Today I want to highlight one of the oldest indigo clothing items from my private collection. It’s a kids kimono (for 3 – 4 years old kids) from circa 1930 (maybe older). Before I go further with this specific kimono, first some history about the kimono.

The kimono is a Japanese traditional garment. The word ‘kimono’ means a ‘thing to wear’ (ki “wear” and mono “thing”). The standard word kimono in English is kimonos. The kimono is always used in important festival or formal moments, it is the representative of polite and a very formal clothing. Kimonos has T-shaped, straight-lined robes worn so that the hem falls to the ankle, with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. Kimonos are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right side (except when dressing the dead for burial) and secured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back. Kimonos are generally worn with traditional footwear.

My kimono comes from the Miyagi Prefecture area, the North Pacific Ocean side from Japan. The kimono is from the early Showa period. The Showa period is known from the potentially period of peace and harmony or ‘period of radiant’ Japan. The Showa era refers to the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of the Showa Emperor, Hirohito, from December 25, 1926, through January 7, 1989.

Back to my kimono. The kimono is made by hand and coloured with natural indigo. It has beautiful different blue colors, aged by wear. On the back you see a small repair which is very common by old traditional clothing. People repaired over and over again their clothes as they didn’t had the money to buy new stuff (totally different than nowadays). If you flip the kimono inside out you will see the strong blue colors. This kimono is a true piece of art with a rich history and link to the denim industry.

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (3)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (4)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (1)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (2)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (7)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (8)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (9)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (13)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (14)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (15)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (10)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (11)

japan kimono longjohnblog long john blue indigo vintage authentic traditional naturalindigo handmade craftsmanship 1930 (12)

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Written by Wouter
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine I'm working as a freelance marketing specialist for brands and retail. Specialized in denim.