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Since MeijiPerspectives on the Japanese Visual Arts, 1868-2000$
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J. Thomas Rimer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834418

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834418.001.0001

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Adoption, Adaptation, and Innovation

Adoption, Adaptation, and Innovation

The Cultural and Aesthetic Transformations of Fashion in Modern Japan

(p.471) 17 Adoption, Adaptation, and Innovation
Since Meiji

Audrey Yoshiko Seo

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the cultural and aesthetic transformations of fashion in modern Japan. It begins with a discussion of Meiji Japan’s adoption of Western notions, innovation, and aesthetics, particularly Western dress. It then considers how Japanese fashion designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto redefined and transformed the aesthetics and definition of fashion in the later twentieth century. It also explores the backlash against Western dress and influence; how dress and appearance became a primary way for journalistic critics to attack the government; the emergence of department stores (depaato) selling all sorts of women’s apparel; the Europeans’ embrace of “Japonisme”; and fashion design during the age of modernism (Taishō (1912–1926) and Shōwa (1926–1989) periods). The chapter concludes by profiling a group of individuals who placed Japanese design at the forefront of avant-garde fashion, namely: Hanae Mori, Kenzo Takada, Kansai Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and Rei Kawakubo.

Keywords:   fashion, modern Japan, aesthetics, Western dress, department stores, Japonisme, modernism, Hanae Mori, fashion design, fashion designers

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