These kimono revel in daring plays of color and pattern that depart from the visual language of traditional Japanese textiles. Made after the Meiji era (1868–1912), when Japan ended its feudal system and embraced global trade, examples like these were worn by modern young women living in Japan’s growing urban centers.
Timesaving mechanized weaving methods and synthetic dyes led to widespread availability of colorful silk textiles during this era. At the same time, Japan’s new art colleges were training a burgeoning generation of textile designers. They responded to the novelty of European arts, culture, science, and industry by investing the centuries old kimono form with new hybrid motifs and patterns reflecting this exposure.