Thoughts about Japan, Japanese People and our Japanese Products
Also some great feedback on our Kimono and Obi…
Just a quick email to say a massive thank you for the wonderful kimono and obi which I bought as a birthday gift for my husband.
We had just returned from a fabulous honeymoon in Japan and this trip provided the inspiration for the gift!
Well, he opened it yesterday and was thoroughly delighted! He looks fab!
Thank you for your message. I will definitely fill out the customer survey soon, but I also wanted to thank you personally for your wonderful service. My item was dispatched quickly and I found the addition of a postal tracking number to be incredibly helpful. Most of all, however, I would like to humbly thank you for your frankly stunning gift-wrapping service. Really, the only word that springs to mind is “exquisite. Thank you again. I very much forward to my next purchase from The Japanese Shop Ltd.
Thank you so much for the advice and excellent service. The Kimono arrived yesterday afternoon, which is outstanding service. I have recommended a former work colleague looks at your website, as he loves the Japanese culture and visits 2/3 times a year on holiday.
Thank you both for your wonderful comments!
“Hello lovely people at The Japanese Shop,
I received my beautiful Kimono today. I chose it for myself as a birthday gift and so glad I did. It’s arrived very fast, beautifully gift boxed and its even lovelier than I thought it would be. Beautifully made, stunning colour and detail. I chose the cotton option and the quality and weight of the material is perfect. I will be raving about the superb service of The Japanese Shop to my friends (and anyone who will listen) for a long time. Many thanks. Now…to order my Obi…
Traditional Japanese Kimono or Yukata, are wrapped around the body with the left side over the right. It is then secured with a belt called an obi and finished off with split-toe tabi socks for a truly authentic look.
Years ago kimono were worn by men, women and children. Today the Japanese still continue to wear them on special occasions, as they represent a pivotal part of their culture with their beautiful, colourful designs.
The word Geisha means “arts person” and perfectly describes what they stand for as they quite literally are women of art. In certain parts of Japan, Geisha can often be seen in traditional dress, with their white make-up, red painted lips, perfectly placed hair and elegant kimono. Trained in traditional Japanese arts such as dance, singing, music and most importantly, the art of conversation, it is a Geisha’s job to entertain those who visit their teahouses.
Maiko are apprentice Geisha. They dress in a very similar way however only once they have finished their training and are old enough will they be initiated into the more desirable role of a Geisha. They are usually adopted by a Geisha sister who teaches them the fine and delicate nuances of how a Geisha should carry herself. Through observation the Maiko will learn how to hold their fan, wear their kimono as well as other important qualities of how to properly present themselves.
In the past many young girls were forced into what is known as the ‘Flower and Willow World’ of the Geisha community, with many sold to Geisha houses by their poor families. These girls lived difficult lives unlike the Geisha of today who have chosen for themselves this highly desirable and deeply refined profession.
The kimono of both Geisha and Maiko are long, reaching down to their ankles, with long wide sleeves and obi. The kimono of Geisha usually consists of more subtle shades than Maiko, whose are more bright and colourful.
Today, Kyoto is a well known place to see Geisha in Japan, although you would be considered more than lucky to spot one walking through the streets as Geisha teahouse are only accessible by invite only. In Kyoto Geisha are predominately known as Geika, however they are very similar in appearance with the main difference between them being their location and certain customs and traditions.
BBC Radio 4 recently broadcast about ‘Mastering the Art of the Kimono‘ investigating whether the culture of the Kimono is a dying art. Click on the image below to watch the audio slide show.
“This video brought back some great memories for me. I remember first seeing ‘Maiko’ girls wearing brightly coloured Kimono on the first of what became many wonderful trips to the beautiful city of Kyoto. During the time I lived in Japan I became used to seeing them being worn either on special occasions or on visiting temples and shrines, and I became fascinated to learn more about them.
I was amazed to learn that you cannot simply put on a kimono, there are so many layers and aspects to a kimono that you need to visit and pay a specialist ‘hair dresser’ type shop to help you to put one on! When we lived in Japan, Hiromi put her beautiful red kimono and the white make up on one night and my parents, who were visiting me in Japan at the time, did not recognise her and walked straight past!” Jez
Don’t forget, when you buy ANY adult Japanese Kimono from The Japanese Shop you will also receive FREE UK delivery, a FREE Kimono Gift Box, a FREE Japanese Christmas Card and FREE Japanese Gift Wrapping.
We also have lots and lots of;
We are also very excited to announce that we have just agreed on a deal with a new wholesale customer in Austria!
Visit The Japanese Shop online now to view our full range of authentic Japanese products.
First Prize – Ai Vintage Kimono, worth £185.
Second Prize – Black Framed Snowy Heron Woodblock Print, worth £100.
Third Prize – Blue Polyester Princess Kimono (107cm), worth £63.
To stand a chance of winning, get your friends to visit our Facebook page, ‘Like’ us and write your name on our wall by the 30th of November 2011.
Our top 3 followers who get the most people to ‘Like’ us and whose names appear most on our wall will each win one of the above mentioned prizes!
Visit us on Facebook now and start telling your friends about our competition!
The Japanese Shop will be sponsoring the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival which will be taking place on Friday and Saturday, the 25th and 26th of November 2011 in Cardiff. One of the beautiful Kimonos from our authentic Japanese kimono collection, will be up for grabs at the event.
Also be sure to keep an eye for our new range of fabulous Japanese tableware and paper boxes which will be debuting on our website within the next few days. They make the perfect Christmas gifts!
Click here to find out more about the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival’s line-up.
We’ve just received some great feedback from one of our customers all the way in Belgium, which we’d like to share.
“The postman came with a beautiful kimono this morning, so I had it already on for breakfast. Took some time before I wanted to change, because I’ m really happy. Big congratulations for the way you send the packet, what a beautiful box and free gift!!!”
“Thanks for rescuing the order and the nice chats!!!!”
You’re welcome Isabelle! We are always grateful when our customers take the time to let us know how you think we are doing. View all our customer feedback here.
Liverpool graduate Rachel Dyer is bringing the sounds from Japan to the North West in October as part of the Oxjam festival.
Oxjam is a month-long nationwide music event being held in October to raise money for the global Oxfam charity. Oxjam is the opportunity for fans, venues and promoters to host nights with a variety of genres, and Rachel is using this chance to bring Japanese music to Liverpool.
Rachel Dyer, who studied BA (Hons) Popular Music Studies, was first introduced to Japanese music during her time at Liverpool John Moores University. “A friend of mine introduced me to the music through some online music videos. At first I found them very strange because the costumes were so theatrical and larger than life. Then I started to listen to more artists and found them very catchy and filled with rich sounds. I even got to see a few artists perform in Liverpool and thought they were really energetic live.
Rachel has chosen to have her first Japanese night raising money for Oxjam, who have raised more than £1.5 million since 2006. The money raised aids Oxfam in combating global poverty. Through donations they support development projects such as building wells and schools in third world countries, and quickly provide emergency aid during natural disasters. They also campaign for causes such as climate change, health, education and the global economic crisis to name a few. Rachel says “it’s amazing how quickly they are able respond and provide relief after such devastation. As well as giving aid they work on long term projects such as building schools, building wells, improving healthcare. It seems easy to take for granted that such basic things available in the UK are lacking in other countries.
Rachel is looking to bring a different type of club night to a city rich in music history. Western artists have been greatly influenced by Japanese music, such as Gwen Stefani, the Black Eyed Peas and the Beatles and Lil Wayne, Fergie and Kylie Minogue have all collaborated with Japanese artists within the last few years. Japan plays host to a variety of music styles and artists, from rappers to rockers, dance groups to theatrical rockers and R’n’B singers to pop idols. Some artists use traditional musical instruments and techniques in their music, but equally some songs wouldn’t sound out of place on the UK music charts. Two DJs (including Rachel) will be DJing eclectic sets of the newest songs mixed in with classic tracks from acts such as X JAPAN, Koda Kumi and L’arc~en~ciel.
Rachel’s event is being supported by The Japanese Shop, who has donated a vintage kimono as a raffle prize to raise more money for Oxfam. They specialise in unique Japanese gifts and products, including origami paper, Japanese wall art and prints, kimonos, jewellery and Kokeshi dolls. All items are of the highest design and quality or anyone interested in Japanese culture, delivered with the highest levels of service.
The event is on 15th October at Mello Mello Café on Slater Street starting at 9pm and entry is £2 donation. Rachel is hoping the generosity of Liverpool will shine through on the night. “I’m looking forward to sharing my love of Japanese music, and every pound will mean Oxfam can continue their invaluable work supporting countries around the world.”
Click to donate.