The construct of ‘race’ complicates our understanding of nationhood, ethnicity and culture, which is highlighted as we look at Japanese-ness and Japanese style. ⁣

A robust, critical discourse on Japanese dress, costume and style has been underway for well over a decade as concepts of “tradition,” “modernity” and material culture ownership have been brought to the fore. There are arguments that Japanese style is not a monolith, that Japanese dress should not be relegated as “static” costume, and that Japanese culture should not be appropriated without careful study or consideration (i.e. Kim Kardashian’s shape wear line). ⁣

two protestors stand with signs in front of framed piece of art in a museum, as a group of spectators looks on

Courtesy of Amber Ying and Shaina Lu/Decolonize Our Museums. One of many “Decolonize Our Museums” protests at Museum of Fine Arts.