Over the Blue Horizon

Images of War

"Images of War: Kimono" by Yoshiko Inui is a fascinating reference book on kimono and other Japanese textiles with wartime propaganda images. During the first half of the 20th century in the years leading up to the Second World War, designs on cloth were used to display wartime sentiments, on everything from baby kimono to banners. Symbols of strength, power and bravery were popular, and reflected in images of weapons, tanks, planes, warships, and marching soldiers. Children's kimono bore images of patriotic scenes, symbolizing the hope that the child would possess the qualities of bravery and fortitude.

Although the text in this book is largely in Japanese, there are 165 nicely-done figures depicting a wide variety of "propaganda" textiles and other objects, and there is English text describing each figure. The English text is contained in a Table of Contents at the end of the book. This English text provides a good deal of information, and that along with the English caption for the figures, together provide valuable source material on this fascinating aspect of Japanese textiles. If you are lucky enough to own such a kimono or piece of fabric, this book could be very useful in identifying the time period and other information about the piece.

The textiles are organized by these sections:

Sino-Japanese War (1894-95)

Russo Japanese War (1904-05)

Russo Japanese War; Part 2

Kasuri (ikat)

Yukata (informal summer kimono) and Tenugui (hand towels)

Admiral Togo

Navy

Army/Navy; Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Children; Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Momotaro (Peach Boy)

Kikoniko kasuri (ikat)

Tripartite Pact

China front

Three soldiers as people's heroes

Manchuria

Flags

Maps

Carrier pigeon, military horse, military dog

Patriotism

Empress Jingu

Women's and Girl's kimono

This is a brand-new, 144-page softcover book published in 2007.