Boy’s padded kimono with flags
Silk pongee, cotton ties, cotton and silk lining, waste silk padding
stenciled warps and wefts

This kimono subtly supports Japan’s early 20th century expansionist policies. The three flags shown are Japan’s national flag (red disc on white ground), its military flag (red disc with red rays), and the flag of the Japanese colony of Manchuria (parallel stripes). The colors are inaccurate, possibly relating to dye shortages occasioned by the military build-up.

An interesting touch is the maker’s careful alignment of the national flag just below the nape of the neck – exactly where the family crest would be on a more formal garment.

Political motifs were not limited to children’s wear. Some men’s and women’s kimonos of the period also reflected the contemporary popular political sentiment.

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