Another Eastern fashion innovation is spotlighted by anthropologist Liza Dalby (Geisha) in Kimono: Fashioning Culture. When Dalby spent a year as a geisha in Kyoto in the 1970s, she found that the most difficult part of her work was wearing the kimono. Her experience inspired this exhaustive chronicle of the history and social meanings of the robe. Dalby is particularly concerned with how the confining robe in which women can't, among other things, cross their legs clashed with creeping Westernization in the last century, giving rise to such controversies as the 1920s skirmish over what kind of underwear should properly be worn with the kimono.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Dalby, author of Geisha (Univ. of California Pr., 1983), has written a lively, informative study of the kimono, tracing its evolution throughout Japanese history to its current status as the national dress of Japan. Her book's coverage includes all types of "native" dress, past and present; her unique position as a Western "insider" allows her to demystify the complex social mores connected with wearing the kimono. The work is also notable for reprinting and translating sections from 17th-century pattern books and for its discussion of the Heian (794-1185) color palette. Jill Liddell's The Story of the Kimono (Dutton, 1989) and Alan Kennedy's Japanese Costume: History and Tradition (A. Biro, 1990) cover different aspects of kimono history and textile design. The three books nicely complement one another, providing almost complete coverage of the subject. At once scholarly and enjoyable reading, Kimono is recommended for academic and public libraries with collections on Asian culture.
- Katharine L. Kan, Aiea P.L., Hawaii
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.