It is probably the most beautiful (and certainly the biggest) book in Tajfuny. It’s hard for me to write about it without superlatives and endless “wows”, but it’s really a gem, both from the aesthetic side and the knowledge it contains. A treasury of knowledge about Japanese textiles, and also just a beautiful object to admire.
What’s interesting is that this is not a collection of photos of beautiful richly decorated kimonos, but rather of everyday clothes, which much better reflect the wider dress culture: you will learn about shibori, or dyeing of clothes, traditional Ainu outfits (for example stunning chikarkarpe robes), clothes worn by Buddhist monks, or rich patterns on kimonos decorated with the tsutsugaki method.
My favourite is the on clothes with patterns from Okinawan bingata (it is worth remembering that Okinawa has been part of Japan only since the 19th century, when it was colonized by Japan.) Bingata (literally “red style”) is a method of decorating the material based on applying mineral patterns to the resin paste – the patterns and the creative process was clearly inspirated by Indonesian batik and Chinese lan yin hua bu. The cover of the book features an Okinawan coat, ryūsō, made of cotton – expensive at the time, worn by an aristocrat.