Types and Trade Characteristics of Clothes Imported from Japan during the Port-Opening Era

개항기 일본으로부터 수입된 의복의 종류와 무역 특성

  • Kim, Soon-Young (Dept. of Fashion Design, Jeonbuk National University/Research Institute of Human Ecology, Jeonbuk National University)
  • 김순영 (전북대학교 의류학과/전북대학교 인간생활과학연구소)
  • Received : 2022.06.08
  • Accepted : 2022.08.02
  • Published : 2022.10.31


This study explores the types of clothing imported from Japan during the port-opening era and investigates the characteristics of import trade related to these clothing products. This is a literature study based on trade statistics data and books on Western clothing published in Japan during the Meiji period. Research findings are as follows: clothing products imported from Japan were divided into 6 types: 1) clothing, 2) undergarments, 3) shirts, 4) waterproof coats, 5) European-style clothing, and 6) nightgowns. "Clothing" is a unified name for any kind of garment, appearing in import records only from 1877 to 1884. Undergarments and shirts were imported from 1884. Waterproof coats were imported only in 1886 and 1898. European-style clothing and nightgowns were imported from 1902. In the total import of clothes, the proportion of clothing was the highest (48.0%), followed by undergarments (41.3%) and shirts (10.6%), while the ratio of nightgowns and raincoats was almost 0%. During the port-opening period, the change in the import value of clothes did not show a continuous increase, but rather showed a large stepwise increase over the course of several years.