Thursday, 28 September 2017

Owls as lucky charms in Japan

Owl ornaments on sale at Japanya
Owls in Japan are considered lucky possibly because the word for owl, FUKURO ふくろう, is similar to the Japanese word for luck 福 pronounced FUKU. In addition, FUKU is associated with protection against bad luck (as in fukurou 不苦労 meaning “not having hardship/trouble”). 

                                                                                                                       

Monday, 4 September 2017

Kimono Bags

Japanya Kimono Design Bags
We have added a selection of colourful kimono pouch bags to Japanya.  These bags are hand sewn from spare fabric left over from making cotton kimono and yukata.  They are compact but roomy enough for essentials such as your purse, keys and mobile phone!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Search for Japanese Last Names

Japanese Last names
We have added Japanese surnames to KanjiZone

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Thursday, 10 August 2017

How to Choose your Japanese kimono: Part 2. Style and Colour

Kimono, simple T-shaped wrap around garments, have been worn in Japan for hundreds of years and over this time particular traditions surrounding colour and colour combinations have been established.  For example, the term ume-gasane "shades of plum blossom" refers to gowns worn in Winter with white on the outside and red on the inside and the term fuji-gasane "shades of wisteria" refers to Spring lavender coloured kimono with blue lining. Japanya has been selling Japanese yukata* style kimono online for just 12 years now but even over this short period of time we have gleaned some information regarding what customers are looking for when they are purchasing a kimono.

Many Japanya customers are purchasing replacements for gowns that they have purchased in Japan/ or have received from friends who have visited Japan.  These gowns are often similar to the ones guests are given to wear when staying in a Japanese hotel.



*yukata are informal lightweight kimono made from cotton and often worn in the summer. The word yukata comes from the words 'yu' (bath) and 'katabira' (underclothing). Today, ryokan and even business hotels in Japan provide yukata for guests to wear in their rooms after their bath.

A traditional colour for yukata - based on the indigo dye - is kon (deep blue) and for this reason many of the designs our yukata suppliers** sell are blue with white based patterns. Unsurprisingly, then the majority of the gowns we sell are blue and white based (for example koi, dragon, iris, and asanoha yukata). We stock a range of colourful kimono including green, red, purple and pink gowns and black based gowns are also extremely popular.

**Japanya is very lucky to have two great yukata suppliers. Both suppliers have each been making gowns for Westerners for over 50 year!

Monday, 31 July 2017

How to choose your Japanese kimono: Part 1. Sizing


Japanya has been selling Japanese kimono online for 12 years now and over this time we have gleaned quite a lot of information regarding what customers are looking for when they are purchasing a kimono. Here, in the first of a series of posts offering our advice and tips about how to choose your kimono, we will talk about how to select a kimono that fits!

If you have bought a kimono in the past - perhaps on a business trip or while holidaying in Japan - and would like to replace it, measuring your current gown and comparing the measurements* to those of a Japanya gown would be a good place to start.
 * measurements of our gowns are provided in the image gallery of each of our individual product pages


Measurements of a Japanya Medium length gowns designed to fit a woman of average height and build.

Choosing the size of your kimono is generally based on your height. Our recommendations are based on the following general rule:

Kimono Length - the kimono's length (as measured from below the collar down the centre of the back) will be the same as your height minus approximately 10-13” (For example a 5'9” tall person should be able to wear a kimono that is 56”-59” long.) 

The width of our standard gowns are quite generous.  If you are concerned about the width you could use the following general rule:

Kimono Width - measure your hips and add on another 15”– 20”.  This measurement should be the minimum width your kimono circumference is as measured at its hem and should allow for a comfortable overlap.

Most kimonos, as wrap around garments, are described as one size fits all so if you are of average size and build one of our standard kimonos or a M length yukata should fit you. Japanya also stocks gowns designed to fit both petite and larger people so please take a close look at the gowns we have for sale on our website.  If you have any queries about sizing or gown measurements please do not hesitate to contact us.