kimono

Kimono artisans hope to revive dying industry by taking kimono to New York Fashion Week

Everyone knows what a kimono is – the beautifully designed, traditional Japanese garb that is still worn for formal occasions, even today. But did you know the kimono-making industry is in crisis? With its artisans aging and not enough newcomers taking up the mantle, the market has been dwindling quickly over the past few decades.

But there are a few who are trying to revive this dying tradition, by taking kimonos to the runway at New York Fashion Week. Would you like to see this become a reality? Find out how you can help!

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Old West meets Far East with the denim kimono and samue

It’s hard to find a more Japanese piece of clothing than the yukata, the lightweight kimono worn in the summer. Over on the other side of the Pacific, there are few more iconic symbols of American fashion than blue jeans. So what happens when you put the two together?

You get the denim yukata.

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Welcome to the world of cats in kimonos

In a country where pets outnumber children, animals in Japan are some of the most spoilt in the world. It’s not uncommon to see owners carrying dogs like babies, pushing them in specially-made prams and taking them on onsen hot spa holidays. The nation even has 11 cat islands where felines roam free and locals lavish them with attention.

So when big events and special holidays roll around, Japan’s furry friends also get dressed up for the occasion. Pet parents know no bounds when it comes to dressing their little ones and what better way to share the joy than with tiny elaborate kimonos? Join us as we take a look at some of Japan’s most stylish kittens below!

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The best way to tie up your kimono? With a cat obi, of course!

Japanese kimono come in countless designs and colours, but it’s often the elegant obi  (sash) that takes centre stage. Whether it’s colourful or subdued, simply tied or intricately folded, the sash is more than just a way to tie the outfit together; it’s the element that lets you show off a bit of your personality in an otherwise restrictive garment.

So what better way for kimono-wearing cat lovers to draw some attention to their wardrobe than with an adorably folded feline? And with such a variety to choose from, there’s bound to be a kitten that’s purr-fect for you!

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Tsukikageya brings a fresh look to traditional yukata with designs inspired by new and old

Summer is almost upon us, and that means it’s time to get out your yukata and head to the local festival or fireworks display. Of course, with everyone else wearing a yukata, it can be hard to find something that really pops and stands out. Thankfully, Tsukikageya, a Tokyo-based specialty yukata shop, has just what you need to look as baller as you feel.

We stopped by the store one cloudy afternoon to take a look around and talk with Natsuki, owner and designer, about her unique yukata designs and inspiration. Check out our chat and photos below!

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Narita Airport attempts to woo international travellers with ‘Omotenashi’ welcome program

‘Omotenashi’, the spirit of Japanese hospitality, became something of a buzzword at home and abroad when Christel Takigawa used the phrase in her speech to the International Olympic Committee in 2013.

And it’s in this spirit that Tokyo’s Narita airport plans to extend an especially warm welcome to international visitors this year, as it renews its Omotenashi Program of special offers and cultural events for transferring passengers.

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Traditionally dressed Japanese waitress runs so fast her kimono flies off in cheeky Wi-Fi advert

Kimono are beautiful, often brightly-coloured intricate works of art as well as being items of clothing. But if you’ve ever tried one on, you’ll know that the sensation is at first somewhat akin to being wrapped in a sleeping bag or heavy roll of carpet. Even walking in a kimono can take some getting used to, and it beats me how Kyoto’s Maiko are able to dance in those things.

But in this slightly naughty commercial by Japanese internet provider UQ-WIMAX, a kimono-clad waitress at a traditional Japanese restaurant actually manages to run so fast, her kimono goes flying off!

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Radiant photos of Audrey Hepburn, legendary singer wearing kimono surface online

Oftentimes, foreign celebrities visiting Japan will don a kimono or hakama to take commemorative photos of their trip. While they can sometimes appear incredibly awkward or constricted while dressed in the traditional clothing, a photo of silver screen darling Audrey Hepburn reveals that she looks right at home in the beautiful garb. Furthermore, the picture wasn’t even taken in Japan!

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Miya Ando, descendant of Japanese swordsmiths, creates mind-blowing art with steel

If you’re looking for a new kimono for spring, look no more! Your search for the coolest (and shiniest) kimonos on the planet is now complete. Though you may have a hard time wearing it for more than a few minutes–these kimono are made of nothing but metal!

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Former kimono painter turned ukiyo-e artist dazzles with exquisite modern-day paintings

Ukiyo-e, (浮世絵), or the “floating world pictures” synonymous with the woodblock prints and paintings of the rising merchant class of Edo period (1603-1867) Japan, include some of Japan’s most recognizable pieces of artwork to this day. Along with kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, historical/mythological scenes, and landscapes, one of the most popular subject matter choices for ukiyo-e were portraits of beautiful women, also known as bijin-ga.

Despite the passage of time between the end of the Edo period and the modern day, at least one artist still incorporates traditional ukiyo-e elements into her pictures of beautiful women with a subtly modern flair. Get ready to feast your eyes on these exquisite modern-day paintings of kimono-clad beauties by artist Haruyo Morita!

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Kimono-clad princesses offer their sincere apologies for roadside construction in Kyoto

The fact that the word kawaii has now been accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary says a lot about Japan’s obsession with all things cute. If there’s a manhole cover or a health and safety pamphlet that needs brightening up somehow, you can pretty much guarantee that someone will design a cutesy character or scene to adorn it. That’s just how Japan rolls.

Never, though, have we come across barricades made to look like kneeling kimono-clad princesses before.

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Nintendo fan’s Super Mario kimono is an awesome mix of retro gaming and historical fashion

You could make the argument that Nintendo is the most “Japanese” of the major video game companies. Obviously that’s a label you can’t apply to Microsoft, but even compared to internationally focused Sony, with design studios and production teams all over the world, more of Nintendo’s products are developed domestically, and many in Kyoto, the quintessential Japanese city.

So it’s kind of ironic that the company’s best-known character, Mario, is Italian. Still, the video game hero is one of the best choices for a symbol of Japanese pop culture, and now he’s been combined with Japanese traditional culture in an awesome Mario kimono.

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From Kyoto: The bicycle you can ride while wearing a kimono

There are many things to love about the kimono, the elegant traditional robe that just screams “Japan”. But beautiful and steeped in tradition as it is, the kimono is not without its accompanying inconveniences: its long skirt, which stays pencil-straight right down to the floor, provides almost no wiggle-room and prevents the wearer from running…or even walking particularly fast, unless in comically short strides. Riding a bicycle, too, has long been out of the question – until now.

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See how beautiful a stained-glass window pattern can be as a kimono!

Now, I think kimonos are lovely, and I find their colors and patterns absolutely fascinating. But as beautiful as they are, kimonos tend to be expensive, and the process of wearing them is complicated enough that it takes considerable practice (usually involving going to classes of some kind) to dress yourself properly in one. And the truth is that there are very few opportunities today for the average Japanese to dress in kimono outside of special occasions, such as the coming-of-age ceremony, university graduations or weddings. Yes, people do still wear kimonos, but it’s rare enough that someone in a kimono will stand out in a crowd, as visitors to Japan will undoubtedly have noticed. And if simply being in a kimono can be eye-catching, imagine how much attention you might get wearing a stunning kimono like the one pictured above!

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New J-drama ‘Kol Kimono': Brought to you from…Thailand!

Elegant kimono, cascading wisteria blossoms and the stunning scenery of Kyushu, Japan’s most southwesterly island. If this sounds like an archetypal scene from the land of the rising sun, you’d be half right – new drama ‘Kol Kimono’, which hits TV screens in December, is definitely set in Japan. But you won’t find it broadcast there just yet – only in Thailand!

In Thailand, interest in Japanese culture is at an all-time high. Thanks in part to relaxed visa regulations, the number of Thai visitors to Japan has doubled in the last three years. The new primetime drama, which started filming on location in Kyushu last week, also stars Thongchai “Bird” McIntyre, one of Thailand’s biggest names, in his first leading role in 17 years.

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Love hotels offer free post-coital kimono dressing service for guests on Coming of Age Day

As we saw earlier today, some girls in Japan celebrate turning the big two-oh with some rather elaborate outfits. However, most young women on Coming-of-Age Day in Japan opt for a more traditional-looking kimono.

Another aspect of Coming-of-Age Day is the ceremony held in each region of the land. In each of them, large numbers of young men and women gather to celebrate, during which time it’s only natural for at least some of them to hook up, which is perhaps why the love hotel industry sees an annual spike on this particular holiday.

If you put these two things together, though, you have a big problem.

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Westernized kimono resemble cosplay more than actual clothes

Summer is the season for festivals here in Japan. Every weekend some district or other is putting together a party for locals and tourists to come and enjoy. There are food stands, game stalls, temporary toy shops, and people all around. Most come with a parade event of sorts and end with an explosion of amazing fireworks. But above all, something you’re always going to find at any self-respecting festival are people dressed traditionally in lightweight yukata (a summer kimono) and jinbei (robe-style shirt and shorts) as they wander the streets.

But what about in Western counties like America? In early September of every year, Saint Louis, Missouri, holds a large Japanese-style festival in the city’s botanical gardens. Despite the lingering heat of late summer, somewhere between 20 to 30 thousand people attend this great cultural event each year. But what do they wear? Judging by the array of kimono and yukata available at the English shopping site A Fashion, people hoping to model some Japanese styles might find themselves in what resembles a crazy costume more than actual clothes.

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Beautiful in Kimono — Japonism With A Twist

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone has different standards of what is or is not “beautiful”, but I think many people would agree that the models in the pictures above and below look gorgeous… even if it’s a … “he”.

We’ve featured beautiful men dressed as women in our stories before, so when we found sensual photos of beautiful men dressed in kimonos, we knew we had to bring it to your attention.  Read More

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