Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Japan's 2020 Olympics Kimonos

Ever since reading Memoirs of a Geisha when I was 16, I have always loved Kimonos. They are a beautiful art pieces as well as unique elements of Japan's culture and history. So what better way to celebrate and welcome all the countries taking part in the 2020 Olympics in Japan than to design each country a Kimono. The Japanese international outreach association Imagine Oneworld started Project Kimono in 2017 and the result is a stunning online exhibition. 

One of the things I really like about this project is that the makers looked for the beauty in each country. No matter if that country was going through war or international dispute each is represented in its best light in these Kimonos - with their beautiful flowers and landscapes, seas and peaceful dunes, impressive buildings and so on. These Kimonos are a real celebration of the variety and difference of cultures. This is at heart in harmony with what the Olympic games is all about - understanding, tolerance, acceptance, inclusiveness. 

There is also great democracy here. No country appears more important to the designer than another - small and poorer nations have equally beautiful kimonos. 

Here are a few of my favourites below:

The United Kingdom

I was pleased to see our iconic flag represented but also as a nation of flowers and style.


This one is gorgeous with green and clovers and orange but also famous names and faces. 


One of the most stunning in my mind. Who knew Poland was a country with such natural beauty.


I love the overlapping fronds of this Kimono suggesting peaceful sunny scenes and rippling water. 


The country of the Vikings, snow, water and Christmas jumpers. Are these bubbles pouring down from a waterfall or baubles on a Christmas scene?

New Zealand. 

The country of the All Blacks, with green green mountains and unspoilt nature. 


This is a beautiful Kimono that reminds us what Afghanistan should be. Where Islam is a gentle peaceful religion where women and men have equal roles. I do hope in my life time this will be the Afghanistan we will find again. 


I love this one. To me it looks like a landscape of passion - tumultuous seas, volcanic mountains and dramatic weather systems. Am I right? I know very little about Chile. 

To see the complete project with all the Kimonos visit Kimono Project

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