While reading Dorinne Kondo’s article “The Aesthetics and Politics of Japanese Identity in the Fashion Industry”, I found it interesting that the westernization of Japanese clothing began in thr 1860s starting with military soldiers then leading to the royal courts and finally to the public. According to Kondo, “Western dress was a symbol of social dignity and progressiveness”(468). Japan’s victory in the Russo-Japanese War made them more adaptive to European influences and western clothing was a good representation of public employment. Western clothing symbolizes progression because in a way it represents adaptation and openness to new ideas. Initially, there was a hesitation to fully accept western clothing as some prefer their traditional kimonos. However later on, outside the home the Japanese would wear western clothing while wearing kimonos indoors. This practice has become a general rule for generations.
According to an online website, western clothing has become so popular because it is much easier and convenient than the kimono. In addition, western clothing is more affordable as a typical kimono ranges from 10,000 to 1,000,000 yen. A survey indicates that 80% women would like to wear kimonos but many young women don’t know how or where to buy kimonos.
As for the Compact Challenge, I am proud to announce that this is the final week of the challenge and I still have yet to purchase something unnecessary. I think I can keep this up for a couple more weeks as it has become easier for me to resist the temptation of material goods.
[ Outside source: http://www.asij.ac.jp/middle/ac/ss/8ah/hypertokyo/period7b/harris2.htm ]
[ Inside source: Kondo, Dorinne. “The Aesthetics and Politics of Japanese Identity in the Fashion Industry” Reader. ]