Culture in Translation: Takashimaya's Representations of Japanese Culture in Fashion

Start - End 
2022 - 2022 (ongoing)
Type 

Tabgroup

Abstract

The proposed project aims at providing a detailed investigation of the cross-cultural exchange of export garments made by the Japanese company and department store Takashimaya between 1888 and 1919 and sold to Asia and the West, specifically Lyon, Taiwan, Tianjin, London, and Seoul.Takashimaya was founded in 1831, starting as a secondhand kimono shop in Kyoto. It gradually expanded to being a silk drapery retailer, with more embroidered and dyed products for the domestic market (McDermott, 2010). When Shinshichi IV became president of Takashimaya in 1888, he radically shifted its focus to the international market and started exporting Japanese products overseas. Excelling at embroidered designs and dyed velvet cuts, the designers at Takashimaya crafted their products to fit the Western taste for Japanese goods (Rado, 2015). The company participated in several international exhibitions, where they obtained grand prizes and gold medals (Takashimaya, 1936; McDermott, 2010; Rado, 2015). Moreover, Takashimaya branch stores were opened in Lyon (1899), Taiwan (1901), Tianjin (1905), London (1906) and Seoul (1908) (Rado, 2015).

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Phd Student(s)