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Japanese Jūnihitoe Traditional Dress in Detail


MA Historical Costume


February 2023

These are a few pages from my research book 'Japanese Jūnihitoe - Traditional Dress in Detail', which was created on InDesign to accompany my making project and aid in my design development. After writing my original book detailing the original traditional garments of China, Japan and Thailand, I wanted to investigate further into the history of the kimono and its origin, the Jūnihitoe.

The original kimono was thought to be the kosode - a plain cotton undergarment of the Heian Period (794 - 1185). This was then layered with nagabakama ( a long style of trouser) and then several coloured, robe like layers, finished with the karaginu (a Chinese style jacket) and the mo (an apron style skirt) to create the traditional court wear of the time. The itsutsuginu-karaginu-mo, known more commonly as the Jūnihitoe - meaning 12 layered robe - was the symbol of wealth and class and over time the layers lessened and the kosode became a more streamlined outerwear known as today's kimono.

Creating this book allowed me to research the in- depth history of the piece, look into the art of colour layering known as 'kasane no irome', as well as practice pattern designing for sublimation printing. After initially experimenting with InDesign when writing my first book I realised that this is a clear, practical and professional way to present my work so that an onlooker may follow easily.

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