Rurouni Kenshin is one of the classic anime/manga titles of the 1990s, as well as one of our favorites. We wanted to do the set justice by producing costumes that were as historically accurate as possible, so we researched Bakumatsu-era clothing, silk-dyeing techniques, and even zouri weaving to create this set.
All of Kenshin’s clothing is made using period-width fabric panels and techniques (hakama tutorial here); the fabrics are linen and bamboo cotton. Kenshin’s zouri were hand-woven by Laura from jute fiber. Tomoe’s kimono silk was dyed from a blend of several colors, and each blossom and sakura branch was individually dyed by hand. Her tabi are vintage silk pieces brought from Japan in the 1950s by a family friend.
Hiko Seijurou, on the other hand… looks like a manga character. Although his igebakama are accurate to period, his hakamashita and cape reflect the character’s ridiculous size and musculature. The six-pack abs are sewn into the hakamashita to reflect the over-the-top ’90s shounen-manga artwork.