Maiko girls enjoy an autumn day in Kyoto. Photo: AFP

Kim Kardashian isn’t the first Westerner to sexualise Japan’s kimono. And she won’t be the last

  • Japanese cultural products, including the kimono, were exported to the West in the 1860s as the country started to modernise
  • After the war, the US sought to feminise and corrupt perceptions of Japan by associating the traditional garment with prostitution and servile femininity
Topic |   Japan

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Maiko girls enjoy an autumn day in Kyoto. Photo: AFP
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Japanese women wearing kimonos attend their Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Tokyo. Photo: Reuters

Japan sends patent officials to US over Kim Kardashian ‘Kimono’ row

  • The reality TV star’s new line of shapewear, called ‘Kimono’, provoked a backlash online and accusations of cultural appropriation
  • She has since promised to find a different name but Japan’s trade minister Hiroshige Seko said the issue had become ‘a big deal on social media’ and warranted ‘a careful examination’
Topic |   Fame and celebrity

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Japanese women wearing kimonos attend their Coming of Age Day celebration ceremony in Tokyo. Photo: Reuters
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