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Japan on the Catwalk: Japanese Fashion from the 50s to the 80s

21 October 2022

Until the mid-twentieth century, Japan only had a “passive” role in the mainstream fashion industry. By the time the country opened itself to the world, its heritage and aesthetics became the perfect source of inspiration for the French couturiers. Thus, even though Japan has always been present in the fashion industry, it used to be filtered through the eyes of Western dessigners. When the second World War ended,…

Hope, Future, and Nostalgia,  the story of the Tōkyō Tower

11 April 2022

The Tōkyō Tower 東京タワー is the second tallest structure in Japan. The building is a communications and observation tower currently used as a relay by nine TV stations and five radio stations. The year 2012 put an end to its supremacy as the tallest tower in the whole country, when the 634 mt-tall Tōkyō Sky Tree Tower 東京スカイツリー, was finally finished. Although the Tōkyō Tower only possesses the…

The Forbidden Religion, the story of  Kakure Kirishitan and Christianity in Japan.

21 February 2022

The first encounter between Japan and Christianity happened in 1549, when a group of Portuguese Jesuits led by Francisco Xavier (1506-1542) arrived in Kagoshima, after some time spent among India, China, and South-East Asia. At that time, Portuguese Catholic orders had been travelling throughout Asia for the purpose of spreading the Catholic Church and converting as many people as possible, since in Europe the number of Catholics had…

Uniforms and Corsets at the Chrisanthemum court, Victorian Fashion in Meiji Japan.

10 December 2021

Among all the changes that Meiji Japan had to face, that related to the wearing system had  been one of the most significant. The first appearance of European fashion happened in the foreign districts of the largest harbour cities like Tōkyō and Yokohama. The charm of such exotic garments led some ukiyoe artists to leave behind their traditional artistic topics to start portraying life scenes from those districts.…

Painting the West, the Yokohamae style

9 December 2021

Yokohamae 横浜絵 is a sub-genre of the Japanese ukiyoe 浮世絵 production which became an artistic trend in the mid-nineteenth century, right after the arrival of the foreigners from Europe and America. This style is named after the place where the first overseas communities established their businesses once landed on the oriental coasts of Japan. Although these prints may not be as notorious as the most canonic ukiyoe, they…

Simple is chic, fashion in Edo Period

7 December 2021

Shortly after the reunification of the Country in the seventeenth century, the bakufu, embarked on a strict campaign to redefine the social roles and to keep control of the entire society. The new hierarchical system took the name of  Shinōkōshō 士農工商and it was divided into four main social categories: the bushi 武士, the farmers, the craftsmen, and the merchants; the latter were often regarded as ill-reputated. Above the Shinōkōshō system…