See the Malaysian kimono made for Imagine One World’s Kimono Project 2021

In the spirit of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japanese master craftsmen came together to spark creativity, unity and joy via kimono-making.


In the spirit of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japanese master craftsmen came together to spark creativity, unity and joy via kimono-making.  

Japanese organisation Imagine One World’s special Kimono Project is led by the visionary designer-founder Yoshimasa Takakura, who aspires to bring the Japanese signature and pride to the eyes of the world in a new light. Equipped too with the goal of reinstalling confidence among master kimono makers, he had said previously that he dreamt of seeing people leading delegations wearing them at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games.

Sadly, with the unforeseen consequences of COVID-19, the kimonos meant to be worn at the start of the Games did not get to make their debut. However, with the project now in completion, the wonderful garments which had been made for participating countries are finally available for all to see!

The 213 kimonos ideated and made by skillful hands represent diverse nations and independent regions’ unique natural and cultural treasures. Displayed on luxe canvases made with only the highest quality of materials, the kimonos feature a one-of-a-kind congregation of dyeing experts, textile manufacturers and expert weavers who have made the project a success.

Of course, each kimono is complete with an obi, which is the broad sash or band traditionally worn with the garment.

With the line “The World Can Unite As One” as its tagline, the Kimono Project beautifully addresses the concept of “Wa”, which translates as “circle” and “harmony”. It is a call for peace among nations sans barriers and conflicts, as well as a message to celebrate different historical backgrounds, languages and beliefs.

Each kimono cost about 2 million yen (over RM76,000) to produce. Embellished with contrasting and harmonising hues, you will see kimonos inspired by various elements – a country’s landmarks, well-known flora and fauna or cultural icons and shapes that span the ages. These are well-accented by each country’s flag colours.

Intrigued to see how our country’s kimono looks like?

The Malaysian kimono, crafted by Takehana Sensho with the help of students from the Fukuoka Prefectural Kurume High School, is a show of youthfulness and growth. The Jalur Gemilang’s star, moon and stripes are one with the hibiscus, wau and Petronas Twin Towers.

The Malaysian kimono by Takehana Sensho

The gorgeous kimono comes complete with a Peranakan-inspired obi by the textile company Hattori Orimono Ltd. It features the polished, hand-woven fabric chintz with gold leaves.

Truly a wonderful sight to see, it’s impossible to choose favourites when you see each finished kimono! Although so, here are some other ones you might not want to miss:

Republic of Kenya by Gentaro Nitta

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by Okuno Mutsumi

Commonwealth of Dominica by Yuichi Hirose

Can’t get enough of these wonderful works of art? See the whole line-up here or watch them here.

One World Kimono Project



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