Some thoughts on the recent Hanfu uniform proposal

hanfuuniformblogRecently, major news sites such as Chinanews and Guangzhou Daily has been circulating a set of illustrations to propose a modernized version of Hanfu for use as high school uniforms, and is the first seriously accepted design for Hanfu in our time.
Previous to the release of this design, other “modernizing innovations” ranged from shortening the length of the shang skirt, to adding zippers and lace in its designs. Most Hanfu supporters strongly rejected the idea, citing that “Hanfu has not yet been popularized, and it would be unwise to Westernize it before the convention is stable.”
Their doubt and hesitance to quickly adapting existant elements has no doubt paid off, in the sense of confirming a public sense of what Hanfu is, differentiating itself from Korean and Japanese clothing of similar appearance.
In this article, I will focus on the criticism of this rumoured proposal for a Hanfu-inspired school uniform. More

A section from a paper on Hanfu

The last section from my Hanfu book, and is still under work (despite 2 days from the deadline):

Gu Li (Go player, in Hanfu)

Gu Li (Go player, in Hanfu)

Glossary of Chinese Terms and Names


  • Bai Sang’er 白桑兒, see Luo Bing 羅冰.
  • Chiew Lee-Yih 趙里昱, inventor of the term “taikonaut”, active Hanfu supporter from Malaysia. Wore Hanfu publicly in USA and China and broadcasted it via streaming video. In Mandarin, his name is Romanized as Zhao Liyu. More promotion

Ming-style Wedding Dress

Ming-style Wedding Dress 


The above link is to the Hanfu Review | 漢服觀察 by Jensen Liu, a PhD student in the United States and excellent blogger on current Chinese issues. This blog picks up movements in China pertaining to Hanfu (positive or negative), and is an excellent tracker of the tradition in action – for the English language.

I am happy to announce that I have been recently appointed as an author for this said blog. Soon we will see more intensive reports for this beautiful tradition in the news feed. Please note that this blog is by original intent a blog for guqin information in the Toronto, ON area, but by no means will Hanfu essays here cease to exist or discontinue – theoretical arguments and essays of such nature will still be posted here.


April 2009