Curator‘s Comments

A kimono of this type is generally known asmeisen, or “ready-to-wear.” It is decorated with stencil-dyed patterns and manufactured with plain-weave raw silk in standard sizes for sale at department stores. This new-style kimono represents the Western fashions that influenced Tokyo between World War I and World War II. The most fashionable promoters of Western manners were known as Modern Boys and Modern Girls who frequented the Ginza district, with its department stores, cafés, dance halls, and beer parlors. Modern Girls often abandoned kimonos with traditional patterns and wore robes with bold geometric designs in bright colors, adapting traditional cultural forms to foreign tastes and modern life.

Meisen Kimono with Geometric Design

Unknown Artist. Japanese

Meisen Kimono with Geometric Design, Taisho-Showa era, 1920–1940


Gift of Julia Meech, class of 1963, in honor of Sam Morse

ID Number: SC 2012:55-1