Slip into the Taisho Period of Japan’s past as you slip on a kimono from this unique part of the country’s history.
The Taisho Period, which ran from 1912 to 1926, was a unique period in Japanese history. On one hand, the country was rapidly modernizing and internationalizing, but on the other, it was still only 50 years removed from the feudal shogunate system that had isolated the country for centuries.
This mixing of the old and new manifested itself not just in societal attitudes, but in the fashions of the day. The Taisho Period was one in which it was still common to see ordinary people going about their daily routines dressed in kimono, but the patterns started to show a contemporary, subtly art deco-like influence. At the same time, the colors used were often more subdued than the more eye-catching kimono shades which came into vogue once Western-style clothing became the norm and the kimono took on the image of something to wear only on special occasions.
As such, Taisho-style kimono are an evocative snapshot of a moment in time when Japan was opening its eyes to the wonders and opportunities of the outside world. The aesthetic has a special place in the hearts of Roman Photography (referring to the romanticism of the Taisho Period), which dresses its clients in Taisho-style kimono, styles their hair and makeup in a period-appropriate look, and takes gorgeous pictures of the results.
But while Roman Photography has talent and passion, along with a collection of kimono so that customers don’t have to procure their own, it doesn’t have its own photo studio. That’s not a problem, though, because once a month Roman Photography has a photo shoot on the grounds of Tokyo’s Yayoi Museum, with the facility’s garden making for an elegant retro backdrop.
While the majority of clients are women, men are also welcome to pose in a set of Taisho threads, and the less extensive hair and makeup styling involved means that they enjoy a 10,000 yen (US$89) discount from the women’s price of 30,000 yen. Male/female couples also receive an additional 10,000 yen off, making the price for a pair 40,000 yen.
Roman Photography’s limited number of slots fills up quickly, and its April and May dates are already booked solid. Reservations can be made for the group’s June 6 photo shoot starting on March 19, though, and the online application form can be found right here.