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!
We have managed to source a very limited amount of beautiful Japanese Kimono Fabric in a selection of colours straight from Kyoto, were it is used to make actual Japanese Kimono. Have you ordered yours yet?
“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…
Just a quick announcement to let you all know that we have just taken delivery of the following ranges:
There’s something for everyone so visit our website to browse through all of our Japanese gifts online now!
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.
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.
The Kimono is a traditional and extremely valuable garment worn by Japanese women. However, in these modern times the Japanese kimono has developed a universal appeal and is commonly seen worn by woman all around the world for both everyday wear and on formal occasions.
The style, colour and fabric of vintage kimono was extremely varied and would depend on things like age, sex, marital status, season and occasion. However, the construction behind them was kept simple so that they could be easily sewn in the home. The silk kimono is considered to be the most desired version of the garment and requires a more experienced hand to sew than the cheaper cotton kimono and polyester kimono versions that are more commonly found nowadays.
The traditional men’s kimono is traditionally no longer than ankle length while ladies kimono lengths were longer so that it could be easily tucked and adjusted according to the individual wearer. Unmarried women would usually be seen wearing a specific style of kimono called the ‘Furisode’ which had very long sleeves that hung down to the floor. Generally, the ideal arm length for a kimono would be no longer than the wrist when the arms are lowered. However the arm length on the children kimono is still today a lot shorter than the adult version.
To complete the authentic kimono look, the Japanese would wear an obi which can better be described as a sash. The male version of the obi is traditionally narrower than the females and also less colourful. There are ten unique ways of tying an obi, with different knots for different occasions and kimono.
Although there are still some Japanese men and women who continue to wear kimono on special events and ceremonies, it is generally only the top sumo wrestlers who wear them regularly. This is mainly due to the fact that the professional wrestlers have to remain in traditional attire whenever they go out into the public.
The Japanese Shop supplies a unique combination of contemporary and classic products from the Japanese kimono to jewellery, art and accessories. And because Japan is known for its high level of customer service, you can expect nothing less from them; visit their store online to view their range of high quality products. Traditional Japanese gift wrapping is also offered free of charge on all website orders.