Until after the WWII, costumes like the ones photographed here weren’t to be seen by anyone outside the social elites. They were used for a traditional Japanese dance called Bugaku, a dance reserved for the Japanese imperial courts and for the homes of the aristocracy.
The costumes in this photo, taken at the Jidai Matsuri parade in Kyoto, are made for one of the few Bugaku plays performed by children, called Karyobin. The kids in the front are playing a mythical bird, Karyōbinga, an immortal creature from the Buddhist paradise, while the others are representing butterflies.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: