Korean influence. It got its present shape, the letter T with broad sleeves frequently reaching the floor, during the late Edo period (1603–1868).
According to tradition, kimonos should be made of coloured and painted fabrics, and sewn by hand. The most formal type of material used is silk, decorated using traditional methods: kata-zome (dying through stencils), yuzen-zome (painting on fabric), shibori-zome (dying tied fabric), and surihaku (covering with gold).
The kimono with a motif of maple leaves and branches was dyed using the kata-zome method. It is absolutely unique, as its pattern was designed and cut out on the basis of a stencil from the collection of the National Museum in Kraków by master Ishimi Ōsugi, who bears the title of the Living National Treasure. Master Ōsugi's title is awarded to art and craft masters who maintain and continue the old traditions. The silk was dyed with colourful and shimmering motifs by master Yoshitaka Furuta. As the Europeans are taller than the average Japanese, this kimono is of a suitable length, and was prepared as a gift for the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology. It was sewn of thirteen metre long roll of material, the so-called tan.
The kimono is of komon type (literally: small pattern, repeatable small pattern against a plain background). The dress can be worn as an everyday item, but it can also be worn during visits to the theatre, or restaurant, as well as during the tea ceremony.

Elaborated by Joanna Haba (The Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

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“Komon” type kimono with a motif of maple leaves

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