Before you even think of wearing the iconic kimono, here are a few things you should know about it. Recently, we’ve seen US influencer and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian-West trademark the word “kimono” for her line of shapewear and then swiftly backtrack when social media criticized her lack of cultural sensitivity. Nobody doubted why it was such a big deal.
Now in its tenth year, the three-day festival is a place for J-fashion enthusiasts to socialise, show off their outfits and get inspiration for future looks. Ten years after it started in 2010, the UK’s largest celebration of traditional and modern Japanese culture, is returning to London today for three days.
One of the most beautiful Japanese holidays, Hinamatsuri is a day dedicated to girls and their families’ hopes for a bright and happy future. As a small child, I used to think that Japan’s Girls’ Day (or Dolls’ Day), Hinamatsuri (ひな祭りor 雛祭り), was actually called ‘Princess Day,’ as the Japanese word for doll (and chick), hina (雛) sounds similar to this for princess, hime (姫).
As a mother of three children who all played sumo when growing up, Japan’s controversy surrounding women’s role in sumo feels more personal than it perhaps should. Crouching in the sumo ring with their fists resting on the ground, their eyes lock in steely determination as they size each other up. The watching crowd holds its collective breath—who will emerge victorious?