Kimono: Symbol of a Nation
Elegant, flowing, and steeped in mythology, the kimono has survived for fifteen hundred years as a symbol of Japanese tradition and a mirror of Japan’s evolving culture. From medieval courtesans adorned in sensual finery to samurai warriors whose clothing signified their military allegiance, anyone donning a kimono accepted and perpetuated its meanings. Today, knowledge of its traditions and observance of the elaborate rules surrounding it have declined. Nevertheless, thanks to the small number of modern Japanese women who honor and study their past, the multifaceted gown lives on. This program examines the kimono’s continuing importance in Japanese culture and society—from the tea ceremony to the fashion runway.