Japanese Costume Special Topics



Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori: Celebrating 400 Years of Japanese Artisan Design. (DVD) running time: 155 minutes. Filmed in Arimatsu and Narumi, Japan. Japanese, Spanish and English Sub-titles • Narration by Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada.

Beyond the Tanabata Bridge: traditional Japanese textiles. William Jay Rathbun, ed. Thames and Hudson, 1993. Folk textiles, kasuri, sashiko, etc.

Brandon, Reiko Mochinaga  and Barbara B. Stephan. Spirit and Symbol: The Japanese New Year.  Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1994

Gonick, Gloria Granz. Matsuri!: Japanese Festival Arts. Los Angeles, CA : UCLA, Fowler, 2003.  (Fowler Museum Textile Series) (Book 6)

Jackson, Anna. Japanese Country Textiles . Weatherhill, 1997. (Victoria & Albert Museum. Far Eastern Series)

Katoh, Amy Sylvester. Japan the Art of Living. Tuttle, 1990.

…. Japan Country Living. Tuttle, 1993.

Japanese Folk Textiles: An American Collection. Japan: Shikosha, 1988.
In English and Japanese. Introduction by Fifi White. Book is based on Fifi's extensive textile collection. She was the co-founder of Asiatica and their designer for many years.

Kawakami, Barbara F.  Japanese Immigrant Clothing in Hawaii 1885-1941. Honolulu, U. Hawaii Press, 1993. Basis for the exhibit of “Japanese immigrant clothing from the plantations of Hawaii” at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Feb 27-May 30, 2010.

Textured Lives: Stories from the Plantations of Hawai‘i (DVD) Running time: 50 min. Basis for the exhibit of “Japanese immigrant clothing from the plantations of Hawaii” at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Feb 27-May 30, 2010. http://janmstore.com/products/textured-lives-stories-from-the-plantations-of-hawaii-dvd

Picture Bride (DVD) Running time: 95 min. Directed by Kayo Hatta. Written by Kayo Hatta, Mari Hatta and Diane Mei Lin Mark.  In the early 20th century, thousands of young Japanese women went to Hawaii as picture brides. The film is inspired by their stories.

(The book “Picture Bride” was set in Oakland, Calif. and in a relocation camp in the desert. Not like the film at all)

Milgram, Lynne. Narratives in cloth: embroidered textiles from Aomori, Japan: from the collection of the Keiko Kan Museum Foundation. Toronto Museum for Textiles, 1993. The embroidery in the title is sashiko.

Mingei: Two Centuries of Japanese Folk Art. Tokyo: Japan Folk Crafts Museum, 1995. Exhibition catalogue.

Moes, Robert. Mingei: Japanese Folk Art From the Brooklyn Museum Collection. Universe Books, 1985.

Takeda, Sharon Sadako and Luke Roberts.   Japanese Fishermen's Coats from Awaji Island. Los Angeles, CA : UCLA, Fowler, 2001.  (Fowler Museum of Cultural History Textile Series; Book 5)

Yoshida, Shin-ichiro and Dai Williams. Riches from rags: saki-ori & other recycling traditions in Japanese rural clothing. San Francisco Craft & Folk Art Museum, 1994. ex.cat.


Buisson, Dominique. The Art of Japanese Paper. Paris: Terrail, 1992.

Carved Paper: the Art of the Japanese Stencil. Susan Shin-Tsu Tai, ed. Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Weatherhill, Inc., 1998. Exhibition  catalog.

Dobson, Jenni. Making Kimono & Japanese Clothes. London: Batsford, 2004. Very useful, good color illustrations and diagrams for making patterns. Goes well with John Marshall’s book.

Haigh, Janet. Japanese Inspirations: 18 quilted projects.  That Patchwork Place, 2000.

Marshall, John. Make your own Japanese clothes: patterns and ideas for modern wear.  Kodansha, 1988.  Includes kimono, mompei, haori, even tabi.

Piecework magazine Sept./Oct. 1994. Special issue devoted to indigo textiles. Several articles on traditional Japanese dying; Lucy Arai tutorial on sashiko.

Pippen, Kitty. Quilting with Japanese Fabrics. 3rd ed. Martingale, 2011

Wada, Yoshiko, Mary Kellogg Rice, and Jane Barton. Shibori, the inventive art of Japanese shaped resist dyeing. Kodansha, c1983.  This is THE book if you have any interest in Japanese textiles or resist-dyeing of any kind.)

Wada, Yoshiko.  Memory on Cloth: Shibori now. Kodansha, 2002.  Almost 20 years after the seminal Shibori book, a new book by this well-known artist and scholar. You need this book.



Bottomley, Ian. Arms & armor of the samurai: the history of weaponry in ancient Japan. Crescent Books, 1988. 192 p.

The Last Samurai. Warner Bros., 2003; Warner Home Video DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009 (Very cheap on Amazon) Yes, it’s Tom Cruise, but it’s also Ken Watanabe and others. Wonderful costumes by Ngila Dickson.  In the scene between Katsumoto and the Emperor, there are court ladies in the background.

The Last Samurai. Roundtable Press, copyright Warner Bros., 2003
Paperback of the movie. Lots of pictures, not much text.

Maruyama, Nobuhiko. Clothes of Samurai Warriors. Kyoto Shoin, 1993.
In Japanese and English  Small book, 8.5 x6 inches, 96 pages
Lots of b/w and color ill. of historic samurai garb.

Sun, Ming-ju.  Japanese warrior costumes paper dolls. Dover, 2000.
Samurai paper dolls with 16 authentic, full-color costumes.


Bugaku Treasures fom the Kasuga Shrine. Los Angeles, 1984.  Exhibit in Los Angeles and MFA Boston.  “Japanese Bugaku robes, masks and musical intruments from the Collection of the Kasuga Shrine, Nara, Japan.”

Sculpture in Silk: costumes from Japan's Noh Theater. New York: Art Capital Group, 2003.  88 pages, full color, exhibition catalogue. Includes photos showing an actor being dressed, step by step.

Shaver, Ruth. Kabuki Costume. Tuttle, 1990. Great book, but if you can find the 1st edition (1966), the illustration print quality is much better.

Sun, Ming-ju. Kabuki costumes paper dolls. Dover, 1995. 16 p.

Takeda, Sharon Sadako. Miracles & Mischief: Noh and Kyogen Theater in Japan. LACMA, 2002


Allert, Kathy Japanese Girl and Boy paper dolls. Dover,  1991. Too cute.
Children in various traditional costumes.

Kolluri, Alina M. Kimono Girls: a paper doll cut-out book. Tampa: Friends for Keeps, 2001.

Sun, Ming-ju.  Japanese family sticker paper dolls. Dover, 1998.

… .  Japanese kimono paper dolls in full color. Dover, 1986.  Inspired by 18th and 19th century woodblock prints., includes “26 exquisite costumes”

Traditional Japanese Fashions paper dolls. Dover, 2003.  Adult female fashions ranging from the Heian juni-hitoe to a modern bride.


Japanese prints coloring book. Sibbett, Ed. Dover, 1982.

Coloring book of Japan. Santa Barbara: Bellerophon Books, c1971.

Green, John. Life in Old Japan coloring book.  Dover, 1994.
Black and white drawings, probably based on paintings and prints from the Edo period (ca 1600-1857)

Sibbet, Ed. Japanese Prints coloring book. Dover, 1982.
Based on Ukiyo-e prints dating from 1714 to 1857 including Utamaro, Hokusai, and Hiroshige.

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