Japanese traditional garments are called kimono (wafuku). In contemporary Japanese society, kimono are rarely worn as regular clothing. However, on ceremonial occasions such as coming of age, marriages, and funerals, people (mainly women) frequently wear kimono.
Mitsukoshi is currently known as a department store, but it originated as a draper’s shop. In the present as in the past, kimono are invariably among the most important of Mitsukoshi products. Even today, the store sells a high volume of kimono goods, devoting extensive space to kimono marketing. In fact, VIPs including ambassadors from many nations often visit here to purchase kimono.
Typically, kimono are produced on the basis of individual orders. A customer chooses tan-mono (fabric that is the main material of wafuku) in his or her favorite colors using pictured patterns. Then, this fabric is hand-stitched to create a complete kimono that perfectly fits the individual wearer. Moreover, production of tan-mono itself is a traditional craft. Mitsukoshi kimono salon features many famous varieties of dyed cloth including Yuuki-tsumugi, Kiryu-ori, Kaga-yuzen, Nishijin-ori, Kurume-gasuri, and others from all around Japan.
Edo-komon kimono are distinguished by more than 200 crest-type picture patterns, so minute in detail that you have to look hard to discern the differences. Komiya Senshoku Kojo (Komiya Dye Factory) is a leading company in this industry. The entire fabric-making process — including kata-tsuke (pattern stamping using paper templates and glue), ji-zome (background dyeing), mushi (steaming), mizumoto (washing), etc. — takes immense time and effort and is dependent on expert craftsmanship, keen intuition, and trial-and-error repetition. This is the true artistic production made possible by meticulous handiwork.
Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi main store provides not only a full-fledged salon offering traditional custom-made kimono, but also a section called Hanamusubi — New Kimono Shop, where you can now purchase kimono like selecting clothes for everyday wear. The shop explains that this can help more people enjoy wearing kimono while maintaining its traditions. Visit Mitsukoshi to see the changing world of kimono.
Locations: Edokomon Komiya • Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi