Item description for Kimono by Paul Van Riel & Liza Crihfield Dalby...
The colorful and stylized kimono--the national garment of Japan--expresses not only Japanese aesthetic sensibilities but the soul of Japan as well. In this beautifully written and lavishly illustrated book, Liza Dalby, author of the highly acclaimed Geisha and Tale of Murasaki, traces the history of kimono--its uses, aesthetics, and social meanings--to explore Japanese culture. Drawing on a variety of period texts including 17thcentury kimono pattern books, Dalby vividly recreates kimono and those who wore them through the centuries. She discusses the development of the kimono robe from its Chinese origins two thousand years ago to its assimilation as the national dress of Japan. An engaging mix of fashion history and social anthropology, this lively and scholarly book demonstrates in a new way how clothing can illuminate our understanding of culture.
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Studio: Hotei Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 9.5" Height: 11" Weight: 2.4 lbs.
Release Date May 25, 2001
Publisher Hotei Publishing
ISBN 907482241X ISBN13 9789074822411
This book is a classic. It doesn't have many color pictures, but that doesn't seem to matter. The author discusses kimono in terms of how kimono are worn and what tiny differences in the details of wearing mean in social context. That's what I find fascinating. Of course she also covers the history of kimono. She includes many small black-and-white line illustrations that demonstrate her points very well.
A Good Book on the History of Kimono Mar 21, 2006
This is a very good guide to the history of the kimono and its importance in Japanese society. Perhaps its only fault is that it doesn't have a huge amount of pictures and those pictures that it does have are largely in black and white.
Poor,Poor book Nov 16, 2005
This book should really not have been published, turists can take better pictures. Having been to Japan at least 50 times,I can say that even the kimonos are pathetic.There are so many places were pictures can be taken in a much better way than the ones in this book.There is no explanation only pictures. CHEAP pictures. I am very sad to put a 1 star,as all my critiques have been good. Do not waste your money.There are better books on kimonos than this one.
Kimono seen from the eyes of a non Japanese Oct 27, 2005
An outstanding book,excellent for reference and research.A very well detailed research on colors and seasons in the Heian Period, Designs, colors and symbols all had a particular reason for being used.You just did not use any color for any day of the year.Ms.Dalby did an exquisite job.
More to the Kimono than meets the eye Jun 29, 2004
The kimono is the national dress of Japan and is instantly recognisable as Japanese wherever you see it. However, the kimono that we see today is essentially the end of a long evolution of dress over a thousand years and what is worn now is essentially a fossilised costume.
This book gives you an illuminating look at the history of the kimono in Japan - how even the word "kimono" didn't exist before last century, when the Japanese became aware that there were "other" forms of dress. We are also given insights into the dress of the lower class and rural people of Japan. They are often forgotten in kimono discussion, yet they developed a dress style that was both practical and indigenous, though it is dying in the modern age. There is even an extensive section devoted to the aristocratic 10th century kimono styles and colour combinations.
Lastly this book gives you insight into how the modern kimono is worn. There is a wealth of meaning in dress design and how it is worn that mostly passes non-Japanese by and for a kimono to be worn with style requires a lot of social knowledge that not many other books will spell out for you like this.
This book is highly recommended if you have an interest in Japanese costume, history or fabrics. It gives a fascinating account of how dress mirrors history and social changes. However, if you are looking for lots of colour photos of kimono and their designs this book will probably disappoint you as all the illustrations are in black and white.