A History of Japanese Wedding Kimono
A Japanese tradition of 1500 years, the making and wearing of kimono has prevailed even through WWII,
when Kyoto was spared from bombing. Originally coming from China, the kimono was then reinterpreted by the
Japanese people. The kimono was a garment worn by the leisure class, not the working class – the working
class required garments with a greater degree of movement, and therefore wore baggy pants (hakama).
Today, most people in Japan are not wearing kimono anymore, with more women entering the workforce and
90% of brides choosing Westernized wedding garments. One of the only times we would see a woman wearing
a kimono today is for a tea ceremony, which is a very traditional Japanese practice.
Each kimono is unique, due to the use of hand dyed silk (only Japanese silk is strong enough to support the
dying, bleaching and re-dying of the fibers without falling apart), hand weaving, and hand painting and/or
embroidery of the garment. Symbolism common throughout kimono includes the use of cranes (long life,
fidelity); ducks (mating for life – used on the uchikake); chrysanthemum (blossoming in the fall, it represents
longevity, superior character); and bamboo (its ability to bend without breaking represents endurance and
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