The Kimono as an Invented Tradition: Class, Gender & Nationhood
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The kimono has been a site of political Interest since feudal times. When the bakufu (government) instituted regulations on clothing color, cut, pattern, materials & when they can be worn for members of each class. Today’s kimono originated from the samurai class, as evidenced by its stiffness, the many parts required for a complete ensamble & its association with formality. Kimono has also come to be the symbol for wafuku (wa, japanese; fuku, clothes), although many working-class traditional garments are still worn today, many more forms of wafuku have been de-legitimatized in Japan’s nation-building (& history-making), which focused on the cultivation of samurai (middle class) tastes & values.