Japan created special kimonos to celebrate the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Through its Kimono Project, the county paid tribute to every country who competed in the recently-finished event. Every country was represented by a unique kimono and obi, so that means that Japan created 213 kimonos-- that’s a lot! The Kimono Project took six years to complete, and was led by designer and founder of Imagine One World (the organization who launched the project) Yoshimasa Takakura:
Also included are "countries that Japan has diplomatic relations but without Olympic committees, including Niue and Vatican City," says Kimono Project spokeswoman Orie Shimizu.
The kimonos and obis are not on public display, as was initially planned, due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, they will be shown during Expo 2025 in Osaka, Japan.
Shimizu confirmed that the full set for each country cost around ¥2 million ($18,300), consisting of the kimono, obi, and smaller accessories. They have all been handmade with traditional methods, each taking between one and two years to craft.
"We wanted to show that Japanese elaborate dyeing and weaving techniques are not just ancient art forms, but a living art that we still have today, with many artisans active throughout Japan," Shimizu says.
Image credit: SoraNews24