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15th-16th century East Asian Cultural Sphere

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By lilsuika   |   
© 2014 - 2020 lilsuika

Thought it would be fun to create a series showcasing nth century fashions of the Sinosphere (aka the East Asian cultural sphere/Confucian world, aka countries culturally influenced by China). I decided to depict middle to upper class women and tried my best to avoid royalty, concubines, dancers, and so on. If I am able to find adequate references, I’d like to do a series for the Indosphere (India-influences on Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, etc), Pacific Islands, Middle East, etc.

The drawings are drawn according to the original paintings and reconstructed fashions. You can see the refs on my tumblr.

Feel free to let me know if there are any errors.

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anonymous's avatar
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theDarkCrusader75's avatar
theDarkCrusader75Hobbyist General Artist
The Japanese are the most attractive Heart Shine Emoji 
oha13471's avatar
This is all wrong!
All these things are wrong.
It is equal to crime to the cultures of the countries.
Characteristic error is Korean clothes, the majority of the people are all white clothes.
There was no staining technology. All colored clothes are imported from China. Therefore, everything except the royal family is white.
It is too stupid report.Waaaah! 
kimyoonmi's avatar
15th century hanbok were strongly pleated:……

I did find your source image, but it's distorted a bit since it's drawn and she's sitting, not standing.

Also the overcoat (Durumagi) was not that common, but for sitting portraits, the lady of the house may have worn them--but for going outside of the house, not likely, since the head was covered by nobility with a pleated garment. Sometimes, too, the women wore a white sash from their skirt ties (chima) which was like a handkerchief and sometimes was embroidered as shown here:…

I should note, though by the 16th century, hanbok did change a bit. The heavy pleating disappeared, though the skirt was still pleated at the top.

So you get something more like this:… (leftmost picture in the series). Though for a scholar and his wife, she wouldn't have been able to probably afford that much gold and silver on her clothing which was often limited to royalty. She may emphasize her status, though, by having embroidery on her sleeves, etc.

So at the time Korea was closer to 15th century China, but had different ties, a shorter jacket, etc.

Muromachi looks like this:… (The coat is a big give away) Yours looks more Edo period (1600's), rather than Muromachi. She also looks like she's wearing zori, instead of geta, which would be noble class wear (except, of course, inside the house) The coat, BTW, would have been worn inside and outside the house for Japanese.

Probably wiser to limit it to one century because I know it changed in the countries you mentioned by the centuries.

This is beautifully drawn, but I thought I'd give historical facts along with it. I know it was difficult to draw this, so by no means am I "demanding" it be corrected or whatever, but I thought I would give caveats and some insights into what you chose.
mspace2000's avatar
mspace2000Hobbyist Writer
Who are these women?
Firecat15's avatar
Can you make an evolution chart of East Indian clothing?
uzukitanuki's avatar
Just a weird question, do you have interests in drawing the male Chinese historical clothing?
wowsuchwork's avatar
That would be really cool. 
Hope you'd put "Vietnamese men historical garments" in consideration too.
DeseretGear's avatar
DeseretGearStudent Traditional Artist
I've just gone through a bunch of your clothing references. Your style is amazing and the details and research you put into each drawing are phenomenal. Thank you!
Noshabaforever's avatar
NoshabaforeverHobbyist Digital Artist
well maybe could you do indian style clothing through history i need to know plus can i borrow this for a refrence i will credit you...
Glimja's avatar
GlimjaProfessional General Artist
Beautiful arts.
Many people are confused about Korea clothing - the early Joseon dynasty,
but you're right.

You probably found the painting of Hayeon(하연) and his wife, did't you?
Even Korean not good at old clothing well
so I'm very glad you try to get much information and knowledge.

If you have any question about Korean traditional clothing, let me know.
I'm an illustrator drawing Hanbok, maybe I can help you as much as possible :)
YensidTim's avatar
I love your instructions and arts on Joseon Hanbok! They're stunning! Can you,  by any chance, do the same for pre-Joseon? Not many people know what Goryeo, Silla, and the other kingdoms' clothing looked like, and it causes historical inaccuracy in films. If possible, please do one for pre-Joseon :D
Glimja's avatar
GlimjaProfessional General Artist
Another guy already found images for you ^^
It's good, but these days, we watch some misinformed clothing by media, especially movie & drama.
so you'd better check other east Asian clothing near Korea.
for example,
Baekje(K) → Asuka(J)
Tang(C) → Silla(K)
Song/Yang(C) → Goryeo(K) → Yuan/Ming(C) → Joseon(K)
They influenced each other like that.
I want to show some pre-Joseon clothing images soon :)
YensidTim's avatar
OH YES. I'll await your art :D
I have done lots of research on Korean fashion and got the "gist" of them, but I can never tell which are for commoners, royals, servants, princesses, queens, etc. Hopefully your arts can clear them up :)
Glimja's avatar
GlimjaProfessional General Artist
Thanks for your reply.
I made two art books about Joseon dynasty fashion (men&women),
I wish I'll show you guys in English and other languages too, soon ^_^
tkfkd111's avatar
I found this pinterest. It has some illustrations and paintings of pre-joseon era.………
YensidTim's avatar
Thanks a lot! These are very informative, but it will be great if you draw it :D
Meztli72's avatar
Meztli72Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very beautiful!!! .:Happy star:.
1tututu3's avatar
1tututu3Student Traditional Artist
well,great,if add the Ryukyu is better.
bloodyash24's avatar
bloodyash24Hobbyist Traditional Artist
*heavy breathing* I hope you'll be able to accomplish this project.
Koimonsters-khaos's avatar
Koimonsters-khaosProfessional Digital Artist
will you show more Korean fashion? 
Aldaband's avatar
AldabandStudent General Artist
I think the Korean one can be confusing or misleading for some people. As you can see in the picture, that clothing style is from SUPER EARLY Joseon Dynasty, which accepted Goryeo dynasty's clothing style. However, as time flew, Joseon Dynasty developed "Hnbok" by its that picture lilsuika draw is not actually "wrong." It's just a style form EARLY Joseon Dynasty so it's not the typical image of Joseon Dynasty clothing. By the way, for the reference, the reference lilsuika used is a reliable reference. It is a picture of Ha Yeon's wife and they lived in early Joseon Dynasty (14~mid15th century). It is  one of Korea's cultural heritage(Jeollabuk-do Province is keeping it now I think). Just so you know, I'm Korean and I absolutely love "Hanbok." I just wanted to explain what I know because some people seemed confused about the Korean one above. And to emphasize again, that clothing style above, in the super early Joseon Dynasty, that's actualy Goryeo Dynasty's style(it's a type of Goryeo Dynasty's formal dress).
Aldaband's avatar
AldabandStudent General Artist
About the Ming Dynasty clothing above, I think that was a short trend in clothing style during the 15th century. As you can see in the Chinese clothing history drawing lilsuika draw, the Ming Dynasty style above lasted for only a short amount of time. I've haired that the style above was called Goryeo Yang(高丽样). After the Ming Dynasty kind of "conquered" (I don't know how to describe it :( ) Joseon Dynasty, some people in Ming Dynasty thought the Goryeo style is interesting so it was a trend in the time period but many people thought that it is not traditional Chinese style, the trend disappeared quickly(the Ming Dynasty banned the Goryeo Yang style). 
"张昱《张光弼诗集》卷三《宫中词》: 宫衣新尚高丽样,方领过腰半臂载,连夜内家争借看,为曾着过御前来"
This quote is form a Chinese historical artifact that talks about Goryeo Yang. It says that this Goryeo Yang style came from Goryeo and became a trend when a woman from Goryeo visited there. 

By the way, I said that the clothing style above is Goryeo style but in Goryeo Dynasty, there were styles of clothing like the style above and the style similar to Ming Dynasty style. The style above is actually a type of a formal dress, and people usually wore clothes similar to the Ming Dynasty clothing picture above.
tkfkd111's avatar
Yes. That's what I know. In Goryeo, Yuan dynasty clothes style was a trend and in Yuan, Goryeo style was a trend. In Goryeo, Yuan clothes trend disappeared when King Gongmin did semicircle policy. But Goryeo style stayed till Ming Dynasty. But then, Ming emperor Hongzhi banned their Goryeo style dresses because it was too Koreanish. 

Here is some of Chinese records about Goryeo/Koryo-Yang.

Original Chinese Text of Xu Zizhi Tongjian Changbian Chapter 201-14 Yuan 32:

《续资治通鉴 卷二百一十四 元纪三十二》记载:“后亦多畜高丽美人,大臣有权者,辄以此遗之,京师达官贵人,必得高丽女然后为名家。自至正以来,宫中给事使令,大半高丽女,以故四方衣服、靴帽、器物,皆仿高丽,举世若狂。”

English Translation: 

"As the Empress (Empress Ki during the Shiwei Mongol Yuan Dynasty) whom the (Mongol) Emperor married was a Goryeo beauty, all the ruling court elites at the capital (Shiwei Mongols) thought very highly of this and married Goryeo women as wives to lead prosperous households. As a result of this in the Yuan Dynasty court, all the court officials began to adapt Goryeo style clothing, shoes and caps, as well as attire that it became known throughout the (known) world."

Original Chinese Text of Shu Yuan Za Ji


English Translation:

Mamigun (Maweiqun a type of clothing) was originally from the Joseon Nation (Goryeo), and was adapted into the capital city, it was not particularly expensive... In the later years of Chenghua Emperor (Ming Emperor before Hongzhi Emperor) the civil servants of the royal court began to wear this. In Winter and Summer they did not take off these clothes... As these costumes were deemed 'barbaric' (culturally incompatible) they were banned during the rule of the Hongzhi Emperor.

Original Chinese Text of Manpubiji discussing about Yuan-Ming History:


English Translation:

"To widen the skirt size, inside the attire horse tails are used to make this clothing. This skirt is to flaunt the body and slim people therefore wear two to three, the clothing is designed to spread wide and is shaped like an umbrella."

translation cr 
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