As Japan was preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in previous years, the whole nation rallied behind officials to help make it a memorable event.
In 2014, a local company decided to launch the “Kimono Project” with the aim of creating unique kimonos for each of the 207 Olympic teams.
The kimono for the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) team debuted in March last year, and the Taiwanese elements are conspicuous in the design.
The project was launched by the Japanese local non-governmental organization Imagine OneWorld in the hope of “uniting the world in peace and harmony in Tokyo 2020.”
The project was a collaboration between 130 kimono artisans from all around Japan and lasted six years to finally materialize in 2020.
For each team, a set of kimonos that includes an obi (sash) and accessories takes about ¥2,000,000 (about NT$510,000) on average to produce.
The fund was crowdsourced with corporations and individuals donating from ¥1,000 to ¥3,000,000 (around NT$255 to NT$764,868), and the entire project consisted of volunteers as opposed to paid individuals.
As artisans embarked on the design process, they first consulted with embassies and representatives offices of nations and derived inspirations from culture, history, nature, architecture, national flag, and national emblem. Later on, they integrated these elements into their design.
The kimono for Chines Taipei was designed and created by Hiromi Yabana, and the obi by Nishimura Orimono Co., Ltd.
The designer adopted yellow as the base color and embellished the kimono with Taiwan Blue Magpies, a Taiwanese endemic species, and Taiwan’s floral emblem — the plum blossoms.
The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee indicated that the plum blossoms on the kimono represent “honor and the nation” and that the Taiwan Blue Magpies portray solidarity, agility, and perseverance.
Despite the fact that the project originally targeted to showcase the result in the Opening Ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the attempt was unsuccessful.
Fortunately, people from around the world can still appreciate the splendid kimonos that Japan has presented for every team.