Japan’s old capital Kyoto and the kimono create an image of a traditional Japan, a Japan where people respect the old life style as once was before the modernization of our present society. A place where time stands still and all the basics of this island’s customs and traditions live on as they were when the samurai still roamed and ruled this country.
When you visit Kyoto though, you find out how much of the “now” and the “then” have mixed and on the surface it might seem to the casual observer that Kyoto has been swallowed up by modern times and to be spit out in what looks like a huge open air museum. And the way the temples and shrines present themselves as tourist attractions doesn’t help to suppress this feeling of disappointment.
But you don’t have to dig deep to find that old Japan, Kyoto is still the place where the purest forms of Japanese cultural aspects are performed, for example the tea ceremonies, the ikebana flower arrangement, traditional kaiseki food.
Kyoto brands stand for tradition and quality, it’s therefore quiet shocking to see a Kyoto kimono maker take an old concept, and throw it up side down.
Kimono Aya has come up with true extreme kimono designs, which would make the traditional kimono lover freak out, but then traditionalists are easy to freak out anyway….
They combine the techniques of this era with old techniques, they use inkjet (!?) printers as part of the process to create some kimono, they airbrush and even decorate some with Swarovski rhinestones.
You can see the process here
Besides these modern made kimono they also enlist some traditional kimono maker to have kimono made according to the old ways. They are a Kyoto company after all and they won’t let an old craft die.
Now let’s check out some of their products;
First up; their Ukiyoe line of “haunted yukata”, a yukata is a casual kimono made of cotton and mostly worn in summer.
Also available as Kimono in Silk,
Now it’s going to get a little weird, have a look at their B.D.U series (battle dress uniform). This is their NWU (navy working uniform ) yukata (cotton)
Next up are their B.D.U. kimono made from the same original cotton as from the clothes they are based on..for example this US Army woodland inspired yukata made from original US military fabric.
This yukata would go great with this tote bag! (or maybe it’s a bit of overkill)
With the B.D.U. series they got the army and navy covered, but what about the airforce? Well for that they went back in time and drew their inspiration from WW2 fighters like; Curtiss P-40 Flying Tiger
Or the P-51 Mustang
Yes they even have a Messerschmitt BF-109!
These are all made of cotton , but for an extra 50.000 yen also available in silk as kimono.
The R.Y.O. series also has 4 sets of tote bags, one set of eleven from the Japanese airforce, one set of eight from the German Luftwaffe, one set of five from the American airforce and finally one set of four from the Russian airforce.
P-51, CV-9, P-40 and CVL-23
Last of all, they sell the coolest tatami ever!
So there you have it, a new twist to an old genre, the cool thing about this is that these yukata or kimono would work well as a robe to walk around at home, since they don’t need a complicated obi (belt). Please don’t mistake, these yukata are high quality and not some cheap knock-off
Interested? Let us know, send us a pm and we’ll help you further with the details!