Korean Hanbok vs Japanese Kimono: Which one is the best?
The Japanese kimono has been very popular for a few years now. More recently, the Korean hanbok has been resonating more and more in the Western world, so it’s time for people to know their history, differences, and how to use them both and look spectacular. Let’s begin by knowing the concept of each attire.
Korean hanbok in the Joseon Dynasty
Basically, hanbok is the traditional Korean dress. In Korean history, commoners began using the hanbok on a daily basis, and it became more and more popular during the Joseon dynasty. The hanbok has evolved during time and there are many version of it, including the growing popularity of the modern hanbok. But to this day, Korean people still use the traditional version of the attire to special celebrations like weddings, presentations or family events.
The traditional gown of Japan is the kimono. Kimono was very influenced by the hanfu (traditional Chinese costume). Like the hanbok, nowadays is mostly used for special events like weddings and celebrations. Unlike hanbok, over the past 10 years, a modern version of the Japanese kimono started to become very popular in some Western countries, having different versions, colors and prints being sold in big fashion houses like Forever 21 and H&M.
The battle: which one is the best?
Korea and Japan have had a tough history together, which is why there is so much comparison between the two of them. But far from the political drama, the truth is that the hanbok and kimono are so different, that it’s not even fair to compare them. From the traditional version to the modern version of both attires, they are very different, very beautiful and have won a space on the heart of not only Asians but also many Western countries.
In recent years, Korean designers have been making an effort to bring the hanbok to other cultures, inspiring their designs on the original dress and creating a modernized version to be wear on the daily life. The result is gorgeous pieces filled with elegance and femininity that are slowly but steadily making a name for themselves in the fashion industry.
Kimono, on the other hand, is not far behind from this trend. On the contrary, the modernized kimonos are a must between teens and young girls in their 20’s in Asia, America, and Europe.
I think that there is plenty of space in the world for all the beauties that Japan and Korea have to offer. It’s not about competition, but more about being with eyes wide open to appreciate the history and culture that these costumes have to offer to the world.
What do you think? What’s your favorite, kimono or hanbok?