The best Kimono are among the most beautiful textile objects in the world, and the “fine art” Kimono, produced by the late Kubota Itchiku, hold a place close to my heart. They are truly stunning.
Although Japanese shops can be among the brashest and, at times, the trashiest anywhere, when it comes to selling traditional artefacts the Japanese flair for beautiful design comes to the fore, and this is very much true of Kimono.
So to give you an idea of why I love them so much, here are some photographs that I took in Tokyo a few years ago – I’m sorry about the quality of the shots and the glass reflections!
Itchiku Kubota was born in 1917, and died in 2003. Kubota devoted the second half of his life to developing his own style of Kimono making, which included long periods of experimentation where he sought to recreate ancient techniques that had been lost over the ages. In the last two decades of his life he worked on large series of oversized “art” Kimono where a landscape image unfolded over several individual pieces. Each Kimono required many hundreds of separate dyeing processes, and the end result is breathtakingly beautiful.