Hat From the Past

Royal Hats101 years to the Prince of Wales’ tour to Japan and India in 1922 which yielded this fascinating mixed culture portrait of the prince in traditional Japanese robes… and a bowler hat.

Embed from Getty Images

Photo from Getty as indicated

7 thoughts on “Hat From the Past

  1. Would it be possible that bowler hats were fashionable in Japan at that point? Or possibly a hat of that type was considered appropriate for the location to be visited.

    • Further down the rabbit hole….

      This web site shows the adoption of Western dress in Japan in the late 1800s. It notes that this was a particular influence on Court and military dress, so perhaps there was some carryover in these areas to 1922.

      Several of the photos show gentlemen in bowlers…..and some lovely other examples of historic Western style millinery for Japanese women too.

      This photo, which has less context, also, illustrates a similar combination to what is seen in the photo of the prince. (Matsuri is a religious observance at a shrine.)

      • Great detective work, Catherine! Seems like this combination was quite intentional and based on that Reddit photo, one that is still observed. An interesting moment of different cultural clothing coming together to create something new.

        Seeing all those photos and illustrations of Japanese people in Victorian clothing reminds me of when I did my research on the royal hats of Hawai`i and seeing all the Hawaiians in similar ensembles. It feels a bit jarring to our modern eyes, although also fascinating to know this was very normal in certain circumstances at the time. But it’s also a bit jarring when someone sees me in athletic wear and other very casual clothing, so I guess some things never change haha.

        • Jake, I suspected you might enjoy this after your wonderful historical series. I hope you and HatQueen have something in the workshop……

          • I’ve been slacking, I know! Plenty more in the DC series yet to come; I just need to write them! I think HatQueen also still has one ready for us at some point.

  2. I wonder what prompted him to wear a bowler hat with this outfit . . . either way, it helps make for a great photo!

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