> Please forgive my insolence, but I have always heard that
> the Basic "Kimono" (robe/jacket/whatever) Cut, with the
> ventilation of the open sleeves and loose fit (most wafuku),
> and the open shoes (are you *sure* you want me to take these
> clodhoppers off sensei? You don't have a gas mask handy...)
> stuck around for so long cause Japan (or a lot of it) is
> warm, moist ... Just like pants and shirts did in the more
> northern areas and among the "horse clan" types that
> eventually settled and became us gaijin.
Yeah, that seems to be the opinion of most Japanese clothing author's
> Most discussions of extreme-fashion-damage I've
> read/heard/been in seem to agree that the "extreme" part is
> to show off wealth: "good heavens you want *me* to wipe
> my... <faint> Where's my wiping-servant!"
> Chinese ittybitty shoes, Pure Idiot Lizzie "coffee-table"
> skirt hoops, those rings around the necks of Burmese (and i
> think some other groups') ladies... All seem to be at least
> tentatively traceable to either a useful usually smaller
> version of same, or a social "statement" (and no, I don't
> mean Internal Angst, Rebelliousness etc... usually "I
> own... " or "I don't have to..." or "I'm so high-ranked my
> hat is This Tall!!!" Etc.
> Meaning no quarrel, just some stuff that followed me home
And I agree. It just seems that Western fashions change with
techonological changes. (I'm generalizing here) Like when the
narrow floor loom replaced the wide upright looms, clothing got more
fitted. And then decadence became how many buttons you could have or
how sumptuous your fabric.
In Japan it seems that the decadent extremes never seem to effect the
simplicity of the basic garment. Also, we are talking about a
country that was never conquered by a foreign power. In Europe,
fashions sometimes change with who was the strongest leader or the
biggest mercantile power. But in Japan, everything stays much more
But then when some silly protrusion gets perpetuated because "this is
how we've always done it", I just have to laugh. If we Europeans had
an unbroken costume tradition, maybe we'd have the same phenonmena.
But we don't. So the Japanese "traditions" sometimes seem a little
silly to me as a historical costumer.