Kimono innovator KISABURO shows the neo-kimono style to the world and to a new generation!

Kisaburo is the fourth generation of “Iwamoto Wasai”, a kimono tailor shop that started its business 90 years ago. He succeeded Kisaburo Iwamoto, the founder of “Iwamoto Wasai”, who brought innovation to the kimono industry. He launched the up-and-coming brand “KISABURO” in 2015, which overturns traditional ideas of a Kimono.
I will introduce the neo-style kimono by the Kimono and Spatial design artist, Kisaburo.

2017-02-10   Culture, Tokyo,


Kisaburo, the fourth generation of “Iwamoto Wasai”

Kisaburo’s new kimono style incorporates current contemporary trends while still having respect for tradition.

Nowadays, Japanese people don’t wear kimono very often in their daily lives, except at ceremonial occasions. There are even many people who don’t wear a kimono throughout the entire the year. Kimono as traditional formal wear was usually the only clothing for Japanese people. Kimono and obi belts have now become popular around the world.
Kisaburo asked himself, “Is it possible to incorporate kimono with western clothing on a daily basis?”

Japan ended its national isolation after 238 years at the end of the Edo period.
Since then, western clothing quickly became popular. For a while, Japan had an era of mixing kimono with western clothing. It was the era when a new fashion style was created, and was incorporated it into peoples lives, evolving in its own way.

Today, the young generation incorporates western clothing and shoes with kimono. Kisaburo decided to launch his own brand of western clothing and kimono.


Dyeing methods in the Edo Period “Edo-komon” (left) and “Edo-sarasa” (right)

The advent of a new age of fashion! His first kimono collection, “KAIKOKU”

After he created his own brand, he exhibited his first collection: The KAIKOKU series(Japanese text only).

These works were inspired by the Kurofune (Black Ships) of Commodore Perry and are beyond stereotypical views of typical fashion.

The KAIKOKU series

He produced the key visual at the venue for the art & fashion event “Rooms31”, using his skills derived from various places and things such as Tama University of Arts, media art from Maywa Denki, and modern art and spatial design in September 2015.

「rooms 31」

He had worked at a TV production company and was involved in producing animation and an event called “Japan Festa”. He sensed the influence of Japanese animation abroad during this time. He joined the project called “ISETAN×*Lupin the Third: LUPINISSIMO IN ISETAN 2016” held in February 2016. He produced very stylish kimono designs adapted from five popular characters from the animation series of Lupin the Third.

*Lupin the Third is a main character of a famous Japanese animation series who is the grandson of Arsène Lupin, the world’s most wanted gentleman thief.

The design from five popular characters of Lupin the Third.

The concept of these kimono designs is “A kimono that has been handed down in each character’s family from generation to generation”
These kimonos were produced from each character’s roots and personality.

The Jackets and ties with Japanese arabesque patterns, natural stone accessories, and traditional Japanese sandals with stingray leather, were used for each design to produce kimonos to match their personalities.

There are novel designs that appear throughout the work.

His work improved with unity between animation and Japanese & Western clothing, creating a major sensation.


From a beginner to an advanced learner! You can learn Japanese dressmaking at a class that fits your level.

Kisaburo has Japanese dressmaking classes that pass on the art of Japanese dressmaking to the next generation.

Kisaburo’s father, Mr.Koji Iwamoto will teach you how to make traditional Japanese clothing.
He was given the Contemporary master craftsman Award as a kimono tailor in 2015 by the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare. He provides an evening beginner level class convenient for working people. Begin learning and then advance to an intermediate level class, and ultimately to an advanced level class!

For more details on Japanese dressmaking classes, see here

President of Iwamoto Wasai, Mr. Koji Iwamoto

See this page for more details on a kimono accessories workshop and a kimono lecture. (Japanese text only)

A workshop that tells the story of dyeing artisans and colors, held on February 25, 2017

A variety of colors representing people’s lifestyles changes continuously throughout Japanese history. Those changes contain a variety of stories that reflect on the circumstances of each period. A workshop useful for understanding these stories will be held by a dye artisan from Kondo Senko, who is designated as a Traditional Craftsman in Tokyo. Kisaburo is scheduled to appear in that workshop as a guest.

For more detailed information on the workshop and the application, please see here(Japanese text only).


  • Date & Time:February 25, 2017 / 11:00am-3:30pm (Doors open at 10:30am)
  • Participation fees:Free of charge(3000yen will be charged as material cost for the dyeing experience)
  • Meeting place:The shrine office of Fukagawa Inari shrine(2-12-12 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku, Tokyo)
  • Get there:A 2-minute walk from the A1 exit of Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station on the Toei subway Oedo Line and Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line
  • Contact:Tokyo dyeing industry cooperative 03-3208-1521(Open from 10:00am to 6:00pm on weekdays/ Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays they are closed.)
  • ※English interpretation is available. In case of too many applications, we will hold a drawing.

Kisaburo’s neo-kimono style leaps over the border!

His kimono brand “KISABURO” utilizes both Japanese tradition and ideas of the present age. It is beginning to be appreciated by overseas artists. In 2017, he will go to produce a design in collaboration with Peter Marco, one of the leading pop artists in New York. He is also considering participation in events abroad. We can’t take our eyes off his future success!

Peter Marco
Peter Marco

Kisaburo said, “I want to eliminate the existing image of kimono and find a way it can flourish by giving it new value.” “Young foreign people wearing their western clothes with a kimono, will become more popular in the world.”

【Kisaburo’s profile】
【Kisaburo’s profile】

Kisaburo is the fourth generation of “Iwamoto Wasai”, a kimono tailor shop established 90 years ago.

After graduating from Tama University of Arts, he went to Maywa Denki.
After that, he started learning his family business while gaining experience at a video production company.
He started the KISABURO brand in February 2015 and released his first kimono collection, the KAIKOKU series.
He participated in the art & fashion event “room31” in September 2015 and took charge of the key visual for the local Japanese industry at the event.
He participated in the fashion project, “ISETAN×Lupin the Third: LUPINISSIMO IN ISETAN 2016” at Shinjuku Isetan department store in February 2016.
Since then, he has been working as an artist who engages in kimono and spatial designs, with knowledge obtained through his diverse career.

Please check his activity report and announcements for events on each SNS website below!

Kisaburo Facebook(Japanese text only)
Kisaburo Twitter(Japanese text only)
Kisaburo Instagram (Japanese text only)


8F Iwamoto Wasai building, 2-15-2 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

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Hi, I am Koume. I’m originally from Fukuoka and currently living in Tokyo. I have lived in Australia, the Philippines, and Cambodia for several years. Through my life abroad, I have rediscovered the beauty of Japan. I hope my articles will be a helpful resource for both Japanese and foreign visitors.


Address 8F Iwamoto Wasai building, 2-15-2 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Hours 9:00am-5:00pm
Price ●Night beginner classes 12,000 (Tax included/ extra 5,000 for teaching material expenses only at the first class.)
●Wasai Experience
1. Needlework 3,780 (Tax & teaching material expenses included)
2. Making a Japanese Persimmon-shaped pouch 5,940 (Tax & teaching material expenses included)
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Access ・5-minute walk from Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
・8-minute walk from Shinjuku 3chome Station on the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
・13-minute walk from the JR Shinjuku Station
Phone For experience & visits request and application: 03-3356-6546
Iwamoto Wasai: