Maiko girls enjoy an autumn day in Kyoto. Photo: AFP

Kim Kardashian isn’t the first Westerner to sexualise Japan’s kimono. And she won’t be the last

  • Japanese cultural products, including the kimono, were exported to the West in the 1860s as the country started to modernise
  • After the war, the US sought to feminise and corrupt perceptions of Japan by associating the traditional garment with prostitution and servile femininity
Topic |   Japan

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Maiko girls enjoy an autumn day in Kyoto. Photo: AFP
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Crystal Tai

Crystal Tai

Crystal covers business trends and cultural criticism, with a special focus on Northeast Asia, for the Asia desk. Before joining the SCMP, she contributed to Quartz, i-D Magazine, Monocle, Wallpaper, Lonely Planet and other publications. Her broadcast commentary has been featured on BBC Radio, CGTN and other media.