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Kardashian kimono shapewear sparks Japan debate

By Toshifumi Kitamura

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Hope she shows some respect and changes the name. Imagine the out range if it were the other way around. Kim; wanna be an entrepreneur? Spend some time and do some research before you insult another country's cultural and tradition!

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

Upsetting news. This is disrespecting Japanese culture by Kardashian.

"The Japanese government should file a protest against Kardashian,

Agree 100%. An official protest should be lodged. Furthermore the government should apply to register "Kimono" with UNESCO, so incidents like this would be illegal in future.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

I hate to sound like a right-winger but the entire cultural appropriation debate is absurd. Get a life.

"She's been to Japan many times. I'm shocked. She has no respect," tweeted one user in Japanese.

What passes for journalism these days--anonymous tweets. As if you couldn't find outrage on social media for every single statement or act by public figures.

24 ( +28 / -4 )

She must knew it would cause a stir but still used it. Why? If it is of other name you think it would have made news on JT and other news sites. Free advertising, mates.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Ignore this trashy family. Why are Americans constantly subjected to the lives of this wealthy, vacuous family?

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." – Dorothy Parker

10 ( +14 / -4 )

If non-Asians do anything kimono related in N. America, the people shout cultural appropriation. When they then ask people in Japan, they like it.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

prompting some to accuse her of disrespecting the traditional outfit.

I didn't know we were required to respect clothes

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Kim Kardashian and Outraged of Twitter, the new tsukkomi and boke.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Well, years ago, Wacoal came up with a new pantyhose that they creatively named "City Pants." Try to imagine a TV commercial with that name in katakana!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

So a few tweets represent the voice of an entire nation?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Oh please. Japanese are so sensitive! Ask a regular Japanese person and I bet they wouldn't even know how to wear one properly

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Oh please. Japanese are so sensitive! 

I looked at Twitter on this. There are some Japanese posting in English but most of the criticism appears to be coming from non-Japanese including black and Hispanic people who see this as yet another case of cultural appropriation.

I would also note that Japanese are very open to non-Japanese wearing kimono or yukata. I have interviewed Japanese running rental kimono shops in tourist areas. They are happy to rent kimono to non-Japanese of any size, shape, colour, nationality, or gender. NHK often shows non-Japanese wearing kimono.

The issue here is misuse of the word KIMONO. It's like calling a line of breakast cereal SUSHI. More moronic than anything else.

Quite a number of posters on Twitter are also saying the same thing several people have said here -- that this is a cynical attempt to get an enormous amount of free advertising. I tend to agree with this suspicion.

I'll also check Twitter in Japanese later today.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Much ado about nothing. But that's Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

People are yelling "cultural appropriation"! I remember when this used to be called "influence".

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It used to be considered creative and edgy to borrow good aspects of other cultures to improve your own. I guess now we are just expected to stay in our own lanes, not learn from others and stagnant ourselves into mediocrity. Thanks a lot “Progressives”.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Thanks a lot “Progressives”.

Why are you thanking me? I think these calls of cultural appropriation are ridiculous.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Kimutaku should release a line of bulge-enhancing underwear and name it “Mt Rushmore” or “Washington Monument” in retaliation.

The TV spots will have America the Beautiful, with emphasis on the lyric segment “purple mountain majesties” playing in the background.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It used to be considered creative and edgy to borrow good aspects of other cultures to improve your own.

It still is. The jedi robes and Darth Vader’s outfit are a good example of appropriation of samurai culture. However, this “Kimono” neither borrows nor enhances anything about kimono culture. Rather, it is the complete opposite of the concept. It really would only make sense if into was named so because it was co-designed by Yoko Ono or something. (Kim, Ono... get it?) this isn’t cultural appropriation, it’s a cheap shot to sell product by stealing a well known name.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh dear. Kardashian being typically crass.

I'm worried as to how she was allowed to register he word 'Kimono' as a trademark. That is cultural theft.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Awwwww crocodile tears. Japan Kimono Inc. got a taste of cultural appropriation ( You've just been Kim K'ed ) and they don't like karma? Do unto others as you have them do unto you. Anyway, there's no copyright on language. If she wants to call it, Kimono, then so be it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The age of outrage and everything is offensive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don’t find it offensive. Just crass and stupid.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Westerners: "American wearing Kimono is cultural appropriation!"

Other Westerners: "Cultural appropriation is BS! Japanese are so sensitive!"

Give me a break.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@redtail swift, Not to split hairs, but it is not a matter of copyright, but trademark registration. She is trying to get a trademark: Kimono TM.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

American television star Kim Kardashian has sparked debate in Japan by naming her new line of shapewear "Kimono,"

Yes, everywhere I have been today, Japanese just don't stop talking about it. It's the biggest news of the month.

Sheesh. Nobody is talking about it, except people here and elsewhere who got sucked in by another viral Kardashian social media campaign, and fake controversy. This woman is a genius when it comes to marketing. I don't know why people call her stupid. She's smarter than I am.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan Kimono Inc. got a taste of cultural appropriation ( You've just been Kim K'ed ) and they don't like karma?

Let's be clear, thinking that the opinions expressed in the article are representative of Japanese people is like saying the opinions expressed on JT are representative of Westerners.

The reality is the overwhelming majority of Japanese people in Japan love seeing/dressing up foreigners in kimono.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hate to sound like a right-winger but the entire cultural appropriation debate is absurd. Get a life.

The actual issue that has a lot of people up in arms about in both Japan and the West with this entire thing, is that she is trying to trademark the word 'kimono' in the United States. Which the article didn't mention.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think coke had to use a different name in China?

No, it's called coca-cola (though written with Chinese characters, and pronounced with a Chinese accent).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She should change the name but I don't think she should be forced to. Free speech and all that...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I cant figure out what is so wrong with this. It is a sign that Japanese culture is spreading and appreciated. Not everything has to be authentic and correct. She clearly has respect and appreciates Japanese culture to use it on her brand.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

People have too much time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Many people (not all) will not understand, because they don’t come from a deep cultured place, some countries culture is just a few hundred years, they destroyed the original culture. How can this people understand what it means.. (I’m not talking about everyone, many understand).

This people have the mentality of conquering, destroying their culture, imposing their way of thinking, living etc.. an example are the natives in the whole American continent, their culture, traditions, destroyed, laughed, bullied.

Please have some respect to the people that feel offended.

You won’t use the n... word because it offends people right (even if is sounds cool now with all the pop influence).

You respect this people right or no? Don’t make excuses if your not them (the people affected). Don’t be the white guy telling the black guy you can’t protest.. (Analogy, just an example)

Don’t be a bully like you know who.. ; )

0 ( +1 / -1 )


she banned all the comments including Japan/cultural appropriation

there no any negative comments on her brand account


1 ( +1 / -0 )

This old chestnut "culture" in Japan is wearing a bit thin.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the photo the Japanese girl wearing the Kimono is far better looking than Kim Kardashian wearing her version.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Great branding working her first name into a recognisable garment name.  Wait till she makes something and calls it Kimchi.  Or Kim Jong Un.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the photo the Japanese girl wearing the Kimono is far better looking than Kim Kardashian wearing her version.

They're both lovely.

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." 

Which people did God give money to?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

She's a modern day Barbarian. Believe me...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's a word. Jeez. Get over it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Embarrassing. no creativity. she could of stolen another word.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Shes’s also bringing out a new cutlery range. She’s calling it ‘chopsticks’.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


No! Chopsticks are japanese - soon to be registered as World Heritage!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've been looking at commentary about this in English and Japanese. As numerous others have suggested this looks like an advertising ploy, a very successful effort to get free advertising. Overall, there is not really all that much "outrage" being expressed in Japanese and what there is focuses on the use of the word kimono for underwear.

I checked the US patents and trademarks database.


There are (as of this morning) 103 trademarks using the word kimono with six or seven of these belonging to the Kondrashian's company. In other words, "appropriation" of the word kimono is not new.

My own advice to other Japanese would be to ignore her and the rest of the Kondrashian clan. They are shameless self-promoters. As numerous American commentators have pointed out, they are famous for being famous.

Japan is more than self-sufficient in tarento (the term most frequently used in Japanese to characterize the Kondrashians) who have nothing going for them except their superb ability to promote themselves. If Japanese are going to focus on utterly vacuous people, they should cheer for the home team.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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