our shop CEO

  • 2013.10.02 Wednesday
  • 12:27
we are pleased to introduce our new CEO, Ehime from Chiba prefecture.

if you are not fun of cats, let us know. Ehime will excuse and go to business meeting!

last summer kimono

  • 2013.09.09 Monday
  • 18:01
September has come but still hot. let me wear a summer kimono. it should be this season last chance.

Moslem ladies in Kimono(yukata)

  • 2012.06.26 Tuesday
  • 22:04

We had Moslem ladies at our shop. We respect both Moslem and Japanese culture. Keeping hair cover and dressed in Kimono. I tried too!
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Who am I? 2009

  • 2009.11.07 Saturday
  • 00:08
I have found this site which I made!

I think it helps you to understand me.

And this year, I made this!


If you are interest, please have a look at and give me opinion!

Where are you from?

  • 2007.11.19 Monday
  • 19:21
Here are our castomers' countries which we didn't miss to ask.


People's Republic of Bangladesh

People's Republic of China

Republic of Cyprus


Republic of Indonesia

Islamic Republic of Iran

State of Israel


Republic of Korea



Republic of the Philippines

Republic of Singapore

Republic of Turkey

Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

Republic of Armenia



New Zealand

Republic of Austria

Republic of Croatia

Kingdom of Denmark

Republic of Estonia

Republic of Finland

French Republic

Federal Republic of Germ


Republic of Italy

Kingdom of the Netherlands

Kingdom of Norway

Portuguese Republic


Kingdom of Sweden

Swiss Confederation

英国/グレートブリテンおよび北部アイルランド連合王国/United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Federative Republic of Brazil

United States of America

What is a Kimono Shop?

  • 2007.01.22 Monday
  • 19:24
What is a Kimono Shop?

We are asked this question frequently by non-Japanese.
At Sakae-ya, we buy kimono from craftspeople and sell them to customers. We don't sew fabric directly. We don't dye kimonos, or practice weaving.
So are we just a simple distributor of the traditional Japanese clothing called “kimono?”

I would like to say this is not true.

We don't make anything but we have to know every thing about kimonos very deeply. I prefer to say that a kimono shop acts more as a stylist and kimono artist.

When wearing kimono, it is more than just a simple garment. Many accessories are needed, for example, obi, decorative rope, covering-sash and so on. It is our work to suggest to customers the most complementary accessories for their kimono, body shape, personality, and lifestyle. Can you imagine? Every single item, including the kimono itself, obi, and other accessories are made by different creators without a thought of how to wear it them as an ensemble. I once got the chance to meet a kimono creator who is a Living National Treasure of Japan. He said he never thought about which obi was best suited to the kimonos he made. He just cares about making the most beautiful kimono possible. Many traditional craftspeople are similarly focused, and rely on kimono shops to bring their works to life on a person’s body.

Another reason we are here is that nowadays few Japanese are accustomed to wearing kimono regularly. Some people picture kimono only for weddings, with special obi and other accoutrements. So it is also our job to explain to people all the various occasions that kimono can be worn, introduce the various styles, and consider what Japanese call “TPO” – time, place, and occasion. Kimonos never change their shape but their fabrics and linings change depending on the season. During winter season, which type of kimono should you wear and which Obi is going well with it. For example, we wear lined kimono from October to May, unlined kimono in June and September, and a very thin kimono during the heat of summer. Also, it is best to choose obi that match the season’s kimono, another aspect that few are aware of. We aim to explain all these nuances and help customers pick the most comfortable and appropriate style.

Moreover, when we sell tailor-made kimonos (which is the most original way to buy kimono), we have another task, which is measuring customers’ body. We don’t sew the final product but must take careful measurements for the kimono craftperson to work from. When measuring the arm length, for instance, we don't measure only for the costumer who is in front of us, but also for their daughters and sons, even their grandchildren! Kimono is traditionally thought of as a clothing for three generations. We can't meet a customer’s grandchild, but we imagine they will be taller so we usually ask the craftsperson to allow plenty of extra fabric hidden in the garment.

It might be true that kimono shops are among the oldest Japanese small businesses. It was often said that Kosode shops (Kosode is an old name for kimono) existed in the Kamakura period (1185–1333). As a result, kimono shops have evolved into highly specialized and knowledgeable “clothing consultants,” sharing the history of Japanese aesthetics and ensuring that valuable kimonos will have a long life with their owners. Although it sounds strange, kimonos are like the highest-quality home appliances, ones that last and last with only occasional repairs. Their value and charm only increases with age and careful upkeep.

I have recently realized how much knowledge kimono shops must possess! I still have much studying to do, as the depth of kimono culture is constantly being revealed to me. I look forward to learning more and providing authentic kimono information to everyone that visits Sakae-ya.


Life in Norway

  • 2006.10.05 Thursday
  • 21:15
norwayLife in Norway

The year before last, I visited my friend who got married to a Norwegian and lives there.

My friend’s husband was working for a bank. Working for banks in Japan is awful! My brother is a banker but he can’t take paid holidays for over 1 week and everyday he works until late.

However, my friend’s husband can come home around 4pm and eat dinner with family and enjoy his private time.

How different we are!

Moreover, I was fascinated by Norwegian government strategies.

They preserve lots of nature. For example, taking the 4 steps of the center of Oslo, the capital, they have a big lake and a huge forest. At the lake, beavers live, and sometimes they make dams and it floods. You know, beavers need tons of nature!!! Can you imagine a beaver dam in Tokyo!?

In spite of being rich in oil, they are second oil producer, Norway put preserving nature and human rights above the economy. It seemed me very humanistic and healthy.

Norway stuck in my mind. ”What kinds of thoughts run this country? I should study Norwegian civilization more closely. Maybe I should study it there.”

First love and for 8 years boyfriend

  • 2006.10.05 Thursday
  • 21:09
First love and for 8 years boyfriend

My mother allowed me apply to go to 4 a year college so I started going to cram-school my second year of high school and studied hard. Then, fortunately, I got one acceptance letter from a 4 year college.

My subject of study was human sciences – I planned to study mainly philosophy – but I changed my mind. Honestly I was not sure what I really wanted to study, but just going to a 4 year college was more important. After a big competition to get into the school, an 18 year old girl could not find her future.

It was a pity that in spite of studying hard in high school, I was not motivated to study in college at all. In Japan, what we learn in school is not important to enter companies. The most important factor is the school from which you graduate. Besides, entering is difficult but graduation exam is quite easy! For Japanese, university and college is the last chance to have freedom before hard work at the company begins. So I didn’t feel guilty to hardly study there. (Now I am ashamed of it)

I participated in one scuba diving circle at another school and traveled with them a lot. Then I met one guy there and we become a partner for 8 years until the year before last.

Who is he?

He was studying law at one of the most famous universities in Japan. Even through I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to study and what I really wanted to do after graduating, he had a strong motivation to study and follow his dream. 20 years old, I was fascinated by his ambition. He wanted to be a lawyer and wipe out social ills.

It didn’t take very long to fall in love. We had a great situation, a sea of clear water and beach of white sand in a small island off the southern part of Okinawa and the shining sun and sunset in Ogasawara Island where take you for 34 hours trip by ship from Tokyo.

Surprisingly our relationship continued for 8 years, but Norway broke it up.

My mother’s ideal daughter

  • 2006.10.05 Thursday
  • 21:06
My mother’s ideal daughter

Preppy girl

My mother wanted to make me a preppy.

Actually she had made me enter a private school from elementary to high school.

She could not go to school in spite of the fact her brothers were going there since WW2. At that time parents put boys above girls to go to school.

Piano as well

“Be girlish!”

My mother has been saying often and even now she still says, “Be girlish!” to me. When I was child, rice refills had a limit of 3 times.

Because eating a lot doesn't look good and is not girlish.

Many enrichment lessons

She thinks these lessons must be adopted by her ideal daughter.

The Japanese tea ceremony - The first time when I learned it I was in Kindergarten. I could not understand why almost every hand movement was prescribed, even walking! I ran away from lessons after a few times.The Japanese tea ceremony certificate

The flower arrangement- But I dislike cutting flowers a lot. It seems cruel! I stopped going to these lessons too.

The Japanese traditional dance - Indeed I love it but it was too expensive. I stoppped as well.

The Japanese harp - I have a basic certificate but I can’t play it at all!!

piano Piano as well

(However I think the tea ceremony lessons were necessary for me. Studying it, I silently understood why Japanese company and family structures have been made like this. So I have started to study it again. Another entry show you what the tea ceremony is for me. if you like, please have a look.)

The first break in my life

I think I have tried to be my mother’s ideal daughter until last year.

However, once I did oppose her request when I was a high school student.

After my graduating high school, she recommended me to go to 2 yearswomen’s college.

According to her, women should have lower educationthan men, otherwise it is hard to find a husband.

However, I was keen on going to a 4 year university or college.

Because I wanted to become an office worker at a big company and get a good salary as much as I could, so I could rise a child by myself.

Why I thought like this is because my father died, but thanks to my mother, I could keep going to my private school, although it is common that woman became housewife in Japan.

Becoming a good salary office worker is necessary to graduate a 4 year school. Which university you graduate from is impotent to our entering a company and our subsequent life. The higher university you graduate from, the higher salary you can get.

Therefore the competition to get into good schools makes the Japanese over-concerned about our status and prestige.

Father’s death: Mother cried, but I could not cry

  • 2006.10.05 Thursday
  • 20:58
Father’s death: Mother cried, but I could not cry

My father’s disease was discovered when I was a third grade elementary school student.

It was liver cancer but the name had been kept secret from him. At the time liver cancer always meant death.
He needed emergency surgery. However even after the operation, the surgeon said, “It’s too late. There’s nothing I could do.” We were told by doctors he was to be within a maximum of 4 years of death.

It was a remarkably cold day on February 4th. After a 3 year and 10-month battle with cancer, my father Sakae was called to heaven. He was 62 years old.

He always had few words, always had his temper under control, and loved Japanese culture. He was born in south island in Japan before WW2. During the war, he moved to China in opposition of the war, where he graduated from high school. He then went back to Japan and in spite of receiving training to become a solder, the war luckily ended before he could use it.

During the funeral service, my mother cried so much but I couldn’t cry.

For 13 year old children, death doesn’t mean father’s death but simply “death.” I couldn’t stop thinking: “One day I will die as well”. The thought filled my mind.

The bubble economy bursting

After father’s death, the other dark shadow came knocking on Sakaeya Kimono Shop’s door.

Kimonos had come not to be sold at all. Just before the bubble economy burst, the Kimono industry started suffering from a recession.

My mother said, “No money! What should we do?” quite often.

The one positive aspect of the Kimono shop had been “No lack for money,”but it was now gone. I had to study,“be pertinent.”

The Kimono shop became no longer attractive to me.

Therefore it was natural that I had no idea of becoming a Kimono shop owner.

Until last year I hated the Kimono shop because it was the reason for my loneliness, uncoolness and poorness.

Now it feels strange writing this Blog as the Kimono shop’s second generation owner.

I had been looking for The Blue Bird outside, but it seems I have found it inside instead.


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