Kimono thumbnail 1
Kimono thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Kimono

1937 (made)
Place Of Origin

In the 1930s kimono for young boys, such as this example, were often patterned with highly graphic propaganda images. Unusually, this kimono commemorates an actual event, the first aeroplane flight from Japan to Europe. The plane, called the 'kamikaze-go' flew from Tokyo to London, landing at Croydon airport on April 9th 1937 making its pilot, Masaaki Iinuma, a hero. The kimono is decorated with images of the plane and, in circles, Mount Fuji, Tower Bridge and the route of the flight, together with the British and French flags. The design also features block letters, in white on grey, which read '1937 Aorenraku 15000'. Aorenraku roughly translates to 'connections across the blue' and 15000 is the distance of the journey in kilometres.
read Kimono Japan has a very rich textile history, with the kimono being a major focus of interest and artistic expression. Meaning 'the thing to wear', the term kimono was first adopted in the mid-19th century. Originally worn by commoners, or as an undergarment by the aristocracy, from the 16th cent...
object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Printed wool
Brief Description
Kimono for a young boy, with design commemorating the first flight from Tokyo to London, Japanese 1937
Physical Description
Kimono for a child, fine wool padded with cotton and printed with images commemorating the flight of the kamikaze-go, the first plane to fly from Tokyo to Europe, in 1937. The kimono is banded in cream, streaked with yellow, and blue with stars, perhaps to suggest the flight by day and by night. It is decorated with images of the plane and, in circles, Mount Fuji, Tower Bridge and the route of the flight, together with the British and French flags. The design also features block letters, in white on grey, which read '1937 Aorenraku 15000'. Aorenraku roughtly translates to 'connections across the blue' and 15000 is the distance of the journey in kilometres.
Dimensions
  • Across shoulders width: 78cm
  • Neck to hem at back length: 72.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
1937 Aorenraju 15000
Gallery Label
Kimono for a young boy About 1937 During the 1930s, kimono for young boys were often patterned with images celebrating modern life. This garment commemorates the first aeroplane flight from Japan to Europe. The ‘Kamikaze-go’ flew from Tokyo to London, landing at Croydon airport on 9 April 1937. The kimono is decorated with images of Mount Fuji, Tower Bridge, the aeroplane and the route it flew. Printed wool Museum no. FE.2-2005 (04/11/2015)
Subjects depicted
Places Depicted
Summary
In the 1930s kimono for young boys, such as this example, were often patterned with highly graphic propaganda images. Unusually, this kimono commemorates an actual event, the first aeroplane flight from Japan to Europe. The plane, called the 'kamikaze-go' flew from Tokyo to London, landing at Croydon airport on April 9th 1937 making its pilot, Masaaki Iinuma, a hero. The kimono is decorated with images of the plane and, in circles, Mount Fuji, Tower Bridge and the route of the flight, together with the British and French flags. The design also features block letters, in white on grey, which read '1937 Aorenraku 15000'. Aorenraku roughly translates to 'connections across the blue' and 15000 is the distance of the journey in kilometres.
Bibliographic References
  • Jackson, Anna (editor), Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, London: V&A Publications, 2020
  • Rout, Josephine, Japanese Dress in Detail, London: Thames & Hudson, 2020
Collection
Accession Number
FE.2-2005

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record createdFebruary 2, 2005
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