- Japanese people are expressing frustration with the name of Kim Kardashian’s new shapewear line: “Kimono Solutionwear.”
- The kimono is a traditional Japanese garment that dates back to the 17th century and serves as the national dress of Japan.
- Japanese Twitter users said that the name choice was “ignorant” and “disrespectful,” and shared images of themselves in kimonos while writing about how important the garment is to them.
- People have been expressing unhappiness with the name, as well as what they say is a lack of body size diversity in promotional images, with the hashtag “#KimOhNo.”
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Many Japanese people have taken to the internet to express their displeasure with the branding of Kim Kardashian’s new shapewear line, which has the same name as a traditional Japanese garment.
Kardashian revealed her new Kimono Solutionwear collection on Tuesday, promising “shapewear and solutions for women that actually work.”
But many Japanese Twitter users have pointed out the significance of the kimono, which has traditionally referred to a centuries-old garment that serves as the national dress of Japan.
One user accused Kardashian of “BUTCHERING” Japanese culture and said: “My culture is not your plaything.”
She also used the hashtag “#culturalappropriation.”
Thanks for BUTCHERING Japanese culture!!! My culture is not your plaything.
You don't have any respect for people who are not your family, do you?
In the 15 yrs developing this project, couldn't you find a cultural advisor?#KimOhNo #culturalappropriation https://t.co/OsDYVZxPhx
— ????kasumi????✨ (@liaoyingQQQi) June 26, 2019
Another user said she was “very sad” that the name ‘is being used to something completely different from what we Japanese know about.”
“Kimono is traditional Japanese clothes and we are very proud of its history and culture. I’m sorry but I feel this name choice is simply ignorant,” he tweeted, using the hashtag “#KimOhNo.”
I feel very sad that the name “Kimono” is being used to something completely different from what we Japanese know about it. Kimono is Japanese traditional clothes and we are very proud of its history and culture. I’m sorry but I feel this name choice is simply ignorant. #KimOhNo
— ヤス＠BUNKAIWA(ブンカイワ) (@bunkaiwa) June 26, 2019
Another user shared images of what she said were her grandmother’s kimonos. “Some of these are dyed and embroidered by herself. When I was child, I loved watching as she embroidered on kimono cloth. My grandmother who makes beautiful embroidery is also beautiful and I always felt it magical.”
And one woman shared photos of herself in kimonos throughout her life, writing: “Kim, I’m sure your shapewear’s nice, but please don’t take the name of a beautiful, traditional Japanese wardrobe and use it for your undies.”
Kim, I’m sure your shapewear’s nice, but please don’t take the name of a beautiful, traditional Japanese wardrobe and use it for your undies. This is me in various kimonos over the years. Hairstyle may not be traditional, but my kimonos sure were! ???? #KimOhNo pic.twitter.com/5Z4uKwro6B
— Yoko Moncol (@NotLikeYokoOno) June 26, 2019
Other women shared images of themselves in kimonos, speaking about how important the garment is to them and urging Kardashian to change the name.
This is #kimono I wore to my wedding. I'd like Kim to imagine how she'd feel if someone treated her wedding, prom or baptism dresses as lingerie.
"Kimono" are not just clothes but are a symbol that evokes precious memories and important life events. #KimOhNo pic.twitter.com/gD2KrTzsLR
— Misako Oi (@misakohi) June 26, 2019
Hi Kim, this is me wearing my mother’s Kimono that was inherited from her. Kimono is a Japanese traditional culture. Please stop using its name for your brand. As @mihoimiofficial suggested, it more makes sence to name Kimno instead. #KimOhNo #kimono pic.twitter.com/v5PAPl8tpL
— Hummingfnfn (@sandel1123) June 26, 2019
And some Japanese -Americans expressed their discomfort with the name.
From my perspective of being a Japanese-American and having grown up with the cultural aesthetic and legacy, it is disrespectful to call these underwear "kimono." Kimono is a type of Japanese traditional robe that looks nothing like this. It just feels….disrespectful. https://t.co/ZFWYRmsnIx
— 渡邉葉 (@YoWatShiinaEsq) June 25, 2019
London’s Victoria and Albert Museum claims that the kimono dates back to 1615, and notes that the kimono has come to “stand for the essence that is Japanese.”
The images painted on kimonos also have their own significance, as do their colours.
The garments are also used by Japan’s royal family for ceremonial occasions, and they often give honored guests summer kimonos to wear during their visits.
Kardashian has applied to trademark the word “Kimono” in a specific font, and for the phrases “Kimono Body” and “Kimono World.”
People have also criticised the brand for its promotional campaign, which they say advertise shapewear by only using one, slim, body type.
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