I Want to Challenge Common Sense – Kisaburo (Kimono Designer)

WORK MILL offers inspiration to create your “WORK GOOD,” your own unique style of work. We carried out a survey with people who have been featured in past issues of the WORK MILL web magazine to find out what “WORK GOOD” means to each of them.

  • What does “WORK GOOD” mean to you?
  • What do you keep in mind every day to realize your “WORK GOOD”?
  • What do you feel your purpose is in work?

Through these three questions, we will learn more about “WORK GOOD” .

Freeing the Kimono from Stereotypes and Challenging Common Sense

What is your “WORK GOOD” (your own unique style of work)?

I work in a diverse range of fields centered around the kimono. My job title is kimono designer, but I combine kimono with interior design, art, anime, and more, to appeal to the widest possible audience.

What do you keep in mind every day to realize your “WORK GOOD” (your own unique style of work)?

I love traditional, classic kimono, but I try not to resist using new techniques and technologies. I make a point not to be defensive. I’ll make something if I think it’s worth the challenge, even if there is no precedent. It’s actually very exciting to create something completely new.

What is your “reason to work”?

I feel that my work has purpose when I can change the values of those I encounter through kimono. To free the kimono from the stereotypes that surround it: That it’s old, constricting, and complicated. I want to live my life while challenging common sense.

Kisaburo, Kimono designer
Kisaburo is the fourth-generation tailor of “Iwamoto Wasai,” a tailor shop with 90 years of history. He was named after the first Kisaburo Iwamoto, an innovator in the kimono industry. Kisaburo offers simple and comfortable outfits, with the mission of liberating all people from stereotypes, beyond the boundaries of Japanese and Western style, gender, and more. Kisaburo’s achievements include the 2015 Kisaburo Kaikoku Exhibition at Matsuya Ginza, ISETAN x Lupin III LUPINISSIMO IN ISETAN 2016, providing apparel for the 2017 Takizawa Enbujo Pamphlet, designing the kimono of Habu Yoshiharu at the 31st Ryuo Tournament in 2018, designing costumes for the ninja-themed episode of NHK program LIFE!, and winning the first-edition 100BANCH Fellowship in 2019.

*Profile at the time of the interview in the following article.  

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Photos: Juki Onomi
Editing: press labo