Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas Gift Guide

Why buy a kimono as a Christmas gift? Stylish and original designs for men and women Easy to put on and tie, just like a dressing gown Choice of beautiful fabrics Imported from Japan One size: women up to UK 18, men up to 50ins chest Why buy a Victorian-style...

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How to care for a silk kimono

How to care for a silk kimono

These tips on how to care for a silk kimono apply to modern rather than vintage kimonos. Ironing and crease removal • Iron with no steam, at a low temperature (silk, cool or delicate setting). Iron the garment inside out; to be safer, use a pressing cloth • Beware of...

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Cranes as symbols in kimono design

Cranes as symbols in kimono design

The crane - white-feathered, soaring and graceful - is a popular motif on the Japanese kimono. Not only for its beauty, but for what it symbolises: faithfulness and longevity. Cranes mate for life and perform elaborate courtship dances to strengthen the bond,...

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Whistler and the kimono

Whistler and the kimono

In the 1850s, after centuries of seclusion, Japan suddenly opened its doors to the West. Japanese porcelain and prints began to appear in Parisian shops and galleries, and a wave of interest in things Japanese flooded the French capital. A young American artist living...

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Cherry blossom viewing in Japan

Cherry blossom viewing in Japan

The cherry blossom is dear to Japanese hearts. As the blossoms emerge every spring, families and friends will gather across Japan to view their national flower (sakura) in bloom, drink warm sake and snack on sweet dumplings, in a tradition known as hanami ('flower...

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Valentine’s Day in Japan

Valentine’s Day in Japan

They do things differently in Japan. On Valentine's Day in Japan it's the girls who give to the boys, and it's always chocolate. A girl can give chocolate to as many men as she likes but the quality and quantity will indicate how she really feels: giving just a little...

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The Orange Kimono, by Giuseppe de Nittis

The Orange Kimono, by Giuseppe de Nittis

Giuseppe de Nittis, born 1846 in Italy, was the 'Italian Impressionist' or nowadays, perhaps, the 'Forgotten Impressionist'. Despite exhibiting in the first Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1874 and despite his great talent, today he is little known outside of...

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Coming of Age Day in Japan

Coming of Age Day in Japan

The Coming of Age Day (Seijin no Hi) festival in Japan is celebrated on the second Monday in January, and honours young Japanese who reach the age of 20 in the current year (from April to April). Twenty marks the transition to adulthood, and is also the age at which...

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