Child’s kimono with the manga character Norakuro the dog. 1930
The curious assemblage of visual references in the patterns of this boys’ kimono, a classic item of Japanese ceremonial clothing, reflects the tensions created by the speed of the country’s modernization and the military aspirations of the Meiji rulers. On this kimono, the motifs include an armored car, a military plane, and Norakuro (a popular cartoon dog) walking with a boy scout over a background of Japanese flags and silhouetted battle scenes featuring cavalrymen, marching troops, and soldiers with their arms raised in a “Banzai!” gesture, all framed by the sprockets of a motion-picture film.
Learn more at MoMA.org/centuryofthechild