Kyoto mayor steps into #KimOhNo row over Kardashian line

Japanese women wearing kimonos. (File/Reuters)
Updated 01 July 2019

Kyoto mayor steps into #KimOhNo row over Kardashian line

  • The American pop culture icon sparked a social media storm last week when she unveiled the new line
  • Kimono literally means “something to wear,” while Kardashian West’s use of it is a play on her first name

TOKYO: The mayor of Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto has entered into an unlikely correspondence with the queen of selfies Kim Kardashian West, asking her to reconsider naming her shapewear line “Kimono.”
The American pop culture icon sparked a social media storm last week when she unveiled the new line, with some in Japan and abroad accusing her of disrespecting the traditional outfit.
And now the mayor has waded into the debate — being had on Twitter under the hashtag #KimOhNo — penning a letter to the star to ask her to reconsider, Kyoto officials told AFP.
“We’re concerned that a wrong understanding of kimono will spread since Ms. Kardashian is such a powerful influencer,” said Mai Sakai, a Kyoto city official in charge of traditional crafts.
“(I) ask you to reconsider your decision of using the name Kimono in your trademark,” Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa wrote in an English-language letter sent to Kardashian West.
“Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history,” he wrote, asking her to visit the city to experience kimono culture.
Kimono literally means “something to wear,” while Kardashian West’s use of it is a play on her first name.
The reality television star told the New York Times that she had no plans to produce clothes that “would in any way resemble or dishonor the traditional garment.”
Once a standard of the Japanese wardrobe, the kimono is now often reserved for special occasions, such as weddings and coming-of-age ceremonies, and is mostly worn by women.
And while the elaborate outfits might appear to have little in common with the snug garb being offered by Kardashian West, kimonos are not only often hugely expensive but known for being hard to wear.
Women frequently hire experts to dress them in kimono because the outfit requires seemingly endless nipping, tucking and strapping.


What We Are Reading Today: Busted in New York by Darryl Pinckney

Updated 51 min 32 sec ago

What We Are Reading Today: Busted in New York by Darryl Pinckney

This is a collection of essays that blend the personal and the social, from the celebrated literary critic and novelist.

Author Darryl Pinckney has written for The New York Review of Books for decades, and most of the 25 essays here appeared there first.

“In his two novels, Pinckney focused on the interior lives of his black characters in settings including Berlin, Chicago and Indianapolis, where Pinckney was raised. Here, he reveals himself to be a skillful chronicler of black experience in literary criticism, reportage and biography,” Lauretta Charlton said in a review for The New York Times.

“The crown jewel of this book is ‘Banjo,’ an essay that first appeared last year in the literary magazine Salmagundi. In it, Pinckney pinpoints a devastating irony of growing up in a privileged, intellectual milieu like his.

“The pressure to live up to his parents’ expectations led to its own kind of oppression, one he sought to escape by traveling to Europe but addresses head on in this essay, which captures his journey toward self-discovery.

Through race, Pinckney implies, we hide from each other and ourselves,” the review added.

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