Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Thank you to all Japanya's 2014 customers!


Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous 2015!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Order in time for Christmas!

We will be dispatching orders right up to Christmas Eve but as always we would advise ordering as soon as possible to avoid disappointment - some items/sizes are already at low stock levels - or in case of delays in the postal system.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Some Customer Comments about our Kimono

 Amazon marketplace customer reviews about yukata sold by Japanya

Friday, 24 October 2014

Some Japanese Gifts available at Japanya

Some of the Japanese Gifts available at www.japanya.co.uk
As well as stocking a wide range of Japanese kimono and yukata Japanya offers a selection of beautiful Japanese gifts.  Read about Japanese gift giving here.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Cotton Haori Jackets

Our Haori Jackets are suitable for wearing on top of Japanese or Western Clothing
Click to find at Japanya

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Popular Kimono Motifs Part 5: The Chrysanthemum

Images of the chrysanthemum or kiku are widely seen in Japanese culture with a 16 petal variety most famously being adopted by the imperial family as their mon family crest.

Japanese Earrings with Chrysanthemum Patterns

The chrysanthemum was originally imported from China to Japan for its medicinal properties during the Nara period. As well as being a symbol of longevity, the chrysanthemum due to the orderly unfolding of it's petals, is regarded by many Japanese as a symbol of perfection .

The chrysanthemum motif is seen on many of Japanya's products including origami paper, furoshiki wrapping cloths, our own handmade earrings (coming soon) as well as two of our women's kimono gowns.

Japanese Yukata with Chrysanthemum and Plum Pattern
Japanese Kimono with Colourful Chrysanthemum





Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Kimono Gown For Your Special Day!

A Japanya kimono would make a wonderful keepsake gift for a bride, her bridesmaids or other important members of the wedding part.

Our new range of Crane and Peony knee-length kimono wrappers are perhaps particularly suitable gowns to wear when getting ready for a your big day, as "crane couples" are believed to stay together for life and are symbols of fidelity!

crane kimono wrapper
Crane and Peony Kimono Wrapper

Friday, 29 August 2014

Some Popular Kimono Motifs Part 4: The Japanese Dragon

Dragon Yukata
Dragon with three claws


The Japanese dragon is a  mythological creature popular in Japanese culture. It and other Oriental dragons, unlike their Western equivalents, are depicted as much more serpentine and are often associated with rain and water. Oriental dragons also lack wings but as magical beings were able to fly by magic. You can recognize a Japanese dragon by the number of claws it has, Japanese dragons having just three. The Japanese believed that all dragons originated in Japan and the further away from Japan you traveled the more claws the dragon would have (for instance Korean dragons are depicted with 4 claws!)


Dragon Kimono
Namiryu or Sea Dragon








Unlike the evil dragons of Western culture, Eastern dragons were seen as noble creatures with some even having roles as protectors. Their images are often seen as statues outside temples and shrines particularly in the form of water features.

Click here to view Japanya's dragon related products!



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Some Popular Kimono Motifs Part 3: The Cherry Blossom

japanya kimonoFlowers, a major feature of kimono design, are used to represent different seasons of the year. A kimono designed with cherry blossoms would traditionally be worn in spring or summer.  (A kimono with a maple leaf design would be worn in the autumn and a kimono designed with bamboo, pine trees or plum blossoms would be worn in winter.)

hanamiThe cherry blossom or sakura, frequently depicted in Japanese Art and on Japanese goods, is perhaps one of the best known symbols of Japan. The significance of the beautiful but fragile cherry blossom goes back hundreds of years, with the cherry blossom season an annual visual reminder of a major theme in Buddhism that life is beautiful but only transient.

kokeshi doll
Hanami, which translates as "flower viewing", is a significant part of the Japanese calendar. Although originally referring to the viewing of plum (ume) - which blooms slightly earlier than cherry - hanami now commonly refers to mainly cherry blossom viewing. During the cherry blossom season many Japanese people take picnics and drink sake under the blooming cherry blossom trees.

Click here to view some of our products that feature Cherry Blossom.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Some Popular Kimono Motifs Part 2: The Japanese Crane


The crane or tsuru is a very popular image in Oriental Art and kimono design and is also a favourite subject for origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. Fabled to have a life span of a thousand years, the crane is regarded as a symbol of good fortune and longevity. Mating cranes or a pair of cranes also represent fidelity.
origami earrings
Origami Crane Earring


The origami crane (orizuru) is perhaps best known nowadays as a symbol of international peace. Its status as a symbol of peace derives from the story of  Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese school girl living in Hiroshima, who was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after the end of World War II. Inspired by a Japanese legend, which promises anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish, Sadaki set out to fold 1000 cranes in the hope of gaining  health, happiness and world peace.

Red kimono


We have several products featuring cranes including kimono gowns, greetings cards and furoshiki wrapping cloths.  In addition, you may like to try your hand at making an origami crane with some of our beautiful origami papers.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Some Popular Kimono Motifs Part 1: Koi


In Japan, koi or carp are seen as powerful spirited fish with the energy and determination to swim upstream against strong currents and even small waterfalls.  According to Chinese legend, if a koi succeeded in climbing the waterfalls at a point on the Yellow River called Dragon Gate, it would be transformed into a powerful dragon. The koi, therefore, as well as being associated with strength and determination, has come to symbolise the will to improve.

Koi cotton kimono
Koi Cotton Kimono
carp streamersThe koi’s positive traits are recognised as important values for children to have and for this reason on Children’s Day (formerly known as Boys' Day) koinobori (carp streamers) are raised, a black koi for father, red koi for mother, blue and green (and sometimes orange and purple) for children.

Koi are very popular images in Oriental Art, clothing and tattoos. Our blue Koi Cotton Kimono is available in lengths to fit heights from approximately 5'6" up to 6'5".  If you need any information regarding sizing please do not hesitate to contact us (sales@japanya.co.uk). Like many Japanese words koi is a homophone. The word for koi meaning carp is written with the kanji 鯉. Another Japanese word alsopronounced koi but written with a differnt kanji 恋,  can be translated as "love" or "affection".  So why not buy someone you love one of our koi yukata!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Kimono Gown Sizing

We have posted information regarding how to choose the size of your Japanya kimono gown in the past.  This previous post was illustrated with one of our men's yukata.  Here we illustrate sizing using one of our women's yukata.

Choosing the size of your kimono gown is generally based on height with our recommendation being that you choose a gown of 10-13" less than your height.  The length of gown you choose will also very much be based on your own preference with many customers preferring to wear a shorter gown rather than a longer one. The image below illustrates how a person of 5'7" would look in gowns of 54", 56" or 58" length.


Kimono Gown Sizing
Japanya Kimono Sizing

In the above example of a person of average build and height 5'7" we would recommend the 56" gown (that is one 11" shorter than the height).  However, the 54" gown would also be suitable especially for someone who would prefer to wear a gown slightly above the ankle. The 58" gown would perhaps suit a person with a fuller figure or if the gown is to be worn in a traditional manner, with a wide obi, excess fabric could be folded up at the waist.

Nemaki Kimono

Nemaki, meaning "sleep" and "wear" in Japanese is a type of yukata lined with a thin layer of cotton gauze. The gauze softens with washing making the nemaki very comfortable to wear. Traditionally, women's nemaki are made with a floral often blue and white patterned material whereas men's nemaki are usually of a geometric design, also in blue and white.

We are not able to stock a wide range of nemaki, as our kimono makers/suppliers do not routinely make nemaki.  Indeed in Japan nemaki have a slightly negative image as they are associated with hospitals and the older generation!  Currently we stock an edo stripe nemaki in dark blue - this is very different form the ready-made designs available elsewhere  -  that we have had custom made for us in Tokyo.

Lined Kimono
Edo Stripe Nemaki

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Happy times at Hyper Japan!

Nikki modelling our Japanya Happi Coat! 


Friday, 4 July 2014

Heart Sutra Yukata (Cotton Kimono)

This week we have added Heart Sutra yukata (available in black and white) to our webshop.  The design uses script from the Buddhist Hannya-shingyou (the heart of perfect wisdom) Sutra.  This chant also known as the Heart Sutra, teaches the secrets of life and the universe!

The Heart Sutra yukata although similar to our Kyoto Saga yukata in having a Japanese kanji theme actually looks very different. The Heart Sutra script is slightly smaller but more dense and a gold hanko stamp is used in the design whereas a red hanko stamp is used in the Kyoto Saga design. 

Japanese Kanji Yukata


Friday, 20 June 2014

Origami Owl Earrings by Orinique

We'll be selling a new range of origami jewellery, including these cute lucky owl earrings, at Hyper Japan in July.

owl earrings


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Getting ready for Hyper Japan

We have been busy making a few adjustments to our website which we hope to finalise over the next few days. Shortly we will be adding some new yukata and obi as well as launching a new range of handmade jewellery.  We will also be turning our attention to planning our stall for Hyper Japan next month.  

Saturday, 24 May 2014

"Bringing Ryokan style into your home" Good Things Magazine

In the recent issue of Good Things, a magazine that explores premium multicultural cuisine,  Kavel Favelle shares the secrets of staying in Japanese ryokan.  Two of our yukata were featured in the piece:
 





Monday, 14 April 2014

Recent Feedback for Japanya

As mentioned on a previous blog article we don't operate a feedback system on our own website.  However, here is the most recent feedback received on our Amazon Marketplace shop :


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Kanji Pendants

We have posted ready made kanji pendants on our amazon marketplace shop this week 


Fuurin kazan (風林火山) "Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain"

The full battle emblem used by daimyo, Takeda Shingen is from a quote from Sun Tzu's The Art of War and can be translated as follows:

疾如風 as swift as wind
徐如林 as orderly as forest,
侵掠如火 as fierce as fire
不動如山 as unshakeable as mountain

You may like to try designing your own pendants on our sister website:  www.kanjizone.com

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Kimono Design Accessories

Japanese Pendants

Our new colourful Kimono range of ceramic accessories include kanzashi hairsticks and doughnut shaped pendants.  

Japanese Hairpins

 The kanzashi come with a wavy stick to ensure a more secure hold in your hair.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Kimono Measurements





Many of our kimono gown customers are replacing a kimono that they have purchased while visiting Japan.  A good place to start when choosing the size of your new kimono is to compare key measurements such as length, front panel width, and back width.  Today we have launched diagrams in our kimono gallery pages which show all the measurements you will need to make a comparison with your current kimono gown and ours.

The kimono diagrams also illustrate the type of sleeve a particular gown has. For example the gown in the figure above has sleeves which are attached to the kimono body at their base. In addition, the opening can be seen to be the full length of the sleeve drop. In contrast, the the gown shown below has long sleeves which are detached from the kimono body at their underside and the arm openings are restricted to the upper section of the sleeves.

Example of gown with sleeves with partial opening.



Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Lost in Translation

By SSN95
Hissho means certain/sure win/victory but not must win. It's made out of the characters 'hitsu' which means certain/sure and 'sho' meaning victory. So certain victory and not must win. :)

We had the above comment posted on our Hissho (Must Win) hachimaki listing on Amazon the other day. Personally, I think "must win" means something very similar to "certain victoryso I am not sure why the commenter thinks our translation is not acceptable. 

"Certain Victory" is a very literal translation of the characters 必(hitsu) and 勝(sho). In the context of someone wearing it on a hachimaki, however, the word hissho is describing the wearer’s determination to succeed or win and hence our translation to "must win". "I must win" would be another way to put it. 

Many words cannot be translated into another language in an easy way (see this article). Perhaps Hissho could be regarded as one of these!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

New Japanya Products

New Products at Japanya
In addition to new kimono and nemaki, we have added Japanese tote bags and zori to our webshop this month. We're off to Japan soon to look for more interesting products to add to the website and to sell at the upcoming Hyper Japan event in July.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Hawk and Dragon Yukata

A new yukata (cotton kimono) has been added to our men's range of gowns today, black with a gold and white hawk and dragon design it looks stunning.

Popular men's kimono

Monday, 13 January 2014

Daruma - 18cm version now available

We currently have some  Size 6 Daruma (18cm height) in stock which we have listed for sale in our Amazon Marketplace shop.  These are twice the size of our standard Size 3 Daruma (9cm) and certainly are quite eye-catching!

Daruma 18cm

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Nemaki (Lined Kimono)

We have had a new batch of nemaki made this time in a navy with wavy stripe design. We are stocking this in two lengths 55"(M) and 60"(L). In the image below the M gown is modeled on a 5ft7" mannequin on the left and the 60" gown modeled on a 6' mannequin on the right.

New Edo Stripe Nemaki

The overall wrap around style and width (60") is the same for both lengths and is suitable for both men and women; however please note, the sleeves on the 55"(M) length gown are shorter with a longer drop more commonly found on a woman's cotton kimono.