Japanese Propaganda Kimono
Japan has a particularly rich textile history. The main focus for artistic expression on textiles is the kimono.
It is through choice of colour and, more importantly, decoration that the Japanese have always expressed their personal, cultural, and social sensibilities on their clothing. A kimono shows one’s social standing, age, the season and whether one is dressed for normal daily duties, visiting or any of several degrees of formality in an occasion one might be attending. It could also be used to show one’s partiotism.
Japan, with its tradition of potent textile designs, produced striking and varied propaganda textiles in the period 1931–1945.
In Japan, most of the clothing with textiles displaying propaganda images were worn by men and young boys. The propaganda textiles used for men’s garments appeared predominantly in traditional clothing such as nagajuban (underwear kimonos) or the linings of haori (jackets worn with kimono), and therefore were designs hidden from public view and seen only by people close to the wearer. More striking is Japan’s use of propaganda textiles in children’s clothing.