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【METI Mobile】Kimonos as everyday wear

Staff working in kimono.

On November 15, kimonos became standard office attire at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in celebration of Kimono Day, part of a new effort to promote Japan’s traditional attire as casual wear.

Not only for special occasions
Many Japanese people think of kimonos as formal wear reserved for special occasions, and increasingly choose to rent them rather than buy. This mindset reinforces the stereotype of kimonos as luxury items, creating a negative spiral that has shrunk Japan’s kimono market to one-sixth of its peak 40 years ago.
However, according to a survey by the Study Group for the Promotion of Japanese Attire, some 80% of young female respondents expressed an interest in wearing kimonos as part of their everyday wardrobe.
Revitalizing traditional culture
The Study Group for the Promotion of Japanese Attire is actively working to change the perception of kimonos as exclusive items and encourage people to regard them in the same way as business suits. By conducting surveys and encouraging active dialogue about the role kimonos play in Japanese culture the Group aims to revive their everyday use.
Reception staff wearing kimono.
Kimonos vs suits
Back at METI, one male official got comfortable in his haori—a short kimono coat similar to a suit jacket—wearing it at meetings throughout the day and only taking it off when he sat down to work at his PC. While kimonos may not be standard business attire, the subdued color palette favored by METI staff on Kimono Day would be very familiar to office workers around the world.
 
Last updated: 2015-12-25
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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