When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan

Post Reply
shira
Maiko-san
Maiko-san
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:38 pm
Contact:

When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan

Post by shira » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:20 am

NAME: moonblossom


When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan
by Dale Carolyn Gluckman & Sharon Sadako Takeda
Language: English
ISBN-10: 083480266X
Amazon.com listing
(nb: This volume may be found on eBay for significantly lower price)

Image

I found this book while browsing the “ending soon” section on eBay. I’d never heard of it before, and wasn’t sure if it would be worth the $25 it was being sold for, so I looked it up quickly on Amazon.

So, was it worth it? Absolutely! It is actually an illustrated museum catalogue for an exhibit of the same name, much like Kazari: Decoration and Display in Japan 15th-19th Centuries, which I reviewed earlier. It is divided into essays about many topics, from the evolution of the kosode to calligraphy as a motif to the cultural and social impact and relevance of red “beni” dye. Each essay is complemented by many lush full colour photographs and multiple page spreads, as well as smaller inserted black and white and detail shots. When I first got it, I spent several nights simply ogling the photos.

The essays themselves are written in a fairly dry academic style, but they are not difficult to read or alienating to people unfamiliar with the terminology. Any Japanese terms are italicized and explained in clear plain English the first time they make an appearance. There is a very useful glossary of terms in the background that is a huge asset to anyone interested in kimono either as wearable clothing or as historical costume, as well as many fascinating and well-organized charts and graphs documenting the flow of Japanese historical eras, common kosode pattern layouts, and garment dimensions. It is not something I’d suggest for light bedtime reading, but it makes an excellent addition to any kimono-specific or Japanese cultural reference library. Several of the kimono in the book are also in the Kyoto Shoin, Yuzen edition book, but I found this to be a good thing – it was very interesting to see that some of these garments are so historically famous and relevant that they appear in multiple texts.

The layout of the book is also very lovely, the text is clear and the images are crisp and beautiful, with vivid colours and plenty of detail shots. Captions are always large enough to be legible but small enough not to be obtrusive. There are also some very charming touches, such as the text on the first page of each section being in the shape of a kimono. This may not seem like such a big thing, but it really adds to the cohesive feel of the whole book, and as someone who studied document layout in college it really tickled me.

Image

Image

Image

Image

I would recommend this book for:
-People interested in the history of Japanese textiles.
-People studying historical fashion or evolution of fashion and trends.
-People interested in Edo-era Japan.
-People looking for beautiful photos of kimono.

I would not recommend this book for:
-People looking for how-to-wear guides.
-People looking for coordination ideas.

_________________
Image

shira
Maiko-san
Maiko-san
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:38 pm
Contact:

Re: When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan

Post by shira » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:21 am

NAME: Iyolin


Thanks for sharing this! I've had my eye on this book before, and review from someone I know is always better than the anonymous ones.


_________________
Does your signature comply with the rules? Check this thread for details.

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. - Joseph Chilton Pearce

shira
Maiko-san
Maiko-san
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:38 pm
Contact:

Re: When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan

Post by shira » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:21 am

NAME: owl


This book has shown up quite often when I am looking up books on Kimono through amazon. Now after reading your review, I think I may have to purhcase it :)

_________________
Store, kitsuke, and kimono craft blog..http://lemonchidori.blogspot.com/

shira
Maiko-san
Maiko-san
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:38 pm
Contact:

Re: When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan

Post by shira » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:22 am

NAME: ume_bloom


haha moonbloossom, you beat me to it! :))

I have about 50 pages left to read and was planning a review.

I thoroughly agree with you, this is a visually amazing book and for someone who is not native in english, I'd say it doesn't have a boring vocabulary, and was quite easy for me to understand.

That blue on cream katabira is my obsession from this book... I keep looking at it every now and then and sigh... I really, really, really want one of those.

_________________
- ume_bloom -
My blog...

shira
Maiko-san
Maiko-san
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:38 pm
Contact:

Re: When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan

Post by shira » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:22 am

NAME: moonblossom


Please contribute when you've finished it!

And I agree, the blue-on-white katabira are stunning.

_________________
Image

shira
Maiko-san
Maiko-san
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:38 pm
Contact:

Re: When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan

Post by shira » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:23 am

NAME: Takenoko


moonblossom, many thanks for this review. It's a book I'd been thinking about for a while - have just added it to my library via eBay (great tip - found a copy which is apparently signed by the authors too for not much more than your copy and it's a charity listing, so I'm feeling good all round).

ume-bloom, blue on cream katabira? I may have seen a photo in another book - one of those with a fantastic chayatsuji landscape?
=D

_________________
Image

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest