Japanese all over the world are not taking it lightly with media personality, Kim Kardashian after her recent announcement of an underwear line she called “Kimono”. Alhough the collection is not out, the reality TV star is already receiving a lot of bash from the culture conscious Japanese citizens.
A day after the new line of slimming undergarments called Kimono Solutionwear was announced, some Japanese people expressed their displeasure with the reality star’s use of the word kimono to sell her latest product. They accused her of appropriating an item — and an idea — central to Japanese culture in an attempt at cute wordplay and consumerism.
Kardashian West announced the project on Twitter on Tuesday, saying it was coming soon. The product, which does not resemble a kimono, is shapewear for women in nine different shades and an array of sizes that is intended to help women feel more confident.
“Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year. I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years. Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work,”
Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year.
I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years.
Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work.
Photos by Vanessa Beecroft pic.twitter.com/YAACrRltX3
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 25, 2019
In Japan, the word kimono, which means “thing to wear on the shoulders,” is a central part of national culture. It is a gown that is tied with a sash and has been worn by both men and women for generations.
On social media, angry users accused the reality star of disrespecting Japanese culture and stealing the name of their traditional dress.
“This is blasphemy against Japanese culture. Can’t someone from kimono-related organizations protest? This is terrible,” tweeted Masahito Sato, an editor and writer.
Many used the hashtag #KimOhNo to express their disgust and disappointment.
— 渡邉葉 (@YoWatShiinaEsq) June 26, 2019
— Tamlyn Tomita (@thetamlyntomita) June 25, 2019
A little more context for why I think this is problematic.
"We wear kimonos to celebrate health and growth of children, coming of age, celebrating engagements and marriages, graduations, at funerals.
It's celebratory wear, and has significance to our culture." pic.twitter.com/hBA7PWbwgl
— Yuka Ohishi (@0oyukao0) June 26, 2019
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