TYPE: Kimono
COMPONENTS: Two kimonos, one green, one red.
NOTES: Gifted by Jackson to Bill Bray, his longtime head of security. Consigned by Bray’s widow.
ITEM ID: 5057
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Michael Jackson Japanese Concert Tour Kimonos

Decade: 1980s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

A set of two kimonos. The first is green satin and features a “Bad”-era image of Michael Jackson on the back below Japanese text, and the second is identical but in red satin.

“Bad” was the first solo concert tour by American singer Michael Jackson, launched in support of his seventh studio album “Bad” (1987). Sponsored by Pepsi and spanning 16 months, the tour included 123 concerts to 4.4 million fans across 15 countries.

On June 29, 1987, Jackson’s manager Frank DiLeo announced the singer’s plan to embark on his first solo world concert tour. Sponsored by Pepsi, the tour began in Japan, marking Jackson’s first performances in the country since 1973 as part of The Jackson 5. The first nine scheduled concerts that began on September 12 sold out within hours, and five more were added due to high demand. Over 600 journalists, cameramen and fans waited for Jackson’s arrival to the country at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. His pet chimpanzee Bubbles, who took a separate flight, was greeted by more than 300 people. A chartered jumbo jet was used to carry 22 truckloads of equipment, along with Jackson’s entourage of 132 for the tour. The stage set used 700 lights, 100 speakers, 40 lasers, three mirrors and two 24-by-18 foot screens. Performers wore 70 costumes, four of which were attached with fiber optic lights.

While in Tokyo, Australian pop music critic Ian “Molly” Meldrum conducted an exclusive interview with Jackson and DiLeo that was featured on 60 Minutes in the United States and Australia. On September 18, Jackson was handed the Key to the Osaka Castle by Yasushi Oshima, the mayor of Osaka. He was accompanied by Bubbles, who was the first animal allowed inside the city’s town hall.

Jackson dedicated his Japanese concerts to Yoshiaki Hagiwara, a five-year-old boy who was kidnapped and murdered, and gave ¥1,614,701 (around $15,017) to the parents of Hagiwara. Attendance figures for the first 14 dates in Japan totaled a record-breaking 450,000. Crowds of 200,000 were what past performers could manage to draw for a single tour. Nippon Television was a co-sponsor with Pepsi for the Japanese dates.