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Kimono Revolution

Photos and Text by David Yamaguchi
The North American Post

wedding kimono The mothers accompanying black kimono is the most formal kimono

Undoubtedly, the highlight of Japan Fair, July 8 – 9 at Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue, was its “Kimono Revolution” fashion show, produced by Kimono Art. This year, a special feature was a visit from kimono dyer Azumi Hosoda. She teaches textile design at Kyoto City University of Arts and at Kyoto Seika University. Her specialty is “rouketsuzome,” or wax-resist design.

Among many innovative kimonos on display, the most memorable to this observer were the simple animal-themed ones. These included a fetching “tako” (octopus) kimono, a snappy “wani” (crocodile/alligator) one, and an ocean-floor one, where the animal is subtle: it is a sea-snake! (below, right). Of these, the octopus kimono left lingering impressions on my mind the next day.

skirt kimono It is a standard kimono worn wrapped without any cutting of fabric

Matching kimono-and-western-umbrella sets were also featured widely.

Yu Ugawa, Kimono Revolution producer, lives in Kobe, but visits Bellevue twice a year, in July for Japan Fair and in January for Seijin-Shiki (napost.com, Jan. 2023).

Kimono Art (Kobe-Seattle) offers a full array of kimono services for special events, including associated hair, make-up and classes.

asymmetrical kimono
kimono worn backwards
complementary couples kimonos


Close ups showing dyeing details

Tako belle
Kimono dyer Azumi Hosoda As shown by her tako octopus and wani alligatorcrocodile ensembles kimonos with matching western umbrellas are gripping and cutting edge now
Mariko Kayama (left) and Yu Ugawa, the daughter-mother pair behind Kimono Art. The base and left sleeve of Kayama’s “sea floor” kimono feature a sea snake (right). The right sleeve includes brown kelp and perhaps seaweed.

Snake photo Craig D CC by SA 20 wikimedia commons


The final lineup of revolutionary kimono In them we see bold modernization of the most traditional of Japanese clothing Info kimonoartorg
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David Yamaguchi is a third-generation Japanese American [Sansei]. He has written for the Post since 2006, at first as a volunteer, later as a paid freelancer. He joined the paper's staff in May 2020, when he began learning how articles flow from Word files through layout to social media.