[ENG] Kimono: A Pictorial Story of the Kimono (1948) (Links need updating once posts are transferred over)

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[ENG] Kimono: A Pictorial Story of the Kimono (1948) (Links need updating once posts are transferred over)

Post by shira » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:42 am

NAME: Lumikettu

Kimono: A Pictorial Story Of The Kimono
by Keiichi Takasawa
ISBN 1428662154


This little book contains the reprint of a book printed first in the 1948. Nearly all images are handdrawn by the author and some of them are very lovely. I can provide scans in a few weeks. This is not a really long book, only about 40-50 pages. I think this book was meant for a little info package for the westerners travelling in Japan, as it was first published by Japan Travel Bureau.

The contents of this book:
- Ah, the kimono! ( a small poem)
- Kimono - native creation
- It's style and charm
- Silken weaves
- Tea ceremony and Floral art
- In the dye-pots
- Family crests
- Dressing up
- In the Four Seasons
- Favourite designs
- Costumes of today
- Geisha Gowns
- Obi Observations

A few quotes:

The Poem:
Ah, the kimono!
The kimono is full of strange charms;
A phantasmagoria of colors,
A flamboyancy of patterns,
The gloss and fineness of silk;
It's gossamer-like tissues
Veil the bodies of the women of the East.
It's a token of love,
Tender love; burning love
Is shrouded in the flaming red juban,
And lurks behind the neck-band,
Sleeves and hem.
Ah, lovely kimono! Symbol
Of Japanese women!

Geisha Gowns:
GEISHA entertainments are an institution in Japan. The Geisha girls dress invariably in kimono and wear their hair in the Japanese coiffure. Their duties are to entertain at dinner parties, giving zest to the occasions by singing and dancing. The geisha is an ardent supporter of the constinued use of the kimono. No matter what changes may take place in Japanese womens' clothes, she will likely be the last person to discard her pretty kimonos. Just fancy a geisha girl singing a Japanese song or playing on the samisen (a stringed musical instrument) in foreign clothes and with her hair done up in the western style!
As I have written at some lenght elsewhere about how the kimono should be worn, I shall merely mention here how geisha girls wear theirs. There is a difference in the way a geisha dresses that is easily apparent to the eyes of the initiated. The nape of her neck and the upper part of her back are more exposed and there is an apparent looseness about her neck-band, but in spite of this she looks neat and tidy. Unlike foreign clothes, the kimono can look definitely untidy when it's not worn properly, but the geisha can never be accused of such a misdemeanor.
When she entertains guests in a Japanese room she walks about trailing her kimono and when she goes out she grasps the lower part of her kimono holding it up with her left hand. How well she brings out the beauty of the kimono, making it appear to the best advantage! She is supposed to wear only the best kind of kimono, generally made from excellent chirimen or kinsha (silk crêpe.) The wardrobe of a popular geisha runs up into a large fortune.

Most of the chapters of this book are no larger than the one above. A few of the pages are hard to read and one has an unreadable part because of the printing and blurring of text. The publisher has a note in the beginning of this book, which says that there might be pieces of text missing from this edition because the original is rare to find and damaged. In it's own way it's a very intersting piece.

Recommended for
- People interested in the way kimono was seen in the 40's.
- People intersted in old kimono books.

Not recommended for
- People looking for extensive study of the kimono.
- People looking extensive study over this period in kimono history.

From Amazon (with the look inside available):
http://www.amazon.com/Kimono-Pictorial- ... 1428662154

Silence is Golden. Duct tape is Silver.
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumikettu/
The Kimono Blog: http://lumikettukimono.blogspot.com
The Sewing Blog: http://lumikettusewing.blogspot.fi/

Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:38 pm

Re: [ENG] Kimono: A Pictorial Story of the Kimono (1948)

Post by shira » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:43 am

NAME: sillygatos

Lumikettu very accurately describes who should look for this little book or avoid it. Is the book a serious history of kimono? No. Is it a sign of the times? Yes. Will it inspire your kitsuke? Who knows?

Lumikettu has scans posted.

If you order this book, be sure to get the one on washi, not the reprint. The original printing appears to be hand colored, but I don't think it is. For about $20 (check eBay or ABE), it's a nice addition to a serious collector's library.

The author/artist has another book entitled "Women of Japan." Naomi has information here. The Ohmi Gallery (personal collection of Ross Walker) describes the author/artist as follows:

Keiichi Takasawa was born in Gunma Prefecture in 1914. In 1936 he attended Nihon University and later studied with Tsuguharu Fujita (a strong influence). During the war Keiichi worked as a war reporter. He did many illustrations and covers for women's magazines, music record covers, etc. He did many 'nikushitsu' paintings of 'bijin-ga' and the best of these were often published as woodblock prints. His bijin-ga prints always depicted the same slender-necked beauty (who may have been his wife), often in erotic poses. He usually signed his name using both Japanese kanji and Roman script.

Work in progress

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