Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review: Kimono Bancho

Kimono Bancho by Megumi Matsuda
Languages: Japanese 
ISBN-10: 4072746541  
ISBN-13: 978-4072746547
112-pages link

I saw this in a book store a few weeks ago, and when I went back I was drawn to it again and had to purchase it. It is a manga essay type book featuring lots of cords and ideas, and the kimono bancho (boss) does such lovely illustrations it is very accessible. She has connections to Mamechiyo (who positively reviewed this book) so the cords are very modern.


Chapter 1: 12 months co-ordinates

May Party Cords
October Halloween Cords
I love her outfits! Each month has two cords with ideas for adding seasonal details to outfits and general ideas for komono. She also has great ideas for tieing outfits into seasonal events in Japan like Setsubun and Valentines day (which I am definitely going to be trying). There are a few simple hairstyling ideas too for different occasions.

Chapter 2: Softening Kimono - How to guide through manga
Her kimono philosophy revolves around keeping kimono and obi to non-seasonal geometric patterns so you are able to get the most use out of them, and getting seasonal details in things like han-eri, obidome, hair accessories etc, and she has many ideas for hand making them, for example painting designs onto han-eri with acrylic paints.

Chapter 3: Special Occasion Kimono
Kimono Show
Here she talks about kimono outfits for shows and her wedding.

Chapter 4: Lets make Komono!

How to make obidome, and corsage
I really like this section, it has alot of simple crafty ideas for komono. I`m sure for more crafty people have been doing these kind of things already but for beginner crafty people (or people like me who have WIP syndrome) lots of quick things that can really personalize an outfit. It`s all in the details!

Chapter 5: How to wear kimono
hanhaba obimasubi
A short section on basic kitsuke and obi masubi with some practical hints and tips for everyday wear.

This book is going to be a staple for sure and I`m definitely a fan of Ms. Matsuda from now. I have already lent it out to a friend who loved the ideas too.

-modern seasonal cord ideas
-lots of stylish illustrations
-easy to read for those with basic Japanese
-focuses on every day wear
-simple craft ideas
-good basics of kimono coordination

-not so much for those interested in formal/traditional styles
-kitsuke and musubi are basic

I listed the cons but to me they`re not really cons per say because I`m more interested in casual funky styles, nor was I expecting much in depth kitsuke (I want tons of musubi I`d buy a musubi book).

I suggest checking out Ms. Matsuda`s home page and blog for her illustrations, if she releases another kimono book in the future I`ll definitely check it out.

Megumi Matsuda`s homepage
Kimono Bancho`s blog
Kimono Bancho`s twitter


  1. This book is definitely on my to-buy list now! :)

    1. I think you`d really like it, it`s your kind of style :)

  2. I will jot down this book on my wishlist ;).