1939

In 1937, as hostilities spread and Japan engaged in incidents with China, measures were introduced to prepare the country for war. Baggy trousers adapted from those worn by rural Japanese women—known as mompe—became compulsory everyday wear for all women, symbolizing their frugality and patriotism. Ideal for wartime use, mompe were easy to put on, kept their shape, and came in dark colors that prevented detection by enemy planes.