Wednesday 28 November 2012

Hyper Japan Christmas Report

We had a fantastic three days at the Hyper Japan Christmas event.  An amazing number of people attended. Thank you to all our customers and hope to see you again next year!

Friday 9 November 2012

Ordering for Christmas

We will be dispatching orders right up to Friday 21st December; however, we would still advise you to order as early as possible since we may sell out of popular items!  Throughout November and December we offer an extended returns policy. Items can be returned to us for exchange or refund up to 30 days after Christmas.

Monday 29 October 2012

New Kimono!

A new selection of kimono have just been added to our website. Stock is limited so please order early if you don't want to miss out on giving one of these beautiful gowns as a Christmas present!
The Cherry Princess yukata, which is now available in red as well as tuquoise, depicts a noblewoman with long black hair in a beautiful flowing kimono.
cotton kimono
Cherry Princess Yukata - red

cotton kimono
Crane and Peony Kimono

The Crane and Peony kimono available in a
lovely purple cotton, features stunning peony
and flying cranes.

The Cloud Kimono is black with "clouds" of traditional Japanese motifs in blue and gold.

Cloud Kimono


Saturday 20 October 2012

What is the difference between a Japanya kimono and yukata?

Kimono, literally meaning "item to wear" in Japanese, is a generic term for a type of gown that has been worn by Japanese men and women from the early Nara period to the present. Ankle-length, with long sleeves, it is wrapped left over right across the chest and secured at the waist by a broad sash known as an obi. 

Colourful kimono design
Simple yukata pattern
Japanya sells a large selection of kimono gowns, including a range of lightweight cotton kimono called yukata. Traditionally worn in Japan after bathing, yukata are commonly worn nowadays by Japanese at Onsen (hot spring resorts) and at summer festivals; and by Westerners as dressing gowns.

At some of our gowns are called kimono and others are called yukata. The main difference between a Japanya yukata and a Japanya kimono is that whereas the yukata are all made of a lightweight cotton with simple patterns and often plain colours, our kimonos can be made with different types of material (for example cotton sateen, embroidered cotton, polyester, or silk) and/or have more colourful more intricate designs. In addition, our yukata are available in varying lengths whereas our kimono tend to come in one length only.

Monday 15 October 2012

Asanoha Yukata

Made with a simple traditional Japanese Asanoha design our new yukata (cotton kimono) are available in red or blue. The asanoha motif, popular for many centuries in Japan, is made of a repeating six-pointed star shape which resembles the hemp leaf. Associated with hemp’s growth and endurance, the Asanoha motif is considered auspicious and is commonly used on swaddling and children’s clothes.Click here to see our full range of our yukata / kimono for men and women.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Why Daruma Dolls make Great Gifts

Daruma, papier mache dolls with no arms or legs, are modelled on the ancient Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma, who is said to have lost the use of his arms and legs after nine years of meditating in a cave.
The daruma doll is associated with good luck and is most commonly used as a "wishing doll". It comes with two blank eyes, one of which is painted in when a person sets out on a task.The other eye is filled in when the goal has been achieved.

Daruma dolls are a kind of "tumbler doll", as they are weighted at their base and will always try to right themselves when knocked over.  For this reason, they are considered to be excellent get-well gifts. Associated with resilience and determination, daruma are closely linked to the Japanese proverb 七転八起 “nanakorobi yaoki” which translates as “fall seven times and stand up eight”.  

Daruma are usually red.  This is thought to reflect the red garments a high ranking priest would have worn. As red is also a colour associated with protecting against illnesses in Japan, daruma  were often given to children to guard them against diseases such as small pox.  Nowadays, daruma can be purchased in several different colours each with its own significance. These include red for luck, black to ward of evil, yellow for ambition, gold for wealth and white for love.

Though they can make excellent gifts throughout the year, their good luck  and talisman qualities mean that daruma are particularly popular at Christmas and New Year. Purchase your daruma from Japanya by clicking here.

Monday 24 September 2012

Sizing your Kimono or Yukata

Japanya sells a range of Japanese cotton kimono or yukata which are popularly used as dressing gowns.  Choosing the size of your kimono or yukata would normally be based on your height.  We generally recommend you buy a gown about 10"- 12" shorter than your height so that it reaches down to your ankle. If you find the kimono is too long you can adjust the length either by hemming or by folding the gown at the waist and hiding the folded material with a wide belt or obi, though this method is traditionally used by women only.  

Width-wise our gowns are generally “one-width” only.  However, we do stock a limited range in wide-fitting sizes for both men and women.

Friday 21 September 2012

Yukata Obi

Today we have introduced reversible yukata obi to our website.  Below are some pictorial instructions showing one of the most basic ways to tie this type of obi:

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Christmas Hyper Japan

Chirimen teddy bears
Kokeshi and Lucky Cat erasers

We will be running a stall at Hyper Japan (Brompton Hall, Earls Court, 23-25 November). Tickets are available to buy in advance from their website.  Above and below are a selection of new products (not currently listed on our website) that we will be bringing along.

Samurai ornamental kite
Washi Doll bookmarks

Saturday 1 September 2012

Men's Obi

Japanya sell a range of kaku obi for men.  Here are some pictorial instructions on how to tie this type of obi:

Thursday 2 August 2012

Japanese washi prints


Paper has a long tradition in Japan and it is still used for many different purposes today. Obvious uses include calligraphy, woodblock prints, origami and books; with other less obvious uses being lamps, parasols and shoji sliding doors. Washi (wa meaning Japanese and shi meaning paper) is used to describe paper made by hand in a traditional manner. Very absorbent and strong, washi paper is very good for printing as it is able to absorb ink evenly and can withstand repeated printing without losing shape.

We have recently added three beautiful Japanese washi prints to our website.