Working at the Gallery last week, I met a new Sculptural artist named Pete. Before Pete retired he spent a lot of time in Japan and has a huge appreciation for all things Japanese. He was particularly excited about a Chiso kimono he recently acquired. Pete enlightens me to tell me that Chiso has been making Kimonos in Kyoto, Japan for the last 466 years. It has run continuously except for two years during World War II. I hope you will take a few minutes to read the full story HERE. I had no idea the amount of work that goes into the design and manufacturing. Chiso only makes about 25 garments a year!
Chiso in the beginning only made kimonos for monks. This reminded me of a funny event when the nuns took us to our first museum in Toledo. I must have been maybe 10. Being raised Catholic, I was always jealous of the Alter Boys because they got to handle and help the priest get dressed in those exquisite vestments the priest used to wear for high mass. At the museum, I was highly confused when I saw a model of a Samurai dressed in a Kimono with a Sword. I thought he was wearing a priest's vestment. Duh! Little Grasshopper!