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Fashionable Japan: 1910s-1920s
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By lilsuika   |   Watch
Published: May 31, 2014
© 2014 - 2019 lilsuika

Edit 8/9/14: Fixed the dates on several drawings. Thank you so much to zyozyouga for pointing out the correct dates for me. :)

Original photo refs on my tumblr

This is a hairstyle chart that is meant to cover the Taishō era (1912-1926). However the dates for many reference photographs were rather vague, so some might actually fall into Shōwa era (1926-1989). Regrettably I couldn’t cover EVERY single hairstyle from this period so please consider this to be a brief overview. There are no Geisha, Maiko, etc featured here; they will be covered in another fashion timeline someday.

Some interesting notes about Meiji-Taisho era from Liza Crihfield Dalby’s Kimono: Fashioning Culture (1993)

    · “Men and women of Meiji had gulped up Western culture with all the indiscriminate enthusiasm of new converts. By Taishō, Japanese sensibilities vis-à-vis the West were much smoother. This was Japan’s political equivalent of the … social scene of the American Roaring Twenties. Japanese born during Taishō would enter adolescence as modern boys and girls. Significantly, women opened their closets to Western clothing during this decade. Kimono has lost space ever since.” (pg. 124)

    ·  “By 1915 Japan was beginning to feel itself a world-class nation, more confident of its military strength and social development. Ordinary Japanese were inclined to look at their society in light of how life might be bettered by adapting foreign ideas, or made more interesting by acquiring foreign fashions. Borrowing from the West was of course not new, but it had now become a more reciprocal and respectable process.” (pg. 124)


    ·  In the Meiji era “a few women cropped their hair, but these courageous souls were simply regarded as weird” and indecent (pg. 75)

    · “If cutting the hair short was too radical [in Meiji Japan], as public reaction attests, women’s hair did gain a new option in the sokugami style, a pompadour resembling the chignons worn by Charles Dana Gibson’s popular Gibson girls. The further the front section, or ‘eaves,’ of the hair protruded, the more daring the style. The sokugami style bunched the hair, coiling it in a bun at the crown of the head. Unlike traditional coiffures, sokugami did not require the heavy use of pomade, pins, bars, strings, and false hair to hold its shape. Its appeal was promoted as healthier and more rational – hence, more enlightened- than the old ways.” (pg. 75)

Image size
1131x2118px 1.71 MB
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BernardoDisco's avatar
BernardoDiscoHobbyist General Artist
sugui desu ne!
Indleglance's avatar
IndleglanceHobbyist Interface Designer
Cute. I love Japanese culture and mentality. Some hairstyles remind me of oiran or geisha hairstyles. Yay Tokyo Plz
Raian-Kun's avatar
Raian-KunProfessional Digital Artist
superdes513's avatar
superdes513Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is pretty cool and very nice. I really love the different fashion throughout the period.
Poisoninsect's avatar
PoisoninsectProfessional Filmographer
So awesome and cool <3
MintoMocha's avatar
MintoMochaHobbyist Filmographer
I Love 1919 lovleyyy
LilyIsTheDino's avatar
LilyIsTheDinoHobbyist Digital Artist
Lol the woman has a lot compared to the men section
keys54321's avatar
keys54321Hobbyist General Artist
Love the 1919 fashion, looks really beautiful
AisforInterval's avatar
AisforIntervalProfessional Filmographer
Very nicely done! I'm always a sucker for studies of fashions/hairstyles over the years, and this is really in-depth!
twocupsofbancha's avatar
twocupsofbanchaHobbyist Digital Artist
Whoooooa, thanks so much for this!!! This is a topic that is so often overlooked you can barely find nice references. 
Gwiber49's avatar
Gwiber49Hobbyist Filmographer
I'm growing my hair into a ponytail.
ZzzShadows's avatar
ZzzShadowsHobbyist General Artist
XD i was confused at the end because i thought the women turned into men 
AquaAurion's avatar
I love seeing different hairstyles like this and seeing which time period they belong to is an exellent addition. I think the 1919 woman looks absolutely gorgeous~
AlexandraAlex's avatar
AlexandraAlexStudent Filmographer
through time, they got so.............western!!!!!
wxzhenghoppytruffles's avatar
wxzhenghoppytrufflesHobbyist General Artist
zyozyouga's avatar
Forgot to write.

Not wearing a cloche hat braid hair girl(sailor-fuku). No 1910s Yes mid-1920s-1930s
lilsuika's avatar
lilsuika Digital Artist
Thank you for pointing it out. I've updated the image with the corrected dates. If there are still any dates that need correcting, please let me know. :)
zyozyouga's avatar
(sorry google translate)

I'm so happy. I'm glad you introduced the clothing of Japan. I like a your illustration that summarizes the history of the clothing of China and Vietnam.

I want to cooperate with you. I know approximately until the 1910s-1920s japanese women fashion.

Lightmost of the second row from the top. No 1910s Yes late-1920s or 1930s.
Leftmost of the third row from the top. No 1910s Yes early-1920s.
Second from the right in the third row from the top. No 1920s Yes 1930s.(early or middle)
left next to the braid hair girl.  Bobbed girl. No 1910s Yes 1920s-1930s.
Right next to the braid hair girl. Ribbon girl. No 1920s Yes 1910s
Left side of the cloche hat braid hair girl. Bobbed ribbon girl. No 1910s Yes 1920s-1930s.

Sorry to be rude.
lilsuika's avatar
lilsuika Digital Artist
Thank you for pointing out the dates. I looked through the reference pictures and some do look like they belong in the 1920s/1930s (or vice versa). 
No need to apologize, there was no rudeness at all. I'm very glad you pointed out the errors in the dates. I am much more informed now! Thank yo so much! :)
AlexandraAlex's avatar
AlexandraAlexStudent Filmographer
hi, i was wondering, is there any ancient Korean masked make-up face like ancient Chinese & Japanese? if so, can you give me a link?! :)
iMarjolein's avatar
How do you always know these things so accurately? :)
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