Paper $29.00 ISBN: 9781780232782 Will Publish August 2014 For sale in North and South America only


A Modern History

Terry Satsuki Milhaupt

Terry Satsuki Milhaupt

Distributed for Reaktion Books

272 pages | 125 color plates, 15 halftones | 7 1/2 x 9 4/5
Paper $29.00 ISBN: 9781780232782 Will Publish August 2014 For sale in North and South America only
What is the kimono? Is it an everyday garment? An art object? An icon of Asian femininity? A symbol of Japan? In Kimono, Terry Satsuki Milhaupt vividly explores how these full-length robes have served all of these roles, revealing how their meaning has transformed over time.
Tracing the evolution of the kimono from daily wear to a national symbol of Japanese culture, Milhaupt travels back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the foundations of the modern kimono fashion industry. During this period, she shows, art and fashion merged as famous Japanese painters began to work with clothing patterns and painted directly on garments. Milhaupt then moves to the nineteenth century, when Westerners were exposed to distinctive Japanese modes of dress and design, and the kimono came to be associated with an exotic culture and an alluring female form. The twentieth century saw kimono production undergo a period of modernization, the garment becoming intermixed with Western fashion, paralleling Japan’s social transformation. Milhaupt describes how, after World War II, the Japanese government sustained the kimono industry, and kimonos produced by famous designers became collectors’ items and museum pieces. She concludes with a discussion of the effect the Internet and social media have had on the modern kimono, making it a versatile garment integrated into a range of fashion styles.
Written to accompany the kimono exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in September 2014, this sumptuously illustrated book tells the incredible story of a single garment and provides a fascinating new perspective on Japan’s modernization and encounter with the West.
John T. Carpenter, Metropolitan Museum of Art
“The gorgeous, vividly colored, and visually witty designs of the traditional Japanese garment referred to in modern times as kimono, things to wear,’ are the subject of this groundbreaking study. Through her insightful analysis of textile design, fabrics, dyes, designers, workshops, and distribution systems, the late Terry Satsuki Milhaupt has offered insights into the complex cultural and social history of modern Japan, with an emphasis on the shaping of national identity through the encounter with the West. Contextualizing the history of kimono in an era of rapid industrialization, this profusely illustrated volume also charts the evolving status and roles of women in Japanese society.”
Sharon S. Takeda, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Kimono: A Modern History is a well-researched and engaging analysis of the multifaceted history of the kimono. Terry Satsuki Milhaupt’s examination of the local and global elements of the kimono and its enduring legacy into the twenty-first century is an important addition to the literature on Japanese art and design.” 
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