- 學苑 (ISSN:13480103)
- vol.887, pp.62-73, 2014-09-01
Abstract The Koyo Museum of Showa Women's university houses a lawyer's robe and cap tagged "Lawyer's robe and cap used around the 10th year of the Showa Period". This paper introduces images of the garments and records details pertaining to them, explains the history of the Japanese modern court dress, and explores the symbolic function of professional uniforms. In 1890 the Empire of Japan prescribed a law that required judges, public prosecutors, and lawyers to wear uniform court dress while at court. Three years later, in 1893, a Ministry of Justice Ordinance specified the lawyers' robes and caps. The materials owned by the museum are identical with this description. These garments continued to be worn until new rules were made in 1947. Preceding studies have shown that, in designing the original garments, then Minister of Justice Akiyoshi Yamada researched the garments worn in the courts of Western countries that honored the classical style, and that taking this knowledge into account, Mayori Kurokawa, who was well versed in Japanese ancient court practices and a historian of costume, designed garments for Japanese courts. The material of the robe is black with fly front, with white embroidery around the neck and in the front which signify that this was for lawyers, and in the bottom, both sides are pleated offering an example of how oriental and western design are mixed. The black cap is inspired by that of Nara period, a style that originated in the Tang Dynasty in China.