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There are many ways and opportunities to learn about kimono depending on your aim and purpose. If you just want to learn how to wear kimono, you can simply join the kimono-wearing classes.
However, if you are looking for something more, for example, you want to gain a deeper understanding and knowledge of kimono which could lead you to a professional career within the kimono industry, then you should take a look at and consider studying at the kimono technical college.
It’s a technical college specializing in kimono that educates people to become professionals and specialists for kimono and its’ industry. There are several kimono colleges in Japan and each college has their own strengths and characteristics. This article provides you with a brief outline of what you can learn at a kimono technical college and what kind of career you might be able to gain upon graduation.
What you can learn at the college
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As I mentioned above, each college has their own curriculum and course outline so it is difficult to generalize perfectly but what is common between many colleges is that you can learn pretty much all the necessary basic techniques and knowledge which are related to kimono. They not only teach how to wear kimono but also the history of kimono, manners and rules of kimono, techniques of Japanese dressmaking, design, Japanese embroidery, dyeing techniques, suitable hair and make-up for kimono and so on. In addition, with the knowledge you gain in the classroom, you are trained to be able to make your own kimonos and accessories.
At first you will make the simplest and easiest types of kimono such as yukata, undershirts for kimono or kimono made from wool. Before graduating, you are expected to make a more complicated type of kimono such as Furisode and Houmon-gi. Thus, initially you can gain a good sound knowledge of how to make and dress/wear a kimono by yourself.
To enter the kimono technical college, you are likely to be expected to have graduated from high school or have a relevant diploma/certificate. It seems like there is no entrance exam but applicant screening and an interview is required by some colleges. Classes are more or less scheduled from Monday to Friday and it can take 2 to 4 years to graduate depending on the individual colleges and course.
Some colleges provide night classes for those who cannot attend the regular daytime courses. There are also several scholarship programs provided by some colleges. Although the majority of applicants are those whom have just finished high school, there are some people looking for a second career . recent university graduates or other technical college and those who may have already retired.
Career after graduation
The employment rate after graduating kimono technical college is high in the kimono industry because graduates have been well trained to become kimono experts gaining multiple certificates/qualifications. There is one college that proudly announces their employment rate for graduates to be 100%. How can kimono technical colleges guarantee such a high employment rate? Depending on the college and course you could be end up getting up to 10 (or even more if you are so motivated) different valuable certificates/qualifications which are related to kimono and its industry.
This is a big plus and it becomes your strength when you look for a job after graduation. In addition, colleges and teachers have strong connections within the kimono industry and its people that it is possible for colleges and teachers to arrange or introduce graduates to potential work places and positions according to their wish.
You will be qualified to work as a kimono coordinator, kimono dresser, kimono adviser or even kimono maker. Examples of work places after graduation are kimono shops in department stores, private kimono shop, wedding facilities, hotels, Japanese style hotels, bridal salons, beauty salons, kimono rental shops, photo studios, fabric manufactures and fabric wholesales to name a few.
Thank you for reading!
From Kyushu, Japan, based in Germany. Obsessed with the beauty of kimono. Wearing my grandmothers’ and mother’s kimonos when I go back to Japan is becoming a routine activity. I especially love the unique and cute antique kimonos!