wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing
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In the photograph you can see a most unusual juban (naga juban) kimono with famous ukiyoe images of geisha. These images are from woodblock prints by Kitagawa Utamaro (1754-1806). This kimono has been made by someone, in Japan, by creating a patchwork of the fabric pages from a textile sample book. It belongs to my daughter who has it hanging on her bedroom wall. Being a juban kimono, it is shorter than an outerwear kimono, because jubans are not worn with a fold-over of fabric at the waist, so they are more or less ankle length, depending on one’s height, whereas outerwear kimonos are deliberately made way too long, so a fold-over (ohashiori) can be made at the waist when they are worn; being shorter makes it easier to display.
When a child, my daughter had a colouring book full of these famous prints, which she absolutely loved. When I saw this juban kimono for sale, I had to buy it for her. If I’d had the wall space to display it in my own home, I might have been very tempted to keep it for myself.