Thursday, June 17, 2010

Getting to Know Asia: Hanfu

This new series, "Getting to Know Asia", will more or less be little peeks into the culture and clothing of Asian countries outside of Japan, for Westerners who don't have a lot of experience or confidence distinguishing between the cultural details of those countries.

The goal is that if you know what Chinese robes or Korean patterns look like, you can distinguish them from Japanese and won't get tricked into buying a Chinese housecoat thinking it's a Japanese Imperial Geisha Wedding Princess Ninja Robe. ;)

Tonight's peek is into "hanfu", one of the national costumes of China.

Modern hanfu enthusiasts bringing hanfu back into daily life.

Empress Li of Hangzhou, Song Dynasty.

If you go back far enough in history, and I'm talking over a thousand years, you can find Japanese clothing examples that look similar to hanfu due to China's enormous influence on Japanese culture, but you're not going to find any of these today around outside a museum.

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