Museum no. FE.2-2005
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
In the 1930s kimono for young boys, such as this example, were often patterned with highly graphic propaganda images. Unusually, this kimono commemorates an actual event, the first aeroplane flight from Japan to Europe. The plane, called the 'kamikaze-go' flew from Tokyo to London, landing at Croydon airport on April 9th 1937 making its pilot, Masaaki Iinuma, a hero. The kimono is decorated with images of the plane and, in circles, Mount Fuji, Tower Bridge and the route of the flight, together with the British and French flags. The design also features block letters, in white on grey, which read '1937 Aorenraku 15000'. Aorenraku roughly translates to 'connections across the blue' and 15000 is the distance of the journey in kilometres.