CULTURE

Yukata vs Kimono – What Are The Main Differences?

Yukata Summer Japan

Yukata vs Kimono – When traveling to foreign countries, one of the most exciting and enjoyable ways to immerse yourself into their culture would be to don their national garment. Nothing will make you feel quite as connected to the culture as glancing in the mirror and seeing yourself dressed in their traditional clothing that have likely spanned centuries over time.

At least, that’s the lifespan of the Japanese kimono.

Recognised as the national dress of Japan, the beautiful t-shaped kimono garment is instantly identifiable even amongst people who haven’t visited the country before. Characterised by an intricately patterned dress robe with a wide sash wrapped around the waist, the kimono hails from ancient Japan and its beauty and elegance is second to none.

Enter the yukata.

To the untrained eye (which, to be fair, encompasses most visitors to the country), the two garments are seemingly very alike. Both are stunning t-shaped robes that drape flawlessly over the body, depicting an ageless Japanese look that will surely turn heads. Both wrap their left panel over their right, always, as only those who have passed away drape their right over their left.

However, that’s where the basic similarities end.

The yukata, whilst still beautiful and important to Japanese history in its own right, is actually a by-product of the kimono. We will get into more detail later on, but these days, the kimono is the more formal of the two, being worn at formal events. The yukata, on the other hand, is a lighter, more casual dress that’s typically worn in summer months.

To understand the true differences between the two, we’ll first give you light and interesting insight into each garment and then describe the main differences so you can understand them better.

What is a Kimono?

<img src="https://cdn.statically.io/img/sugoii-japan.com/f=auto%2Cq=20/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Kimono-Japan-Japanese-Girl.jpg" alt="Kimono Japan Japanese Girl" width="683" height="1024" srcset="https://cdn.statically.io/img/sugoii-japan.com/f=auto%2Cq=20/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Kimono-Japan-Japanese-Girl.jpg 683w, https://cdn.statically.io/img/sugoii-japan.com/f=auto%2Cq=20/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Kimono-Japan-Japanese-Girl-200×300.jpg 200w, …continue reading

    

Daruma Dolls – All You Need To Know About These Cute Japanese Traditional Dolls

Daruma Dolls For Sale Buy Online Shop

Daruma dolls are one of Japan’s most popular good luck talismans. You’ve most likely come across them before as they’re displayed wherever people wish for good luck. The symbol of the Daruma doll is also one for perseverance.

Because of this, you might have seen people get tattoos of these dolls on their bodies, or possibly seen the faces of the Daruma dolls on artworks and such.

What are Daruma Dolls?

The Daruma dolls are small rounded dolls that come in various sizes and thus are sold at various prices. They’re created with a slightly rounded bottom/stand which is designed to make it difficult for them to topple over.

This embodies its symbol of perseverance and the famous Japanese proverb: fall down seven times, stand up eight.

Aside from the usual keyrings, magnets and sweets, Daruma dolls make a great little souvenir to take home. It’s got centuries of Japanese history behind its design and shape and make for an interesting story if anyone were to ask you about them.

If you don’t plan to come to Japan soon and still want to get a Daruma, we have you covered! We just added beautiful Daruma dolls into our online shop. 3 colours are available at the moment:

Buy your Daruma online >>

Daruma Dolls – The History Behind The Legend

Bodhidharma Daruma Dolls Buddhist Monk

The full history behind the Daruma dolls is a slightly murky but super interesting one. The first recorded information of Daruma Dolls dates back many centuries ago, when the believed founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma, brought the religion to China.

He journeyed across the country until he found a suitable cave to …continue reading

    

Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony Original Plan Leaks in Full

Over the past few weeks, Shukan Bunshun has teased bits and pieces of the original plan for the Opening Ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Now, on the day of the Closing Ceremony, the publication has leaked the full plan!

What would have happened if MIKIKO‘s full plan was realized, and she wasn’t fired in favor of Dentsu’s Sasaki Hiroshi, who himself later resigned after joking about Naomi Watanabe‘s weight?

MIKIKO’s plan started in June 2019. In charge of both of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Olympics, she had to create about seven hours of content from scratch. She worked so hard on the plan that she should that she would retire upon its completion.

The team of elite creators around MIKIKO worked just as hard, as one to achieve a singular goal. But how would they direct the stage? How would they tell the story they wanted to tell? What would the costumes be? The team figured all of this out. Everything was set to go for the big day, a day that would never come.

All of the hard work of MIKIKO and her team was thrown away upon the appointment of Sasaki. Even though her plan couldn’t be executed in reality, we do have the document showing what would have been.

A countdown starts. A red motorcycle, the one made famous by Otomo Katsuhiro’s manga “AKIRA”, races across the floor of the Olympic stadium. The countdown ends. The dome in the center of the stadium opens, and a stage appears. On the stage is Perfume. They perform “Welcome to Tokyo”, a song by their producer Yasutaka Nakata.

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Ryuji Imaichi Falls in Love with a Robot in “FUTURE LOVERS” MV

今市隆二「CHAOS CITY」ジャケット

On July 21, Ryuji Imaichi of Sandaime J SOUL BROTHERS will release his third solo album, “CHAOS CITY.” This release comes about a year and half after his previous album, “ZONE OF GOLD.”

“CHAOS CITY” is a conceptual album that tells the stories of the fictional city that the album is named after. The lead song from the album is the 80s-influenced “FUTURE LOVERS.” Ryuji was inspired to write the song by the Hajime Sorayama statue “Sexy Robot.” The song is based on the theme of forbidden love between man and robot.

In the music video for “FUTURE LOVERS”, Ryuji falls in love with an android in the futuristic CHAOS CITY. “Sexy Robot” is one of the prominent features of the city and of Ryuji’s album cover, which can be seen below!

CD

  1. INTRO ~CHAOS CITY~
  2. FUTURE LOVERS
  3. Talkin’ bout love
  4. Highway to the moon
  5. オヤスミのくちづけ (Oyasumi no Kuchizuke)
  6. I’m just a man
  7. THROWBACK pt.2
  8. ALT FUTURE LOVERS feat. ☆Taku Takahashi
  9. Highway to the moon (Night Tempo Melting Groove Mix)

Blu-ray / DVD

  1. INTRO ~CHAOS CITY~
  2. FUTURE LOVERS (Music Video)
  3. Highway to the moon (Music Video)
  4. Highway to the moon~FUTURE LOVERS (Behind The Scenes)

Source, source

Source

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Shodo – An Introduction To The Art Of Japanese Calligraphy

Shodo Japanese Calligraphy 4

The ancient traditional art of Japanese calligraphy is indeed as beautiful as it is intricate. Calligraphy (Shodo) itself boasts a long, rich history across the world, with Japanese calligraphy itself dating all the way back to the 6th century.

These days, mastering the highly regarded art form of shodo is a revered task. Japanese elementary school kids begin their basic training of shodo in penmanship class. Some students even take special classes outside of school to learn more and practice their skills. Only a small fraction, though, will continue outside of school to master the traditional art.

Japanese Calligraphy – What Is Shodo?

To the untrained eye, shodo may appear to be just brush strokes of Japanese characters, but there is much more to it than that!

Shodo is reliant on the technique of the brush strokes, the flow of brush and ink, the accurate composition of characters, the way the brush is handled, the shading of the ink, the placement of the characters…the list can go on and on and on.

More than just a physical exercise, shodo is a mental practice of connecting the body and mind to ensure everything flows in harmony.

History Of Shodo

Shodo Japanese Calligraphy 5

The art of shodo originated from China, eventually making its way through to Japan. Initially, calligraphy was an essential part of education for the members of the ruling families. However, as time passed by, shodo organically spread to the common people as well.

The origins of Japanese calligraphy are derived from Chinese calligraphy characters, which were modified to fit the Japanese language – this became known as Kanji. Japanese calligraphy will go on to incorporate Kanji alongside Japanese syllabic scripts hiragana and katakana.

The …continue reading

    


Japanese Tea Ceremony – All You Need To Know About This Old Japanese Tradition

Matcha Tea Set Kit

In a land where history is steeped in everyday life, you won’t find a better place to experience cultural traditions. The art of the Japanese tea ceremony, called ‘chado’, ‘sado’, or even ‘chanoyu’, all of which loosely translates to ‘the way of tea’, is an intricate one.

It is one that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. It’s both a spiritual process and a healing experience for the host and the guest.

You may have come across images of tea being served in ryokans to guests before; this is a popular way of experiencing it when visiting Japan. These days, there are varying degrees of complexity in the different ways the Japanese tea ceremony can be conducted.

Many Japanese people still host tea ceremonies as hobbies. You can also seek out to experience the full-on traditional ceremony which will go over the course of a few hours and involve a kaiseki meal and various types of tea.

Otherwise, as mentioned above, the most popular way would be staying at a traditional Japanese inn which also offers a lighter tea ceremony experience during your stay.

There are actually many intricacies involved in the tea ceremony. Its history also has roots which extend all the way to China. Read on for more fun and interesting information on this old Japanese tradition!

The History Of The Japanese Tea Ceremony

The History Of The Japanese Tea Ceremony

The beginnings of the Japanese tea ceremony can be traced back to the 7th or 8th century. This is when it was believed that tea was first introduced to Japan by China. Initially, it was …continue reading

    

What are Yokai? Japanese Folklore Creatures

Cultures around the world have their fair share of ghost stories to scare the kids and sometimes the adults as well. Japan is no different. Especially on warm summer evenings, people like to hear scary stories to give them a temporary chill. Many of those stories are about ghosts, but there are also other types of beings that can’t quite be classified as ghosts as we know them. They are called ‘yokai’. Yokai are a type of monsters that often feature in scary Japanese folk stories. There are many of them, some more scary than others. A few of them are even sort of cute! Let us introduce you to […] …continue reading

    

Bonsai Tree – A Traditional Japanese Art Form

Bonsai (盆栽) are miniature potted trees and plants, they are grown in pots or containers and cared for in such a way that they look their most beautiful. Bonsai are the Japanese version of the Chinese Penzai, the difference between the two is that bonsai are a representation of a single tree that resembles the shape of a real life tree, whereas Penzai are often displayed in a landscape form and look more natural and wide. Bonsai trees come in different sizes, shapes and prices. You can get your own bonsai for as cheap as ¥2,000 or, when looking for something more special, up to millions of yen. A bonsai […] …continue reading

    

Sakura Miyawaki’s HKT48 graduation apparently leaked by HMV

Sakura Miyawaki recently completed activities with the successful South Korean based group IZ*ONE. In 2018 she successfully was one of the winning contestants on the CJ E&M talent reality show Produce 101, as one of the winners she halted activities with AKB48 and HKT48 to focus on IZ*ONE.

After three years fans were looking forward to her return with HKT48, but it appears that her time with the group is limited. Popular retailer HMV shared a preview photo of Sakura in an upcoming issue of the popular fashion magazine ViVi. In the page it has text that approximately says:

“AFter finishing activities with IZ*ONE, Sakura Miyawaki has returned to HKT48 after just announcing her graduation a few days ago”.

The tweet was quickly deleted shortly after it was posted, oops! A statement has yet to be revealed on Sakura’s apparent graduation. Some fans were reminded of former AKB48 Haruka Shimazaki, whose graduation was leaked weeks prior to the official announcement.

Back in March it was rumored that Sakura would be joining the agency BigHit Entertainment, BTS’ agency who has since rebranded as Big Hit Music. While nothing has been confirmed, with news of Sakura now graduating HKT48 this past rumor has became a hot topic again.

(via k-plaza)

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The History of Geisha: What are Geisha and where are they today

The distinct white makeup, elegant kimonos, and elaborate hairstyles of the geisha are the first images you see when you think of traditional Japanese culture. Although the image in the west is that of a high-class courtesan, geishas are from that. The word geisha comes from the Japanese word “gei” meaning art and “sha” meaning person. Geishas are artisans and purveyors of traditional Japanese culture. Geisha women dedicate their lives to Japanese traditional arts and put their talents to use to entertain customers. To most foreigners and Japanese alike the history and current world of the geisha remains a mystery. In this article, we’ll talk about the origins of geishas […] …continue reading