One of the things I love about Japan is how they manage to blend the traditional with the modern. Most of Japanese society is, of course, very modern, but they continue to hang on to what came before. One of these things is the kimono.

The great majority of Japanese women venture outside wearing modern, western-style clothing. Still, now and then, one does see someone wearing a kimono. Sometimes it will be a group of women, perhaps all dressed up to attend a special event. Such sightings are not terribly unusual, but it is definitely not too common.

Of course, when I see this, I try to get a decent photo or two if I can. I usually use my little digital camera for this as it has autofocus to help do things quickly and it can capture the colors that my B&W film can’t. It has flash, too, for dark or nighttime scenes. The photos you see here were made in Tokyo and Kyoto in the spring of 2005.

Kimonos come in a variety of patterns, from simple solid colors to very ornate designs. I’ve been told that elaborate wedding kimonos can cost thousands of dollars, but something like that is obviously not seen often on the street.

What I do find to be a bit unusual, as you can see from the photo at the bottom here, is that many (or most) of the mannequins used to display kimonos in stores and windows actually have western features!

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