ISEYOSHI for global fans

2019年3月 5日 (火)

The spirit of "giving a new life" of Japan

I believe all cultures have traditions to cerebrate life-stage milestones. In Japan, Seven, Five and Three-year old ceremony and Coming of Age ceremony are occasions in which parents rejoice in growth of their child, express gratitude and pray for their healthy and safe life ahead. For such auspicious occasion we are dressed in suitable clothing and visit a shrine to be purified as a traditional custom. Red, white and black are considered as colors of repelling evil and used in Furisode for female kimono, and black Montsuki (formal kimono with family crest) for male kimono. As you see the colors in costumes of  Shinto shrine maidens and Buddhist monks, colors have meanings.
Kimono for auspicious occasions has significance in being newly made for the person to celebrate, not passed from a parent or relative. Because when visiting and proceeding in front of the god,  it is proper to be dressed in clothing that has never lost its purity and expresses courtesy to the god.
When welcoming the god of the incoming new year, it is from the same tradition that we change chopsticks and dishes to new ones. In my childhood, we also used to newly prepare underwear in the new year.   
Periodic rebuilding of a shrine also embraces the spirit of "giving a new life" of Japan.

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2018年3月24日 (土)

Kimono is about KI; vitality.

It seems kimono is closer to our life now, seeing more people wearing yukata than 10 years ago. However, it has been altered to a very different thing from that of 15 years ago. 

With aging of craftsmen and shortage of successors, many areas discontinued production of kimono and obi. Instead, foreign products, printed kimono (versus hand-dyed), and Japanese yet cost-driven products became the mainstream merchandise in the market.

I will write about what I found out in a series of posts.

  Kimono, in essence, is a fabric to wear. Now it has become a lofty model that you have to go to classes to learn and acquire knowledge of how to wear it from teachers. Furthermore, you need to mind small creases when you are wearing it like a model or actress in magazines. It requires painstaking effort and time just to wear, as if you have one of very special days of a lifetime. 

Kimono is about your Ki, your vitality. It is about to enjoy and feel comfortable in it. When your mind is ready, what you miss in way of dressing will show as your character. That is what makes you attractive, cute, and approachable. If you disregard your heart, or mind, and are obsessed with the dressing mannerism, kimono turns into a haughty costume lacking elegance.        



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2018年2月25日 (日)

Ms. Takako Fujita, the ownrer of Fujita, Japanese culinary school

Ms. Takako Fujita, in komon kimono passed from her aunt with crepe nagoya obi in pale pink and grey snow ring designed by Ginza Iseyoshi. Red and green grid on brown with pink and grey: see the match of colors truly original in kimono. Western clothes would not accommodate these colors in one style.

When wearing kimono, please be careful of subdued colors as it takes away radiance from your skin and gives a dull shade. When we are in 20s and 30s any color works well with beaming youth. As we go on, we tend to shy away from bright colors but subdued colors make us look older or hard to approach. Myself included, for those in middle age it is sometimes hard to find a fitting color.

Ms. Takako's choice of colors for kimono, obi and obijime is not conspicuous. They are mild colors but not dull, creating a style of elegance yet accessible.

Japanese color matching and layering is very unique!




The course of Japanese cuisine at Fujita. The pictures are "the warm dishes for cold season" I took. They surely were delicious and made me all warm❣️

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2018年2月 7日 (水)

Featured in March issue of Figaro recommended by Ms. Yumiko Hara. This year let us be blossoms ourselves for cherry veiwing!


Iseyoshi's kimono and obi are featured in the magazine Figaro, March issue, under editorial supervision by Ms. Yumiko Hara. One the page 2 styles are shown:  Black chirimen (crepe fabric) komon of full cherry blossom with loquat colored Iseyoshi original woven nagoya obi, and oblique-lined komon of wisteria color with shioze black nagoya obi and yuuzen obi with abundant gold with handpainted cherry blossom.   

Cherry blossom viweing has been an annual custom for Japanese. At companies securing a space for party under cherry trees is now one of the first tasks for new graduates! But traditionally Japanese enjoyed cherry blossom with a different purpose.

As seen in the movie Sasameyuki, in traditonal cherry viewing ladies dressed up to see cherry flowers and be a part of the scenery to be seen. 

We enjoy Haloween, but shall we enjoy an occasion in Japanese way? Dress yourself up to 'be' a beauty for cherry blossom!

This year let us be blossoms ourselves for cherry veiwing.

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2017年12月 7日 (木)

Remembering Ms. Kimura - A small lecture in Ginza


(Article originally posted in 2014.)
We asked Ms. Kimura to give us "a small lecture in ginza."
The form of kimono is same for all, from girls and boys to grand mothers. So colors and motifs are even more important, which can express age, occasion or your position or relation. Wearing kimono is not to please your ego, but is to dress with perfected motifs of Japan to express heartfelt congratulations, receive energy of flowers of plants, and convey the season. Performing arts start from facing gods, the colors of kimono used in performances have significance, etc. When she was small she had lived abroad. At that time she learned about differences of western clothing and kimono. When she was dressed in kimono with his father, he scolded her for an ensemble she had selected.
Hard to believe she is 94 years old, she has very rational and practical ideas with abundant sense of humor. How to deal with sweat in kimono, select kimono to fit you... she answered to each one of our questions with kind consideration. With her love of kimono and dedication to colors, Ms. Kimura exuded an aura of happiness.









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2017年6月29日 (木)

Hitoe, Ro and Linen - Ensembles before,after and through summer

Many kimono fans still have questions of which fabric to wear in this season, particularly June. As you know, in June and September we wear hitoe (no lining) with same fabrics as awase (kimono with lining), then translucent fabrics is for summer, i.e, July and August. But the rule is not fitting to the modern summer climate, as summer arrives earlier than it did before. I follow my own rules to keep myself comfortable in hot days. I even wear hitoe in winter, but accessories I follow the basic rules.   

There are several theories, but these are the basics; From June to September, wear ro juban, ro han-eri, and ro obiage. For obi, cool-visual(or texture) materials are worn in the beginning of June and late September. From late June to mid September, summer obi is in the season to wear, such as eight-sun obi with no core or shioze for daily wear, and in formal occasions tsuzure-obi or fukuro-obi of pale colors. You can use same obijime in all seasons, or you can certainly choose a summerly obijime like lace obijime to enhance "coolness" that your coordinates bring to eyes.

There are ro, sha, and linen as materials for juban in summer.  Typically ro can be worn throughout summer, and sha and linen for high summer. Please remember not to wear linen juban, han-eri or obiage to match homongi or tomesode.  In the basic rules of kimono, linen is to be worn as a daily wear in high summer. Linen is a very precious material, even more valuable than silk nowadays. Personally I would not disagree on linen in winter or formal wear. But this rule on linen at this point is still valid so let us be reminded of it.   

On additional note, you can spare efforts to care for linen materials. Hand wash and no iron needed.  Linen is revived with water, so I splash sprinkles of water when I use washroom while going out. Erase wrinkles with water instantly and your linen kimono is fresh again just as your fresh look!


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2017年6月19日 (月)

 Beauty of Nohgaku, a lecture by the iemoto of Komparu-Ryu (Komparu School)

"A small lecture on Japan" by Ginza Iseyoshi started 10 years ago. We have held series of lectures since then. Today we invited our first lecturer again to Iseyoshi, Mr. Yasuaki Komparu, the iemoto (headmaster) of Komparu-ryu (Komparu School).  

Noh dedication street performance will be held on August 7th in the Ginza Komparu Street.

※Comments by the iemoto: This year (2017) marks 684 years since the birth of Kan'ami, and 654 years since the birth of Zeami.  Zenchiku Komparu married to a daughter of Zeami.

Excerpts of the interview:

About Komparu- ryu

It dates back many centuries. Noh acts such as Aoi-no-ue, Matsukaze, and Sotobakomachi were perfected by Kan’ami and Zeami. Before their period, it is said Okina-sanbaso had been performed as early as the time of Shotoku-taishi, according to a legend. Some scholars say Komparu School dates back to Kamakura period. In short, the school has a very long history.

How to enjoy Nohgaku

Don’t take it too serious. You don’t have to get dressed up to come to the theater, just not too casual or inappropriate. Enjoy the performance with your senses. You might want to read scripts to prepare for the act beforehand. But you can come to the theater with no knowledge in advance. Take your seat, immerse yourself in the world of Noh and let your emotion move with the stage.

About Komparu-ryu:


Please see the website for more information about the festival:

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2017年6月13日 (火)

Attractiveness of Japanese cuisine by Ms. Fujita

We asked Ms. Fujita to tell us about the appeal of Japanese cuisine, who is a chairperson of a cooking class "Japanese Cooking Class Fujita."
She is one of regular cooking teachers on a cooking show by NHK, "Kyo No Ryori (Dish of the day)."
On September 28 2016, she appeared in Iseyoshi komon and obi!
Website of Japanese Cooking Class Fujita

Profile of Ms. Fujita in the NHK cooking show:

Excerpts of the interview:

When I started cooking, I learned about various cuisines. Then my interest grew in Japanese culture in general, which led me to focus on Japanese cuisine. Exploring Japanese culture through cooking, my pursuit is still continuing as it ever gets deeper and deeper.

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2016年9月22日 (木)

9/27’16 Ginza Kurama-kai at Shinbashi Enbujo.  Waka-okami at Kyubey Restaurant prepared matching kimono for stage.



GInza Kurama-kai is held at Shinbashi Enbujo, the recital of traditional Japanese music by business/store owners in Ginza. Karasu-gumi is formed by young members of Ginza community including myself. The group photo is the female members in matching kimono designed by me. With botanical motifs remembered in connection with Ginza, motifs at chest are designed for each lady associated with one's store or name and depicted in Edo Yuzen. 
Last year, Yoshino-san, waka-okami (proprietress-to-be) from Kyubey had her kimono made.
She said "Kyubey is known for tuna. My parents operate Iidaya, a restaurant in Asakusa specialized in loach cuisine. So those will be my motifs. I don't like cute style." Yes, clean Edo style is our specialty! We had a series of tense communication with our dying artist before the big day. She had a smile as she saw it, finding loach on kimono. 
How about good tuna at Kyubey soon?

続きを読む "9/27’16 Ginza Kurama-kai at Shinbashi Enbujo.  Waka-okami at Kyubey Restaurant prepared matching kimono for stage."

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2016年6月22日 (水)

2016 Nagajuban with lace details

We prepared laced nagajuban for 2016. The garment is yokuryu (striped crepe), suitable for both summer and winter to be worn under daily kimono (tsumugi, cotton, linen and komon). Please select delicate wash mode in home washing machine.  No need to iron. We believe you find it very conveninent you can wash it after worn. This is exclusively from Iseyoshi. JPY21,600.

Please see the product page of 2016 laced nagajuban (for summer and winter)↓
Medium size 28年版レース長襦袢【夏冬兼用】(M)

Large size    28年版レース長襦袢【夏冬兼用】(L)





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2016年5月27日 (金)

Iseyoshi kimono featured in the magazine ’Figaro Japon’




Silk yukata with a chic han-haba obi of sha textile is a charming casual kimono style for an adult. If you wear it with a yellow ro tsudure (thin silk gauze) obi, you are ready for dinner with your husband or friends. Coordinated with kaku obi, the kimono is for men. 

Yellow tsukesage komon above is shown with cobalt blue ro shioze obi of gold foil and embroidery. In this elegant style, we recommend for occasions such as dinner at hotel or theatergoing. If you wear the kimono with fukuro obi, it is classic enough to attend a wedding party. This kimono fits a broad range of age, starting from 20s with vermilion-color obi to 60s with more subdued-color obi!

続きを読む "Iseyoshi kimono featured in the magazine ’Figaro Japon’"

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2016年5月 6日 (金)

Furisode for Hanasaki Sasa-san

Hanasaki Sasa-san is an accredited master of Jiuta-mai. The fan used for dance is designed by her sister, Mico-san.

A fan, her favorite motif is embroidered in back of the shoulder of furisode. I did not ask about the occasion of this furisode to be worn, but it perfectly matched the fan created by Mico-san.

Iseyoshi offers kimono that is truly unique to you including embroidery of your favorite motif, as shown in the picture(^^) We are here to listen to you and serve you! Sasa-san's playfulness is also extended to matching confectionery, made by Mannendou in Ginza. A great way to enjoy Ginza!

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2016年3月11日 (金)

A boy born in the year of the sheep. Family visit to shrine in kimono.

Omiyamairi: Visit of a family to shrine to pray for healthy growth of their child. Omiyamairi is for children, and the first shrine visit is when they are babies. In the picture kimono is prepared in sheep motif depicting the year the boy was born. Kimono tailored for Omiyamairi can be retailored for Shichigosan (Seven-five-three festival, a ceremony to celebrate children marking 7, 5 and 3 years old).   Recently more people pick rental kimono for the reason it is to be worn solely for the occasion. (If you own it, you can dress him/her up in the kimono in other occasions too, such as new year.)

Kimono tailored for the special day is an expression of your heart and prayer for your loved one, for his healthy growth and gratitude for reaching the special day. Your prayer takes a form in kimono thus the passion comes across. Parents make a vow to god. When he is grown up the kimono helps tranform the prayer of the parents to gratefulness of the child to his parents.  I believe our heart is much more precious than money.


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A boy born in the year of the snake. Scale pattern kimono for Omiyamairi is retailored for Shichigosan.

Iseyoshi tailored kimono in scale pattern for a boy born in the year of the snake for Omiyamairi (the first visit of a baby to shrine), and later on retailored for Shichigosan (Seven, five, and three year-old ceremony). 5 crests are embroidered on the fabric. Nowadays more people prepare the first kimono for their children at Shichigosan (Seven, five and three-year old ceremony), but Omiyamairi should be the start. Girls' kimono are retailored at three-year old celebration, and kimono prepared at seven years old can be worn throughout teenage years. Many people rent kimono for such occasions recently, but kimono is intrinsically meant to be worn at time and again to mark milestones in hopes for a child to grow with healthy body and mind. 

When the child is grown up, the kimono stirs gratefulness in him to his parents and grandparents who prepared it for him. A rental kimono just for a commemorative photograph superficially follows our traditional ceremonies and not serving the purpose. If you have a budget, Iseyoshi is happy to hear your requests to tailor kimono for the baby comparable to rental kimono price.   


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2016年2月25日 (木)

 The 1st secret furisode party for adults in Ginza at cerise, Conrad Tokyo

We don't have to be afraid! Adults can wear furisode. Women at any age look fabulous in authentic furisode.  If you are not sure of a style of furisode you want to consider for your daughter, authentic style created by skilled artisans is the answer for it can be worn in various occasions such as coming-of-age ceremony, new year, the first tea ceremony of a year, commencement ceremony, wedding parties of friends, second dress for her own wedding, and even well over 20s.

Furisode works a magic to all women and so it did to us too. We enjoyed cross-generation girl talk helped by furisode that we all should have fun regardless of roles, a mother, a wife, so on. In the party we came up with a great phrase "Woman is about tying obi": Obi surpasses even a most gorgeous dress in giving us a sense of dignity and elegance. It surely was an uplifting day of many discoveries about furisode which I did not find when I was 20.





続きを読む " The 1st secret furisode party for adults in Ginza at cerise, Conrad Tokyo"

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Mifumi-san’s style with han-haba obi

Mifumi-san beautifully coordinated han-haba (half width) obi and Oshima tsumugi. With obi-jime, the front style is just the same as regular kimono style. Han-haba obi from Iseyoshi is very easy to tie, no concern of getting loose. Our half-width obi is popular also because of affordable price. Kimono's black and purple are perfect complements to Mifumi-san's translucent skin color.

■See more of Iseyoshi han-haba obi:

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2016年2月22日 (月)

 Megumi-san in plum flower pattern coat

Megumi-san wearing a black coat with plum design. Megumi-san has fairylike aura, so I decided to tailor this coat to fit both kimono and western clothing style by giving a particular shape to the sleeves.  She looks cutting edge yet is a graceful Japanese woman. When it is worn by Megumi-san, traditional motifs and patterns get stylish and updated!

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2016年2月13日 (土)

24 solar terms and kimono: Risshun to Usui

Risshun / start of spring, February 4

The start of new year season. Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 315.  Energy of spring arises (excerpt from the Handbook of Calendar.) Spring starts on this day to the day before Rikka. It is still cold in this season but days get longer each day, and plums start to blossom in warm areas in Kyushu and coastal areas along the Pacific. 


Komon in red plum flower color with golden-colored light, and woven Nagoya obi with snowcapped camelia flowers

Usui / rain water, February 19

Month of new year in Japanese traditional calendar (Mutsuki). Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 330. Energy of the Sun emanates. Snow and ice starts to melt and more rain than snow. The first spring winds blow, and we start to hear Japanese bush warbler sings in southern areas of Kyushu. 


Peach-colored komon with motifs of four seasons and some obi (obi with dyed motif) of Edo Yuzen dolls for Girls' day

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2016年1月26日 (火)

Actress Rieko-san for interview and lesson on how to wear kimono

Rieko Miura, an actress, came to Iseyoshi for interview on "Mainichi Kirei," in which she offers series of articles on her experience and lessons for "beauty life" in various aspects.

Episode 83: Let's go out in kimono! Interview with Mie Chitani, GInza Iseyoshi

Episode 84: Kimono is about finding your own style. Lesson on wearing kimono by Mie-san

(Articles available in Japanese only.)

Rieko-san is very slim, but she used only one towel around her torso in pictures below. She sometimes gets dressed in kimono in business occasions, but said self-dressed kimono is especially comfortable.

I also gave her small tips on postures in real life situations, not a still pose like being photographed for magazines. Rieko-san is amazingly diligent. She came back to Iseyoshi for more lessons! And she practiced what she learned on the day after going home. I learned a great lesson from her, too


























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2016年1月12日 (火)

Nao-san in maple leaf-motif komon and chrysanthemum obi

I received a delightful message from Nao-san!

A komon kimono with maple leaf motif is what she selected to tailor as a reward for her hard work in the year.


There are many colors and shades of navy. This navy color has elegance and decency, not too bright or too dull.  Maple leaves in gradations of green and pink are as if swaying in the air and instantly I fell in love with this kimono.

I have a fulltime work at IT company which keeps me busy, but on my birthday in December I decided to leave office earlier than usual to get dressed in kimono for a dinner.

As it was a special dinner, I wore fukuro obi of Yamaguchi Bijutsu in chrythansemum flower design. I am still a novice in kimono dressing, but this obi was so easy to tie and wear, and also beautifully matched the navy kimono. With Daifuku bag, I am in the Iseyoshi-style from head to toe!

I found myself on the birthday feeling bright and happy in my favorite kimono, an elegance in style. 



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2015年12月25日 (金)

Hiroko-san in komon selected by Ms. Kimura

Hiroko-san in blue on white komon, selected by Ms. Taka Kimura that the authentic style fits her well. The komon is nicely coordinated with her red obi, ready to go to a birthday party for her Kimono dressing teacher.  Pa031019_2


続きを読む "Hiroko-san in komon selected by Ms. Kimura"

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2015年12月20日 (日)

Edo Komon in various patterns

Keman-suji: Hair-like thin stripes


Goku-keman-suji: Extra thin stripes


Ippondokko keman-suji: Single proned vajra with hair-like thin stripes


Man-suji yoroke: Fine stripes with wavy lines


Yoroke-jima: Wavy stripes


Uzumaki: Swirls


Goku goku gyougi: Extra fine gyogi (dots plotted on 45 degrees, as the polite degree of bowing)


Goku gyogi: Fine gyogi


Tsubu daiya nishoku gyogi: Diamond grain two-color gyogi


Gyogi katayose bokashi: Vertically shaded gyogi


Arare: Hailstone


Goku goku daisho arare: Extra fine large and small arare


Goku daisho arare: Fine large and small arare


Goku keman 45hon renshi goushi: Hair-like fine 45 lines in lattice


Gorin kaku goushi: 5-rin cubic lattice


Genji-ko: Genji-ko (incense) style motif


Same: Shark


Goku same and Edo gangu tobiiri: Fine shark pattern with Edo-style toys



Yon-shoku tooshi: Lined dots of 4 colors


Waka matsuba: Young pine leaves


Jiochi matsuba: Pine leaves on ground


Hi fu mi gara: Numeric letters, one , two and three


Kiribori modan-ryu sentori: Gimlet-carved modern style lines


Hyotan: gourd


Kiribori mizudori: GImlet-carved water bird


Daikon oroshi: Grated japanese radish


Takeshima (for Obi): Bamboo stripe


Takeshima ni koh no zu: Bamboo stripe and incense motif


Takeshima ni shochikubai: Bamboo stripe and pine, bamboo and plum branches




Takeshima ni yukiwa: Takeshima and snow ring (snow flake hexagon)


Oohawa ichimatsu-dori: Large flowers in checked pattern


Kawari ichimatsu: Checked pattern in variation


Kamishimo komon: Komon for formal costume for the samurai class in Edo period

Omeshi-jyu for Tokugawa Shogunate family, :Matsuba (pine leaves) for Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Kiku-bishi (diamond-shaped chrysanthemum) for Kaga maeda family, Daisho arare (large and small hailstones) for Satsuma Shimazu family, Gokuzame (extra fine shark pattern) for Kishu Chunagon family, Umehachi for Higo Hosokawa family, Arare (hailstones) for Aki Asano family, Goma (sesame) for Higo Maeda family, Seigaiha (Blue sea waves) for Tosa Yamauchi family, Tooshi (lined dots) for Shinano Toda family, Takeda-bishi (Takeda-style diamond shape) for Kai Takeda family, Yji-gawa (Uji river) for Sasaki Takatsuna




Omeshiju (on tsumugi fabric)




Takeda-bishi (on tsumugi fabric)




Ume-bachi: Plumeflower basin


Hyakudan yokotobi



Edo komon niju-issen kiretori: 21 kinds of Edo komon in cut-out pattern


Nihyakugoju-sshu kiribori: 250 kinds of gimlet carved patterns



Kisho mon: Rare patterns


Edo komon yon-dan kawari waritori, Shochikubai: Variations of Edo komon in 4 sections, pine, bamboo and plum



Susuki wari-tsuke: Japanese pampas grass in sections


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2015年12月 9日 (水)

Recital of new work by the grand master Miyako Itchu

All wearing kimono by Iseyoshi!   

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2015年10月 9日 (金)

Women Corporate Directors visit Iseyoshi





Women Corporate Directors, WCD, is held periodically in cities around the world. This was the first year the conference was held in Japan, as there are still fewer women leaders in the country than overseas. The conference included several representatives from Japan, such as speech by Ms. Yuriko Koike, a lawmaker, and Ms. Haruno Yoshida from Japan Federation of Economic Organizations in panel discussion.

After the conference the members had a choice of tour, the Japanese sweets store Toraya or Iseyoshi. Of various topics I talked to the visitors about anti-aging effect of kimono, health and kimono, and Japanese colors and motifs. Gladly we were able to share the spirit that forms the culture, with a pleasant remark by a guest from Africa who said the motifs of Chakra is the same as in her country. After the kimono lecture they enjoyed lunch at "Art for Thought" next to Iseyoshi and tea ceremony demonstration. 

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2015年10月 7日 (水)

Women Corporate Directors 世界の女性エグゼクティブ達がいせよし訪問


世界各国で行われている、WCD(Women Corporate Directors)会議。まだまだ日本は女性エグゼクティブの人数が少ないと、日本開催は今回が初めてだそうです。小池百合子議員のスピーチや、経団連から吉田春乃さんのパネルディスカッションなどを経て、和菓子の虎屋さんか着物のいせよしの選択でオプションツアーを開催頂きました。何を話そうか迷いましたが、着物のアンチエイジング、着物と健康、和の色、柄、などをご紹介。アフリカの方には、和の精神性をも理解頂き、’チャクラの柄は我が国と一緒だね’など着物の、より深いお話ができて、嬉しかったです!ランチは弊店の隣の’art for thought'さんにて。茶道のデモンストレーションもありました。

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2015年9月 4日 (金)

Roebuck-san’s Nagauta shamisen performance at the recital of Kineya family, Part 2


<Continued from Part 1>

First putting tabi on, and he practiced wearing kimono. It went very smoothly as I imagined!






Practice sitting position as well as standing.



Meanwhile, he practiced shamisen very hard...


It was the season of full cherry blossom. Today is the day of the performance.



a Collar clip to keep the style neat and clean on stage.

続きを読む "Roebuck-san’s Nagauta shamisen performance at the recital of Kineya family, Part 2"

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Roebuck-san’s Nagauta shamisen performance at the recital of Kineya family, Part 1

Roebuck-san is from the U.S, practicing shamisen as an apprentice of the master Rokukimiro Kineya. He has already spent many years in Japan, commanding perfect Japanese in both speaking and reading including complex Kanji characters. He came to Iseyoshi to tailor his costume for his first performance at shamisen recital in the National Theater. He told me he knows very little about kimono.

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We exchanged namecards first and I asked about his taste, colors he likes and his lifestyle. Among the rolls I showed he selected rolls for his kimono and haori. Then measuring. He said he would not have any occasion to wear kimono other than the recital. 

After a while, the kimono and haori is tailored!


He said he would not have occasions to wear kimono in his lifestyle, but I offered tsumugi fabric in dark navy considering his social standing. it has small hanaori pattern, so it is fashionable when you see it up close, but the fabric looks plain in a distance ensuring the class required on stage.

Haori is not worn on stage, so we decided to give a little playfulness. The pattern is auspicious Shippou (seven treasures) connectted crests in Japanese ink color.



Roebuck-san selected the formal sendaihira for his hakama. Kakuobi is a rare item, dark green and brown stripe in ooshima fabric.



Lining of haori and juban are matching material. The long string of haori is tied in a bow as a Kabuki actor style. The string is a grey-color round naragumi (yo-kaku), easy to tie even if you are a novice in kimono. Han-eri is light grey for the formal occasion.

Dsc07594_2We went to Zen-yafor zouri (Japanese shoes) to find a suitable pair. Equipped with a bag with blue cord, now he is fully prepared.

Continue to Part 2.

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2015年8月18日 (火)

Furisode for three ladies of a family


The daughter came to Iseyoshi to select tsukesage or homongi for the accreditation ceremony of master in Japanese dance. She already had her coming of age ceremony, but her eyes were drawn to the furisode above in white. Red and white (seki-byaku) represent auspicious colors with rich propitious motifs -  seven treasures for connectedness and expansion, pine: matsu for evergreen, longevity, a seat of god and 'matsu'ru meaning enshrine, bamboo for abundant energy of life, plum as innocent flowers to blossom in the start of a year enduring the cold weather, and crane for longevity.  As they were looking her younger sister found hurisode matching well with her, which depicted pine, bamboo and plum with crests of waves (famous for prints by Katsushika Hokusai) in navy.  The mother selected furisode in pine motif on chayatsuji-design (design of a palace in formal style) which can be worn as homongi with sleeves shortened in future. 

Many people think furisode is good until 20 years old, but there are lots of occasions to wear furisode after the coming of age, such as a graduation ceremony, attending wedding ceremonies, parties in new year, first tea ceremony of new year, going to kabuki performance, and as a second dress of her own wedding party. Eventually furisode can be re-tailored as homongi or passed on to her daughter. (Owning furisode will bring more invitations to these occasions I myself had so many events to wear my furisode in my 20's to nearly wear out the piece...)   

On Feb. 13(Sat.) after the coming of age day ceremony in 2016, Iseyoshi is planning to host "Finally, the coming of age party for adults in Ginza". If you have a quality furisode, you will look gorgeous in it after growing out of 20 years old. Don't put it away in the back of your closet!









続きを読む "Furisode for three ladies of a family"

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2015年8月15日 (土)

Shia-san, a graduate of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, geisha in Asakusa

Shisa-san picked up the roll of textile which she fell in love with when she saw it last year. She is geisha, and is a reliable shamisen (three-string instrument) player who kindly offers pieces of advice to me. This silk yukata design is carved with extremely fine pattern. Energy of bamboo and delicate depiction of leaves is so chic and alluring. Ginza community has frequent interactions with gensha in Shinbashi, but I like geisha in Asakusa very much too for they are friendly to us.

Male graduates of Tokyo National University in Fine Arts and Music typically receive job offers of performance,  but female graduates face limited opportunities in reality, other than taking apprentices. I really hope more people will start practicing shamisen!

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2015年8月10日 (月)

Miyako Itchu, Grand Master of Itchu-bushi, in linen kimono and summer wool kimono

PhotoMr. Miyako Itchu is the grand master of Itchu-bushi. In photos he is in summer wool kimono for the season of hitoe (unlined kimono) and linen kimono for summer, July and August.  Iseyoshi tailored linen kimono for Itchu-sensei in blue, beige and navy. Linen kakuobi (men's obi) in golden brown fits nicely with both kimono.  It is so eye-pleasing to see a cool kimono style in summer.


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Eiko-san in yukata, iris design


Eiko-san in Edo yukata from Iseyoshi, to help the festival for the guardian god of community. This hanhaba-obi (half-width obi) is also from Iseyoshi, in reversible colors in linen. The yukata design is hand carved and hand dyed. Iris flower petals and leaf veins are carved in fine lines bringing life to the whole design by mastership of the craftsman.

There are several yukata stores handling hand-dyed pieces, but Iseyoshi's yukata is distinctive in delicate dipiction of designs as we are a kimono store. We offer yukata in affordable prices, but it can be no longer found in market now because there is no pattern artist who can carve such delicate lines.

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2015年8月 6日 (木)

Yukata party in Ginza!

Guests were in kimono from Iseyoshi in various types, kinu-koubai (silk koubai, silk and cotton are alternated in the weft and the warp), cotton yukata, suisha, komon, etc.



Strolling in Ginza to Ginentei restaurant on Namiki street. Some guests met each other for the first time, and quickly opened up for cheerful conversation.

Thank you all for joining the party in lovely kimono styles!

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2015年7月16日 (木)

Ms. Miki Sumiyoshi in Tate-Ro juban

A piece of Iseyoshi in the picture is juban, an undergarment. Unfortunatelly it is not shown when it is worn but please see the fabric before it was tailored. Tate-Ro, warp gauze in silk, is appropriate in May through June as it can get very warm but too early to wear Ro (silk gauze) juban and also in the beginning of autumn. Very subtle dots are rendered in texuture pattern. Isn't it cute? Ms. Sumiyoshi (free announcer)now wears kimono by herself quite quickly! 



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2015年7月10日 (金)

Unlined komon in hydrangea with Sha (silk gauze) Hakata obi




An unlined kimono is for June and September. If one unlined kimono can fit the both seasons it is certainly convenient, but a kimono specially designed for early summer like this is exquisitely elegent.

We often talk about what we were wearing when we went to some places or had an event. In many cases I recall those from patterns or motifs of kimono I wore. Nowadays it is hard to sense seasonality as we live in cities and any type of food is available regardless of seasons. Remembering a time and season may now be our luxury.

Eiko-san likes to select kimono and obi separately, and is impressively good at coordinating them.

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2015年7月 4日 (土)

Art exhibition of Iseyoshi ancestors at Nara National Museum



Img_2135_2_2 In June National Nara Art Museum held an exhibition of art works by three of my ancestors. I felt anxious and excited as I entered the museum as if to see my great grandfathers.



Img_2137_2Img_2138_2_2The exhibition highlighted works of the three artists, Shoko Kiuchi who is my great granduncle, Hanko Kiuchi, his father, and  Kihachi Kiuchi, Hanko's father (and his uncle in blood relationship). Yoshitaro Chitani, the second owner of Iseyoshi, is brother of Hanko.




Some of the displayed works included those which had been introduced only in a book in monochromatic pictures( written by Takeo Kiuchi, his son who had worked at Ueno National Museum.  I was deighted to see them finally in reality, certainly in full colors.  The works give life to wood grain, exuding energy of the wood. From the displayed sketches I sensed warth like grandfathers drawing to their grandchildren.  Kihachi crafted 6-serial guns by an order of Bakufu at the time of Perry's arrival to Japan on Kurofune (black ships). He was also a sculptor of Buddha statues and a vessel carpenter. He was such a novel person that a story was written based on his character. Hanko and Shoko were Mokugashi, wood inlaid work artists engaging in restoration and replication of Gyobutsu at Shousouin, as well as producing Bachiru. (Art works of rendering motifs on dyed surface of ivory. Carved lines to depict motifs are shown white. The technique was developed in China and then transferred to Japan in Nara period.) Mokuga is to depict motifs or patterns with inlaid wood, shell, gold, stones, etc, on wood surface.

Mokuga is the technique nearly extinct. It is not surprising because, for example, it takes 15 to 20 years to soak a piece in oxydized verdiqris in order to stablize green color.  Rebuilding of Shinto shrines has significance in itself, for a technique and tradition dies unless it is not succeeded.

As my DNA from these ancestors shows, I have a strong passion to retain the endangered Japanese kimono. (There are lots of fake kimonos including printed ones and those not made in Japan.) My ancestors seemed to frequently visit Nara to attend Gyobutsu as Shousouin. In this trip to Nara I renewed my resolution to work worthy of my descent.

続きを読む "Art exhibition of Iseyoshi ancestors at Nara National Museum"

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2015年5月 7日 (木)

How I design kimono

Motif designers are the ones who draw various designs upon my request. Pictures below are Iseyoshi original tsukesage kimono, Motif designers draw many different designs for each motif, and I choose one by one for each, rabbit, tortoise, the moon. Then I adjust orientation and decide where each motif to be placed on kimono.

How are these motifs painted and dyed? Fresh glue (not chemical glue) is stuffed in a tube, and draw the shape of animals or motifs like decorating a cake with whipped cream.  The kimono in pictures has my favorite animals and dyed with purple, my favorite color.


Cloud and tortoise


Squirrel and elephant




The moon


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2015年5月 6日 (水)

New Iseyoshi original obi

Iseyoshi's original Nagoya woven obi is well received by kimono beginners as well as regular customers for it is very easy to handle and tie.  Flower motif is very popular in kimono, and butterfly is one of best motifs to complement flowers and is a lucky charm symbolizing transformation to a beautiful being. It is applicable to any season and evokes movement. Furthermore, the butterfly obi has very particular lines  Iseyoshi can offer. Front design is a stylish checkered pattern.

After I design Iseyoshi original pieces, some of them are copied in the market. When I happen to see them in town, they don't feel as sophisticated as my design because the copied items do not copy my attitude in design. Please remember, kimono is "things (mono) of vital energy (ki)." Such copied items disturb energy of those who wear them, with or without them knowing it. Kimono reveals the beauty inside you and gives us opportunity to pursue beauty deep in ourselves.

(We have several obi of this design at price 140,000JPY excluding tax. Offered in 2 colors, white or pink textile with gold weaving. It is recommended to coordinate with kimono for June and September, too.) 






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2015年4月 6日 (月)

Flower hair accessory for a quick solution

Hair style can become a challenge when you wear kimono. It is a hassle  to go to beauty salon, but you don't like not-so-natural look of a hairpiece. Then you try to arrange your hair by yourself, it can end up taking more time than putting kimono on.

Here we have a solution. These 2 pieces are our new additions. (Price JPY10,800. each)



One with black ribbon can go with any kimono or western outfit. Beige flowers are made with rayon. This cute hair accessory fits kimono and also casual styles like T-shirt and dress.

The flower hair accessories are beautuful when seen from your front.  Organdie fabric around your face complement your style and beauty.

I will take my picture from the front next time with some makeup on


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2015年3月29日 (日)

How to coordinate stripe-pattern Kimono



If you are staying way from stripe pattern because you think it is too chic, here is a good news.


Coordinate with a cute butterfly Obi in navy, red Obijime and red tie-dye Obiage. 

This Obi has Sagara embroidery with different sizes of beads, depicting adorably cute butterflies dancing.
The cute embroidered Obi with hint of red dramatically changes the chic kimono into a charming one. The spice of a "sweet devil" is very powerful in kimono.


If matching a stripe pattern Kimono with a stripe Obi or with no pattern Obi, the person can look too chic you may feel hard to approach her.

Advance your kimono styling from matching same tonality and same taste like western wardrobe - enjoy!

*See more about the products*

Komon kimono <Wavy stripe>

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2015年3月26日 (木)

Shibori-Obiage is an elegant AND cute item

Shibori, tie-dyed fabric is what we are used to wear in childhood. At Shichigosan, the ceremony to celebrate children's healthy growth at their ages of three, five and seven years old, cute shibori vests and shibori drawstring purses are often used to accessorize the dress. At the Coming-of-Age Day celebration, so-shibori obiage, obiage of complete tie-dyeing, is classic.


Then we somehow move away from shibori...  probably because we feel it is an item for children?   

Dsc07119_2_2Shibori has a fluffy texture, making it feel so cute. Why don't we add the spice of cuteness using shibori obiage? There are many colors to choose from, as well as shapes and sizes of shibori flower motifs. Please follow your mood of the day and go with your favorite color and shape. Shibori obiage is surprisingly compatible with various styles and colors of kimono.    

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2015年2月16日 (月)

New design Obi I am working on now


Dsc06469_2This is a new obi, hand painted with dye, currently in the process of production.



Skilled artists are getting fewer and fewer. There are limited number of such artists to whom I can ask for new pieces. You see in the pictures strokes with a sense of motion. It may seem simple but it is actually very difficult to portray such a motion. Why? Because it takes the caliber and mastership to depict an uncomplicated style like this piece with just a several strokes.

Recently it is hard to find artists who take my requests unlike famous kimono artists, who typically prefer to make masterpieces like Homongi. I admire pieces which express personalities of those artists, but sometimes I also feel it is like a museum collection it does not give room to us to wear it.
The artist creating this piece listens to what I want to produce. I describe my idea of the design,the color of the fabric, colors of motifs, ways the strokes move, length and width of strokes, each short strokes around the long strokes, the color of square frame (an original motif of Iseyoshi, almost invisible, about one millimeter small,,,) etc, etc. As he listens he absorbs my intention as if he erases himself. I said to him that I want to offer this Obi to women from late 20s to 80s who are fashion-conscious and prefer simplicity. I hope the one wearing it will travel across time and space starting from Ginza.


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2015年2月12日 (木)

Navy Tsumugi Kimono matching with Nagoya Obi, Half-width Obi, Mens coat

This is a Tsumugi fabric of Hanaori (flower weaving) style for gentlemen. Men's Tsumugi can be altered to women's kimono after worn by her husband or father, here matched with ladies' Obi - Nagoya Obi and half-width Obi. Fathers of daughters, would you like to have one tailored for you and pass on to your daughter in the future? The bottom picture is with braids for men's coat. 








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2015年2月 9日 (月)

Gift wrappings with small folding paper

This is a gift wrapping style of Iseyoshi.
Small folding paper is a complementary service.


Iseyoshi "Blessing wind" towel (JPY648) and Sakura (cherry) wrapping cloth (JPY1,080). Total JPY1,728.


Moon-viewing, Maple leaves amd mashroom wrapping cloth, JPY1,080 each. Total JPY2,160.


Pure silk wrapping cloth, Phoenix, dragon and treasures. JPY11,880.


Pure silk wrapping cloth, Calabash. JPY11,880.


Pure silk wrapping cloth, Pine, bamboo and plum. JPY11,880.


We accept orders online. Gift box is also available starting from JPY150.

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2015年1月 9日 (金)

Framed art as a gift to your friends overseas

This is a Komon (fine pattern) gauze fabric of ascending carp, one of auspicious motifs in Japan, displayed in our store.  It settles very attractively when you want to make use of some surplus fabric. 

Furoshiki (wrapping cloth) and Obiage (sash for Obi) will be perfect gifts for those out of Japan. They can be worn as scarves or framed art pieces as home decor. 


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2014年12月29日 (月)

Spirit of Rebirth

Japanese ethnicity has an underlying spirit of rebirth - to renew oneself and things around us to return to purity.

One common example is rebuilding of shrines. Like the famous Ise Shrine, In some shrines the shrine halls are rebuilt periodically as a part of Shinto belief.
It is practiced in various ways in our traditional lifestyle as well. "New" new year preparation is done at the end of every year in welcoming deities of the year to bring with each new year.Also we mark a new year with new chopsticks and new underwear and so on to celebrate innocence and for us to start the year afresh. The choksticks for new year is called Yanagi-bashi, namely willow leaf-shaped chopsticks. The both ends of the chopsticks are carved to pick up food. The one end is for the god (Toshigami-sama) to eat and the other end is for us humans.
New year is certainly the milestone of renewal, and there are smaller marks of a year in Japanese calendar called 24 Sekki, system of 24 seasonal divides. A year is divided into 24 seasons to practice rebirth in each season. 
Cherishing heirlooms and passing on to generations is certainly our tradition. In contrast, renewing things around us is also our inherent tradition of purifying oneself and celebrating rebirth.

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2014年12月20日 (土)

Celebrating autumn leaves - and red to infuse energy

Kimonos made in past often had red silk in back lining, just an edge of it you see in the sleeves. Many of the kimono I inherited came with red lining and I used to think it was a dated style.

But later I learned that the red lining is pre-dyed with tarmeric and then dyed with safflower. The particular red for lining is called Momi (kneading), for the color is extracted by kneading flowers. Tarmeric has efficacy to repel insects, and safflower to help blood circulation. It is said that red underwear enhances health, and the potency of red garments with natural dye is proven scientifically.

Girls in past centuries had many tips to enhance their beauty. Nowadays we can infuse red into ourselves through autumn leaves, or 'Momijigari' which is the famous play of Kabuki and Noh act.

(Purple fabric is Nagajuban - long chemise)



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2014年12月17日 (水)

Your personality is your style

Your height or size might determine your selection of western style clothing, but those are surprisingly irrelevant when you select kimono to suit your style. Some people say that her mother's kimono wardrobe does not fit her style, or that sisters can exchange western style wardrobe, but not kimono. Why so? Because your personality and character determines the kimono that suit you the best, not your size or appearance.
Some people look just perfect in large-size motifs even they are not tall. Tall people may look elegant in small and feminine motifs. In essense, you can go with what you want to wear. This is the miracle of Kimono! If you are not sure waht your favorite kimono style is, please try as many as you can. When you find your best style, it may be very differrent from what you had in your mind. The tip is to follow your heart. You may find your real personality through the discovery of your kimono style.

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Layered collars

In cold season we layer collars so that it brings a sense of warmth to the person who wears it as well as those who see the layed collars. It communicates the wearer's sensibility to cherish the season.

Layers of fabrics also carry a meaning of "repeating." By showing the layered collars you express the sense to celebrate repeating happiness. In wedding ceremony and new year, you can see some people in kimono with layered collars around her neck in congratulating the auspicious occasion and wishing to repeat such occasion many times!

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2014年12月 2日 (火)

Kimono - the native dress of Japan

kimono may have a deferent context today compared from decades ago when it was our clothes for everyday wear. We are fortunate that we still can wrap ourselves up in Kimono to appreciate its elaborate beauty and tradition even if it is not everyday.

As you learn more about Kimono, you will be surprised it is not just a dress but it is also a way to express one's status, consideration to others and means to communicate.
For example, in a wedding ceremony and party you see various types of kimono. Families of bride and groom wear Kuro Tomesode - formal  black dress with auspicious motifs. Relatives wear Iro Tomesode - formal colored dress with auspicious motifs. Married friends and acquaintances wear Homongi - visiting dress. Unmarried friends wear Furisode - colored dress with long sleeves. By the type of kimono they wear you will know the status and relationship to the bride or the groom. When you come across a wedding ceremony, please observe types of kimono the wedding party wear. You will be able to tell the status of each by the type of kimono.




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