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There are typically two types of clothing that the Japanese wear: the Japanese clothing (和服 wafuku?), such as kimonos, and Western clothing (洋服 yōfuku?). Japanese culture has been greatly impacted by the rest of the world throughout history. One of the most noticeable changes in Japanese culture is the clothing: traditional and modern day clothing.
While the traditional ethnic garments of Japan are still in use, they are mainly worn for ceremonies and special events, funerals, coming-of-age ceremonies (seijin shiki), and festivals. In more recent years, western clothing is worn often in day-to-day life. While the westernization of fashions has continued at a rapid pace, the kimono lives on in Japanese culture.
Modern Japanese fashion history might be conceived as the very gradual westernization of Japanese clothes. The woolen and worsted industries were completely a product of Japan’s re-established contact with the West in the 1850s and 1860s. Before the 1860s, Japanese clothing consisted entirely of a great variety of kimono.
They first appeared in the Jomon period, (14,500 B.C. ~ 300 B.C.), with no distinction between male and female.
After Japan opened up for trading with the outside world, other clothing options started to come in. The first Japanese to adopt western clothing were officers and men of some units of the shogun's army and navy.
Sometime in the 1850s these men adopted woolen uniforms worn by English marines stationed at Yokohama. To produce them could not have been easy. The cloth had to be imported. Perhaps the most significant of this early adoption of Western styles was its public origin. For quite a while, the public sector remained as major champion of the new garb.
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