Kimono History: Later eras

A disaster for kimonos in general happened in 1923 when a terrible earthquake hit Tokyo. Since the vast majority of structures were wooden/bamboo/paper arrangements they collapsed with the result that many of the old kimonos were lost or destroyed.

During the late 1920's the Japanese government curtailed production of silk in order to support their military buildup, leading to simpler designs and conservation of material. Kimono production increased after World War II but by this time Western dress had supplanted the kimono in popularity. This left kimonos and their variations reserved for ceremonies and special occasions like weddings, and the lightweight yukata for the hot times of the year.

Kimono from 1938

More kimonos from 1938

Not until after the Second World War was the kimono replaced as the daily garment.

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