A Kimono Jack is a kind of street movement. It is similar to a flash mob. A group of people gather together to enjoy wearing kimono. The group 'highjacks' a public, usually urban space by making a visual spectacle, with everyone wearing kimono.
History and Purpose
The movement started in Kyoto in 2010 and was dreamed up by Akagi Mihiro (family, given name), who works in a kimono business in Kyoto. The purpose of a Kimono Jack is to make an occasion to wear kimono. There were eleven members in the committee and forty participants in the first meeting. Since then there have been new groups springing up around Japan and the world. There are now sixteen groups in Japan in addition to the original one in Kyoto. There are no rules about what kind of kimono is worn, and a Kimono Jack costs nothing to attend. One may come late or leave early. The only rule is to enjoy wearing kimono.
A group photograph is taken, then the participants walk around in small groups as they please; they go shopping, drink coffee or go sight seeing, and meet again two hours later, usually in another nearby location for a second group photograph.
Some kimono traditionalists do not approve of Kimono Jacks, considering them a kind of cos-play. They believe that kimono groups are not necessary. However the group provides a safe environment for the inexperienced to practice kimono dressing and coordination and it also provides an audience for expressions of creative kimono fashion. Kimono Jacks are attended by people of all ages, and are especially popular with people in their 20s and 30s.
International Kimono Jacks
The first Kimono Jack outside Japan was Kimono Jack UK, and was organized by Lyuba Johnson. It met in London on October 23rd, 2010. The UK group meets regularly, crossing the country to go to, and participate in Japanese events , festivals, and other interesting sightseeing places across England. Groups in other countries are following the UK model and going to events and on outings wearing kimono. The Netherlands group has been reported on in the newspaper and also on a website for its activities in spreading Japanese culture.
http://www.hyperjapan.co.uk/event-2011/culture/kimono-de-jack.html 'Het Parool' 26 March 2012 'Nu.nl' 26 March 2012]]
Japanese Kimono Jack Links
- Aichi Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Aomori Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Fukuoka Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Gunma Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Hiroshima Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Hokkaido Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Ibaraki Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Ishikawa Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Iwate Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Kanagawa Kimono Jack[Blog]
- Kyoto Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Saitama Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Shizuoka Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Tochigi Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Tokyo Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Toyama Kimono Jack [Blog]
- Yamaguchi Kimono Jack [Blog]
International Kimono Jack Links
- Denmark Kimono Jack (from 2012) [Blog]
- France Kimono Jack (from 2012) [Website]
- Netherlands Kimono Jack (from 2011) Stephanie van Engeleberg, Linda Kole [Facebook]
- Poland Kimono Jack (from 2012)[Facebook]
- UK Kimono Jack (from 2010) Lyuba Johnson [Blog]
- Florida Kimono Jack (from 2010) [Website]
- Hawaii Kimono Jack (from 2013) [Blog]
- Los Angeles Kimono Jack (from 2011) [Blog]
- Memphis Kimono Jack (2013) [Facebook]
- New York Kimono Jack
- Ohio Kimono Jack (2010) Quat and Liz [Facebook]
- Seattle Kimono Jack [Facebook] Japan America Society of the State of Washington [www.jassw.org ]
- Mexico Kimono Jack (from 2013) [Facebook]