Japanese costume bibilography

"Just Japanese"
Resources on Japanese costume, textiles, etc. Part 1.

This list got so long, I had to divide it in two. Some entries are annotated. If something isn’t annotated, that isn’t a criticism. Most of these resources are in my personal collection so that means I like them and would buy them again. 



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

Brown, Kendall and Sharon Minichiello. Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia, and Deco. Honolulu Academy of Arts, 2002.
Gorgeous exhibit. 

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

Dalby, Liza Crihfield. Kimono: fashioning culture. Yale Univ.Press, 1993. The development of the kimono. Current use and social implications. Good coverage on Heian period costume and Tokugawa through modern period.  Unfortunately, the shogunate period ca. 1100-1600 is not addressed. 

Dreams of Empire: Japanese Propaganda Textiles.
Exhibition catalogue.  MHJ Collection, 2011.
From an exhibit at the San Francisco Arts of Pacific Asia Show, Feb. 2011.

Five Centuries of Japanese Kimono: on this sleeve of fondest dreams.
Michael Sittenfeld, ed. Art Institute of Chicago, 1992. (Museum Studies vol. 18; no.1)   Includes 2 essays on Noh costume.

Four Centuries of fashion: classical kimono from the Kyoto National Museum. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1997. Exhibit catalogue for Feb.5-Mar23, 1997.

Fukai, Akiko, and Jun Kanai. Japonism in Fashion. Kyoto, Japan: Kyoto Costume Institute, 1996. Exhibition Catalog.  Depicts influence of Japanese design on European couture fashion, mostly early 20th century. Text in Japanese, but copious wonderful illustrations. Essay in English by the author at: http://www.kci.or.jp/research/dresstudy/pdf/e_Fukai_Japonism_in_Fashion.pdf

Gluckman, Dale C. and Sharon Sadako Takeda. When art became fashion: kosode in Edo-period Japan.  L.A. County Museum of Art, 1992.

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)

Hayao, Ishimura. Robes of elegance: Japanese kimonos of the 16th-20th centuries. North Carolina Museum of Art, 1988.

Hays, Mary and Ralph. Fukusa: the Shojiro Nomura Fukusa Collection. Mills College Art Gallery, 1983. ex. cat. Fukusa are special wrappings for gifts.

Horn, Diane Victoria.  Japanese Kimono Designs. Stemmer House, 1991.
(International Design Library)  Large black and white illustrations, almost a coloring book.  Emphasis on historical costume.  44 p.

Hutt, Julia and Helene Alexander. Ogi: a History of the Japanese Fan.
London: Dauphin, 1992.

Itchiku tsujigahana: Landscape Kimonos by Itchiku Kubota. National Museum of Natural History, 1995.

Japonism in Fashion, An ongoing research project on Japonisme in women's Western fashion”   http://japonismefashion.tumblr.com/

Kennedy, Alan. Japanese Costume: History and tradition. Greenwich Editions, 1990. Historic kimonos, Noh costumes, Kesa.

The Kimono inspiration: art and art-to-wear in America / Rebecca Stevens and Yoshiko Wada, ed.  Washington DC: The Textile Museum ; San Francisco: Pomegranate, 1996. Discusses the influence of the Kimono on American painters and on the wearable art movement in the U.S.

Liddell, Jill.  The Story of the Kimono. E.P. Dutton, 1989.

The Makioka Sisters (The Criterion Collection) (DVD) Directed by Kon Ichikawa, Produced by Toho Eizo Co., 1983.  Gorgeous, gorgeous kimono and exquisite depiction of a long lost way of life. Heavy on the melodrama.

Book and film available on Amazon, reasonably priced esp. for a Criterion product
Milhaupt, Terry Satsuki.  Kimono: A Modern History. Reaktion Books, 2014

Minnich, Helen Benton (in collaboration with Shojiro Nomura) Japanese costume and the makers of its elegant tradition. Rutland: C.E. Tuttle, 1963.

Munsterberg, Hugo. The Japanese Kimono. Oxford University Press, 1996.
(Images of Asia)  small book, ca. 8x 5 inches, 74 p.

Noma, Seiroku. Japanese costume and textile arts (Kosode to No isho). Weatherhill/Heibonsha, 1974. (v. 16 in: Survey of Japanese Art).

Nomura, Shojiro and Tsutomu Ema. Japanese kimono Designs. Dover, 2006.

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

Stinchecum, Amanda. Kosode: 16-19th century textiles from the Nomura collection. Japan Society, Kodansha, 1984.

Till, Barry and Paula Swart. Kesa: the elegance of Japanese monks' robes. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1996.

Ukiyo-e: 250 years of Japanese art. Neuer, Roni [et al.] Mayflower Books, 1981. Reproductions of woodblock prints from the Edo/Tokugawa era.

Yamanaka, Norio. The Book of Kimono. Kodansha, 1986. (Shows how the kimono is put on from the skin up, how to tie obi, how to put on hakama.)

Yang, Sunny and Rochelle M. Narasin. Textile Art of Japan. Shufunomoto, 1989. Includes some modern clothing and interior designs using traditional textiles.

Yumioka, Katsumi. Kimono and the Colors of Japan: Kimono Collection of Katsumi Yumioka. Tokyo: PIE BOOKS, 2005.
In Japanese and English.  240 p. of gorgeous illustrations.  Total eye-candy.


Arts of Asia: March-April 1991
“A Textile Treasury in the Seattle Art Museum” William Jay Rathbun. pp 106-115. Ainu and folk garments.

Arts of Asia: August 2006
“Evolution of the Japanese Haori“  Terry Warth.
“Obi Zuan: Japan’s Unseen Paintings”  George R Godoy.
“Wrapping-cloth of Korea in the Choson Dynasty” Youong-Jae Lee.


Search “Geisha” on Youtube.

Aihara, Kyoko. GEISHA: A living tradition. London: Carlton Books, 1999.

Dalby, Liza Crihfield. Geisha. Vintage Books, 1985. Story of Dalby's life as a geisha/anthropologist in Kyoto.

Fictionalized into a 1986 TV movie “American Geisha” with Pam Dawber as “Gillian Burke.” Filmed in Kyoto and Tokyo. It got bad reviews but I liked it. Wish I could find it to buy/download.

Geisha Blues (DVD) Running time: 30 min. Geisha songs, with “evocative images and text in both English and Japanese.”

GEISHA: Beyond the Painted Smile. Peabody Essex Museum, 2004.
Essays by Liza Dalby and others.

Memoirs of a Geisha (DVD) Running time 145 mins. Directed by Rob Marshall; written by Arthur Golden and Robin Swicord. Starring Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, Gong Li.
Many of us found it disappointing that they cast Chinese actresses in the lead roles.  Beautiful ladies but they aren’t Japanese. Wish they could have found real Geisha! But it’s totally worth seeing for the beautiful sets and costumes by Colleen Atwood. And it’s only $6 on Amazon! 

Non-fiction but no pictures
Iwasaki, Mineko. Geisha, A Life. Atria Books 2002

Iwasaki, Mineko. Geisha of Gion:The True Story of Japan's Foremost Geisha. Simon & Schuster, 2002.

Masuda, Sayo. Autobiography of a Geisha. Trans. by G. G. Rowley
Columbia University Press, 2003