• Discover the Japanese traditions behind our Kabuki UT Collection
UNIQLO Kabuki UT collection

Discover the Japanese traditions behind our Kabuki UT Collection

May 17, 2023 LifeWear
Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theatre that originated in the early seventeenth century, during the Edo period. It was originally performed by both male and female troupes before being performed exclusively by men. Accompanied by traditional instruments, highly stylised sets, and glamorous costumes, the actors perform a mixture of drama and traditional dance.

This new UT collection celebrate Japanese Kabuki theatre and commemorates the succession to the name of Ichikawa Danjūrō. Discover each design, following the themes of costume, makeup (kumadori), and colourful woodblock prints (nishiki-e), which are symbols of Kabuki.

The T-shirt collection

Kabuki UT Graphic T-Shirt

The design is based on a Nishikie of Kabuki Juhachiban, with Oshimodoshi printed on the front and the rest of the plays of Kabuki Juhachiban on the back. Kabuki Juhachiban is a series of 18 plays established by Danjuro Ichikawa VII from the family arts that have been well-received since his ancestors. Nishikie are multicolour ukiyo-e prints, and many works related to Kabuki, such as yakusha-e (portrayals of actors) depicting Kabuki actors on stage, were produced and gained popularity.

Kabuki UT Graphic T-Shirt

The front of this T-shirt is printed with the oshiguma of Ichikawa Danjuro XIII, Hakuen, a Kabuki actor. Kumadori is a unique Kabuki makeup technique that visually conveys the character of the role to the audience through colour. Kumadori is also said to represent the ridges of muscles and blood vessels. Oshiguma is a copy of the kumadori applied by the actor by pressing it against paper or cloth.

Kabuki UT Graphic T-Shirt

This graphic motif is based on the symbolic purple Hachimaki, red and white colouring, and crest from the costume of Sukeroku, one of the Kabuki Juhachiban. Sukeroku's chic appearance fascinated people and he was called "the most handsome man in Edo". Kabuki costumes are an important part of the beauty of the Kabuki stage. Their colour, weaving, and embroidery are embued with the skills developed over many years.

The shirts

Anticlockwise from bottom: Kabuki Printed Short Sleeved Shirt, Kabuki Printed Short Sleeved Shirt, and Kabuki Printed Short Sleeved Shirt

Discover a collection of short sleeved shirts with designs related to Kabuki kumadori, juhachiban, and family crests.

Shop the Kabuki UT collection