A Challenge To Tradition

“Can the traditional culture and the business coexist?”

The event that happened to me the other day made me question. I know that as time goes by, things can change. Buddhism calls it 無常 (Mujyou), which basically means everything in this world is never stable. No exception. Sometimes we do not want things to change, but it might be inevitable. That’s how things are.

As many of you know, I am quite into Kimono. (My earlier post). I have been fascinated by the beauty, the sophisticated yet gorgeous skills that amazing professionals have had, which I am really proud of. Since I started to learn how to put on Kimono properly, I had lots of chances to see different kimono, and Obi. I already have mine that is from my mom, but I thought I would want to get mine. The design is pretty good, however, the kimono I already have is too formal to wear on daily life. There are some types of kimono that you have to choose depending on what occasion you are in. In the past kimono was our daily clothes, but nowadays it is only for limited formal occasions. I really thought I would love to wear kimono as my fashion more casually, just like the clothes that I wear usually. They are so beautiful.

So I asked my mom to take to the kimono shop, just like when we go shopping. We have come across the kimono that we want to buy. However, most of the time we had to give up on it. We got freaked out by how expensive kimonos are. I mean, I understand if they are formal, but what surprised me is that even the informal type of kimono (as they claim so), is pretty expensive. I just wonder, how that could happen. Then I got an idea, which they all are handmade & never compromise what they make. ; If you are an artist, you know what I mean. You want to elaborate every tiny bit of parts, and use good materials to make the best work as much as you want. And that is one of the reasons why our kimono quality is appreciated so much. However, ironically that is what makes kimono culture be dying out.

Think about our era. – Fast fashion is quite popular especially among young people. We are sensitive to the trend, yet want to buy the trendy clothes with less money. In short, what i love to emphasize is here is – we are living in “A mass consumption society.” For example, I see the movement “Minimalism” is becoming so popular. People have owned so many things that they want to reduce that. If we were focusing on having little amount of things in the first place, this word would not even become so trendy.

On the other hand, kimono culture is definitely the opposite. People in the past loved to take time and lots of work on little amount of the products. It did cost a lot but they still enjoyed it. Our classic idea is, which (I think is still reflected on our labor ), the harder/longer we work, the better our products get to be.

I am sad about people not interested in our old traditional culture, but this might be inevitable. If they still keep selling high priced kimonos, ( or well, traditional products in general), I am sure that distance between young people and kimono will be just larger. I have to admit that I had an uncomfortable experience with a clerk at a kimono shop trying to force me to buy. I’m sure they are doing this so they can continue the business. They seem to be in a vicious cycle. On the other hand, by some chance if they make them cheaper to be more affordable, old professionals won’t be satisfied as they lose the quality. Although if they make kimono business worse, they will get absolutely nothing out of it. Things have to change. I do hope that kimonos will be affordable for young people just like myself, personally, especially if they are wanting us to wear more and promote it.

I am sure kimono is not an exception though, things have to change sometimes. My answer to the first question still remains empty. – However, what i know for sure is that the great traditional culture deserves to be taken care of in a much better way.

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2 thoughts on “A Challenge To Tradition

  1. I think it is great to appreciate kimonos and other trappings of your culture. Being an American, I see many here who believe we don’t have much to appreciate like this, but I disagree. Just because we are a young nation and a melting pot as well . . .still there are traditions and regional ways. Maybe my kimono is a pair of overalls!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Stacy, Bonsai san! Thank you for stopping by. It is so great to meet you.
      I agree with you! I definitely have much more to learn about American culture, but i rarely meet people who are willing to teach me. (or as you say, they don’t appreciate as much or aren’t interested. ). I love to share or exchange cultures but for that I would love someone who knows quite well about hie/her own culture to tell, so I can learn something from it. 🙂 Kimono is a beautiful culture indeed. I strongly feel that its something we should take care of for the future.


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