The very first exhibition of Itchiku Kubota’s artistic kimono started in 1977 in Tokyo, Japan. Quickly, after several shows around his native country, Itchiku Kubota and his creations drew interest from the rest of the world : first in the USA in 1980, and in France in 1983. Both countries have continuously supported the genius and beauty of what set these kimono apart.
Throughout the years the array of kimono echoed throughout the world: the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands welcomed Kubota’s creations in 1989, Spain followed suit and in 1990, the exhibition went to France for the third time, when it was exhibited in the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
In 1994 and 1995 the kimono finally found a home in Kawaguchi-ko, Japan, in the Kubota-designed and financed museum which preserves and showcases them to the present day. The following year, they created a sensation at the Smithsonian, Washington, USA and the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, Hull: the exhibition catalogue unexpectedly became the best ever selling publication in Smithsonian history.
With a short stop in Germany in 2000, and after a large program of exhibitions, it wasn’t until 2008-2009 (sadly 5 years after Itchiku Kubota’s death) that “Kimono as Art : the Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota” found the way to the blockbuster tier, realising unpreceded results for the San Diego Museum of Arts and the Canton Museum of Ohio with over 100,000 guests enjoying the exhibitions.
Today the kimono are back in their shrine in Japan, waiting for their next exhibition to take place.