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KIMONO: Fashioning Identities

KIMONO: Fashioning Identities / Heiseikan Special Exhibition Galleries 

Robe (Kosode) with Waves and Mandarin Ducks, Edo period, 17th century (Important Cultural Property)

The kimono is one of Japan’s most iconic symbols, its colors and designs exemplifying Japanese cultural sensibilities and aesthetics. Lesser known, however, is that, the kimono originated as an undergarment. The predecessor to today’s kimono is a robe called the kosode (literally, “small sleeve openings”). The kosode first came into its own as an outer robe in medieval Japan during the Muromachi period (1392–1573). It was decorated accordingly with lavish dyed, embroidered, and gold or silver patterns.

This exhibition traces the kimono from its inception some eight hundred years ago to its role today as a symbol of Japanese culture with increasing sway on the contemporary fashion scene. Featuring some of the finest extant textiles, paintings, prints and other artworks drawn from collections in Japan and around the world, KIMONO: Fashioning Identities promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to consider the past, present, and future of this quintessential Japanese garment.

General Information

Period April 14–June 7, 2020 Undecided
Venue Heiseikan, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)
Hours 9:30–17:00; Fridays, Saturdays: until 21:00
(Last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed Mondays (Except for May 4)
Admission Adults: 1700 (1500/1400) yen
University students: 1200 (1000/900) yen
High school students: 900 (700/600) yen
Junior high school students and under: Free 


Prices shown in parentheses indicate advance and group (more than 20 persons) discount tickets.


Persons with disabilities are admitted free with one accompanying person each (please present an ID at the ticket booth).


Advance tickets will be on sale atother major ticketing agencies from January 29, 2020 to April 13, 2020.


Tickets to this exhibition include one admission to the regular exhibitions on the date of entry.

Access 10 minutes' walk from JR Ueno Station (Park exit) and Uguisudani Station
15 minutes' walk from Keisei Ueno Station, Tokyo Metro Ueno Station and Tokyo Metro Nezu Station
Organizers Tokyo National Museum, The Asahi Shimbun,
TV Asahi Corporation, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan Arts Council
With the Sponsorship of Takara Leben Co., Ltd., Takenaka Corporation, Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., and Toyota Motor Corporation
With the Assistance of Kobe Fashion Museum
General Inquiries 03-5777-8600  (Hello Dial)
Exhibition Website
(in Japanese)


FY2019 Japan Cultural Expo Project Presented and Co-presented by Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, and Japan Arts Council


Related Events

Heiseikan Auditorium  May 9, 2020 (Sat)   13:30 - 15:00   CANCELLED
Heiseikan Auditorium  April 19, 2020 (Sun)   13:00 - 17:00   POSTPONED