Based on twelve months of in-depth ethnographic research in Japan with retailers, customers, wholesalers, writers and craftspeople, Selling the Kimono is a journey behind the scenes of a struggle to adapt to difficult economic conditions and declining demand for the kimono.
The kimono is an iconic piece of clothing, instantly recognised as a symbol of traditional Japanese culture. Yet, little is known about the industry that makes and sells the kimono, in particular the crisis this industry is currently facing. Since the 1970s, kimono sales have dropped dramatically, craftspeople are struggling to find apprentices, and retailers have closed up shop.
Illuminating recent academic investigations into the lived experience of economic crisis, this volume presents a story of an industry in crisis, and the narratives of hope, creativity and resilience that have emerged in response. The ethnographic depth and theoretical contribution to understanding the effects of economic crisis and the transformation of traditional culture will be of broad interest to students, academics and the general public.