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  • 06/15/2022
  • 08/08/2022

Creative Kimonoing: A new wave of stylistic freedom

The designers behind the brand Modern Antenna believe that kimono shouldn’t be just for special occasions. With rule-breaking styles that are all about fun and fashion, this Arashiyama-based label is on a mission to re-establish Japan’s traditional garment as a casual wardrobe choice. Kimono as a tool of self-expression “The kimono is Japan’s traditional form of dress and yet I couldn’t find a single one that appealed to me. The venture started from my rebellious streak as a designer,” says the owner of Modern Antenna, Yoshihide Hirayama. Originally a graphic designer, Hirayama began designing kimonos in 2007 with his wife, Asako Yamamoto, a designer and illustrator. At the time, kimono sales were plummeting due to changing times and consumer demands, while makers stubbornly continued to […]

  • 02/04/2022
  • 08/08/2022

Kojima Shōten: Kyoto-style Lanterns

The history of Kojima Shōten: The flame undying for 220 years. The history of Kojima Shōten, the venerable Kyoto lantern makers, stretches back approximately 220 years, to around the year 1800. In fact, while the oldest documents on record of Kojima Shōten date back to this time, it is believed that the store actually opened its doors even earlier. Indeed, around the time when Kojima Shōten first opened for business in the late 18th century, Marie Antoinette was executed, Thomas Jefferson was elected as the third President of the United States, and the ukiyoe artists Sharaku was wowing Japan with his woodblock prints. With this perspective, we can appreciate the weight of the history the Kojima family members have inherited. The lanterns crafted by Kojima […]

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