WAFUKU and KIMONO
Do Wafuku (和服, Japanese clothes) and Kimono (着物) mean the same? In the Wikipedia, Wafuku is described literally as Japanese clothes.
Before the Meiji (明治) era, Japanese clothes were referred to as Kosode (小袖) or Koromo (衣). Along with the introduction of Western clothes in the end of the Edo (江戸) period, Japanese clothes began to be collectively called as Wafuku, whereas Western clothes were called Yofuku (洋服). At the same time, the term "Kimono" whose original meaning was "something to wear" began to represent Wafuku...
Nowadays, many native English speakers understand the term "Kimono". That proves Kimono has been recognized worldwide indeed.
We often hear from people from overseas that the attraction of Kimono resides in artistry of its beautiful patterns, especially when it expresses the beauty of Japanese four seasons. High-class Kimono such as Furisode (振袖, long sleeved formal Kimono) or Homongi (訪問着, formal Kimono), which you might have seen in Kimono shows, are designed with high artistry based on elaborate and precise technique.
My mother and grandmother used to tell me that watching excellent Kimono is the feast for the eye. I know what they meant. Beautiful Kimono is truly a work of art.
Click here to see a Blog by a Former MAIKO, "Do You Know?".