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Tuesday, 15th July 2008
In General Japan News,

Popularity of kimonos 'on the rise' in Japan

The kimono, once a staple of traditional Japanese couture, could be making a comeback.

The Nikkei Weekly reports that low-priced kimono rental is becoming increasingly popular, while second-hand kimono sales and boutique-bought originals are becoming sought after among office workers.

One kimono-clad man who runs a car dealership in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, commented: "Kimonos make regular places seem special."

The Isho Rakuya kimono shop in Tokyo rents out the garments and offers help in dressing for 5,250 yen (£24).

A higher-end custom-made kimono can cost anything up to 200,000 yen; however, cheaper options made from casual fabrics such as denim and linen are also available at lower prices.

In contemporary Japan, the kimono is commonly worn on special occasions such as during the Schichi-Go-San coming-of-age ceremonies.

According to JapaneseKimono.com, the wearing of kimonos originally became popular during the Heian period (794-1185). Members of the royal court commonly wore up to sixteen kimono layers.