Propaganda Kimono
Man's Kimono  |  Cotton, silk lining  |  53 x 46"

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Propaganda Kimono

Niko-niko kasuri is printed cotton designed to mimic traditional kasuri or true ikat - fabrics where patterns are created by dying or reserving sections of warp threads from dye before weaving.

These inexpensive fabrics were popular in Japan in the 1930's and because heavy cotton is strong, were often used for boy's jackets. This long, man's kimono is unusual for its choice of fabric and pattern. Japanese hinomaru military flags are interspersed with blocks showing the four-color flag of Manchukuo, below each of which is the silhouette of a battleship in white.

The lining of this graphic piece is made from scraps of silk from old kimono, a Japanese tradition of reusing even tiny pieces of fabric before discarding anything that might be useful.