Family History Behind the Kimono (2000) Original size 30"x40"

Kimonos are not created to seasonal fads, but are designed as clothes that will contribute to Japan’s traditional beauty. To a Japanese woman a fine kimono is an adornment comparing to the jewels and furs worn by a European woman. Although the form of the garment never changes, a custom-made kimono is an original work by a creative artist. A splendid kimono is apt to be handed down from one generation to the next like a painting or a piece of jewellery.

Semi-formal kimono with Japanese plum design. Plums in bloom symbolise happiness.  Custom-made in 1964. Purpose: Worn in tea ceremony and to play the Koto – a long Japanese zither with thirteen strings. Owner: Aoi’s mother (1964-1996), Aoi (1996- ) Aoi is living in North London, since 1998, with her English husband. She wore her kimono for her husband’s birthday.

Semi-formal kimono with Japanese fan design. The fan is a symbol of growth and prosperity. Custom-made in 1979. Purpose: Worn for her seventh year birthday celebration. Owner: Yumi (1979- ) Yumi is a glass artist in Surrey having her own exhibition in London, Paris and Munich. She wears her kimono occasionally for party.

Formal kimono with autumn bellflower and a family crest on the middle top of the kimono. Custom-made in 1970. Purpose: worn at wedding ceremony. Owner: Hiromi’s grand mother (1970-1980), Hiromi’s mother (1980-1981), Hiromi (1981- ) Hiromi is a 3-D design student in Surrey. She sometimes does modelling in her kimono for art students.