Thursday, 2 November 2017

Last Christmas our handmade origami crane earrings proved very popular.

Handmade Origami Crane Earrings  £8

The crane, fabled to have a life span of a thousand years, has long been regarded as a symbol of good fortune and longevity. Cranes are known to mate for life and therefore are considered symbols of fidelity. In recent years, the origami version of the crane has also become an international symbol of peace.

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!