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Japanese Kimonos

Initially the primary fashion choice during Edo-period Japan, the beauty of kimonos has made these fashionable Japanese pieces beloved around the world since their creation. It is not unusual to see kimonos featured not just in traditional wear for Japanese ceremonies, but in everyday and special occasion fashion worldwide.

Kimonos are characterized by straight seams and wide sleeves that form a T-shape and are tied closed by a belt called obi. Traditional kimono robes are always worn with the left side over the right and fall right at the ankle. Unlike modern day clothes, kimono makers did not concern themselves with the wearer’s body at all, with the straight cuts hiding the human figure underneath.

During feudal Japan, kimonos were the primary means for Japanese displays of wealth. The samurai and wealthy of Japan flaunted their status with rich silk kimonos embroidered with flowers, trees, birds, and fish.


Quick Facts

  • During the Edo period, the Japanese experienced a heightened awareness of color as kimonos with different colors and patterns were often layered in colder weather. The pairing of patterns and colors showed the wearer’s sophistication and status, and even gave clues as to the personality of the wearer
  • As evident by the famous Japanese poem "Whose sleeves" or "Tagasode," the focus on beauty and character of Japanese women by 16th century was less on her physical appearance but rather in the garments and accessories she possessed
  • Today, kimonos are rarely worn by Japanese men and women. They are usually only worn during special occasions. These occasions might be during weddings, tea ceremonies, or other formal engagements

Recommended Items at Auction

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2 Japanese Silk Haori Kimono, Early-Mid 20th C.
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
2 Japanese Silk Haori Kimono, Early-Mid 20th C.
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
4 Japanese Kimonos
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
4 Japanese Kimonos
by Material Culture
Est: $300- $600
$1500 Bids
3 Silk Japanese Kimono And Chinese Silk Embroidered Quilted Jacket, Mid 20th C.
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
3 Silk Japanese Kimono And Chinese Silk Embroidered Quilted Jacket, Mid 20th C.
by Material Culture
Est: $300- $600
$1500 Bids
3 Japanese Kimono, Mid 20th C.
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
3 Japanese Kimono, Mid 20th C.
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
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A Japanese Embroidered Cream-Ground Silk Kimono 72 x 54 inches (182.9 x 137.2 cm
Dec 13, 10:00 AM CST
A Japanese Embroidered Cream-Ground Silk Kimono 72 x 54 inches (182.9 x 137.2 cm
by Heritage Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$2400 Bids
A Japanese, Chirimen Silk Crepe Ceremonial Kimono Depicting Five Crests, Meiji Period (1868-1912)
Dec 08, 2:00 PM AEDT
A Japanese, Chirimen Silk Crepe Ceremonial Kimono Depicting Five Crests, Meiji Period (1868-1912)
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD1,000- AUD2,000
AUD5000 Bids
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Japanese Samurai’s silk Kimono, Japan, Edo period, circa 1700
Dec 04, 11:00 AM EST
Japanese Samurai’s silk Kimono, Japan, Edo period, circa 1700
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Kimonos


Material Culture

Material Culture

Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions

Theodore Bruce

Theodore Bruce

Eternity Gallery

Eternity Gallery