Archive for the ‘Yukata’ Category

Happy New Year…Lunar New Year that is!

Saturday, January 21st, 2023

Celebrate the start of good fortune and luck as we approach Lunar New Year 2023                                                                   

Sunday, January 22nd will mark the start of a new lunar year. With it comes optimism for those born in the Year of The Rabbit. This 15-day celebration is commonly known as Chinese New Year. It is also known as the Spring Festival. The day is one of the most important holidays across Asia. This time symbolizes fresh starts and renewal to bring prosperity, happiness, and health into people’s lives.

The rabbit is one of the twelve zodiac animals featured throughout this holiday. Rabbits embody an air of peace along with long life due to their docile nature. It is considered extremely lucky amongst these twelve mythical creatures! Those born in the said zodiac are believed to be wise beyond their years with shrewd judgment. May they find prosperity during this auspicious time.

Now’s your chance to welcome abundance into your life. Act before another powerful cycle begins anew at the lunar calendar’s next turn. Make sure you don’t miss out! Let us all join in wishing good fortune upon our friends and family entering the world on such auspicious days. Happy (Lunar) New Years everyone!

Many people believe that what you do at the start of a new year affects your luck for the rest of the year. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, many people stay up late to wish their friends and family after the clock strikes twelve. People also exchange red packets to bring good luck and positivity. Another popular way to celebrate the New Year is to wear a new Japanese Kimono or Yukata to a party. You can shop our online store to find the right one for you.

Happy New Year!

Avoiding Knock-Off Japanese Kimonos

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Watch Out For Imitation Japanese Kimonos

Japanese kimonos are iconic and versatile garments. Discovered centuries ago, they are as popular as ever today. With their bright, vibrant designs and intricate patterns, it’s no wonder they are worn in so many countries. Unfortunately, with the popularity, comes the rise of knock-off kimonos on the market. It can be difficult to distinguish between authentic and fake kimonos. Thankfully, with a few tips and tricks, you can easily tell the difference between an authentic Japanese kimono and a knock-off.

Authenticity Matters
When it comes to buying a Japanese kimono, authenticity matters. Authentic kimonos are made from high-quality materials such as cotton or silk. Some even feature traditional embroidery using time-tested techniques and intricate details that are difficult to replicate with mass-produced manufacturing methods. Furthermore, authentic Japanese kimonos come with traditional accessories such as obi or sashes. Fake kimonos often lack quality and may be made from cheap materials. These robes won’t stand up to normal wear and tear.

Buy From a Direct Importer
The best way to find an authentic Japanese kimono is to buy directly from a Japanese importer. There are several reputable retailers in the USA. These companies specialize in offering genuine kimonos at affordable prices. When shopping online for a Japanese kimono, make sure you look for the “Made in Japan” tags or labels on the product page. This will help ensure you receive an authentic product rather than a cheap imitation. Additionally, when buying directly from a reputable dealer, you will find unique designs not available anywhere else!

Be Cautious on Sites like Amazon & Etsy
When shopping for a Japanese kimono online, it is important to use caution on sites like Amazon or Etsy. There is often little oversite of the claims that are made. Some of the “Japanese” items found on these sites are knock-offs. They are produced in China, Bali, and other countries that tend to exploit labor. Factories often lack quality control or even basic safety standards. Additionally, some sellers take advantage of unsuspecting customers by charging exorbitant prices for low-quality items. Low-cost labor and inferior-quality fabrics equal a larger profit for the dealer.

Misleading Advertising

We conducted an online search for Kimonos, and a reseller on Amazon appeared. The ad clearly stated Japanese Kimonos, Japanese Robe, and Women’s Japanese Kimono.  If you looked carefully at the ad, further down we saw a line with Japanese-Style Kimono. This was our tip-off. We have never seen a listing for an authentic Japanese Kimono with the phrase Japanese-Style. It is redundant and isn’t applicable. This is only used to suggest it is truly Japanese.

We clicked on the ad and sure enough. When we dove into the description we found the following: Country of Origin: China.  Fabric Type: 100% Polyester. These dealers provide misleading information before the purchase. For this reason alone it is best to stick with experienced, long-term USA dealers. These businesses stand behind service, quality, and customer satisfaction. If you want an authentic Japanese kimono experience, purchase kimonos and yukatas made in Japan but sold in the USA.

Another tip to discern if a kimono is authentic is to read through reviews. Whether it is Etsy, eBay, or Amazon, we often find similar complaints about shipping times, lack of customer service, and incorrect sizing.  Another common complaint is receiving a print that didn’t match what was advertised. The most common issue we hear from their customers is poor quality.

Customers Speak Out

Here are a few reviews we spotted on Amazon listings: “Not worth the price”, “False advertising”, and “parts of the seam unstitched.” Others read, “poor fit and cheap fabric”, and “not at all what I was expecting.” “The pattern isn’t what is shown in the listing.”  As we read more reviews, it didn’t get much better, “Ill-fitting polyester, zero comfort.”

Going further down the line, we found, “The texture of the fabric is not at all soft.” “Now I know why it was only $20.00, you get what you pay for.” “Looks like something mass-produced in China for $2.” “This cheap kimono is nowhere near the quality I paid for another kimono. Now I know why the other one cost two and a half times as much. Buyer beware.”

In conclusion, when it comes to buying an authentic Japanese Kimono it pays to do your research. Make sure you know what kind of fabric you desire. Read ads and reviews thoroughly. Shop for genuine pieces from reputable dealers. We recommend buying from retailers in the USA. Many customers report issues when purchasing online from Japanese dealers directly. By working with a USA-based company, returns and shipping are straightforward. Communication is easy and there is no language translation gap.

One dealer entering into their 29th year in business is Chopa.com. They began in 1994 and are still a leading provider of authentic kimonos and yukata robes. By following these tips you can rest assured knowing your new outfit is genuinely made in Japan!

 

Watch out for knock-off kimonos on the web.

Authentic Kimonos are above the rest.

What is a Yukata?

Thursday, January 12th, 2023

A Short Guide to Japanese Yukata.

Have you ever heard of a yukata? In Japan, yukata are a type of casual summer kimono. They are often seen at festivals or worn during special occasions. These robes are also great for lounging around the house, especially in the warm summer months. Read on to learn more about this traditional fashion item.

What Is a Yukata?
A yukata is a traditional piece of clothing worn in Japan during the hot summer months. It is made from lightweight cotton fabric and is usually printed with bright colors and artistic patterns. The design of the yukata can vary depending on the individual’s preference. The traditional yukata is full-length. There is also a short-length version known as a Happi Coat. Today, because of their popularity they are worn throughout the year, especially at home.

Yukatas are worn by both men and women, but some designs are gender-specific. Traditionally, men’s yukatas feature bolder colors with simpler patterns. Women’s yukatas tend to be softer in color and feature more intricate patterns. Additionally, men’s yukatas usually have longer sleeves than women’s.  However, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to wearing a yukata. What matters most is that you feel comfortable and look good!

How To Wear a Yukata
Wearing a yukata is simple. While some people prefer to wear an under-robe or garment, others do not. Most people if attending a ceremony or festival will wear lightweight and form-fitting clothing under the robe. Slip the yukata over your shoulders and insert your arms. It is just like putting on a bathrobe or jacket. Fold the left side panel over the right. This is important in Japanese culture. Always wear the left side over the right side. Wearing the right side over the left is used for funerals and signifies death.

Once you have adjusted your robe to the proper and comfortable fit, tie the sash or obi around your waist. This belt can be in a matching fabric pattern or if you seek contrast and want to appear more formal, you can wear a contrasting color. Obis are frequently offered in solid colors as a kimono or yukata accessory. Tie the sash in front to keep the robe closed.

You are now ready to relax, enjoy the ceremony or attend the festival and have some fun. If you are attending a festival, Japanese headbands are commonly worn. It adds a festive appearance to your outfit and will help you get in the spirit of the event. These are usually available from any reputable kimono yukata dealer and cost less than ten dollars each.

Yukatas have been a part of Japanese culture for centuries. The robes remain popular today among people of all ages. Whether you’re attending a festival or just want something comfortable and stylish to wear around your home consider investing in one. With its lightweight fabric and vibrant patterns, wearing a traditional Japanese yukata is sure to keep you cool (and looking great) all season long. Select a yukata made with high-quality cotton fabric for easy care including machine-washable.  Visit Chopa – Your Kimono Source for a wide selection of yukatas and kimonos in many sizes for men, women, and kids.

                       Women’s Japanese Yukata

How To Buy a Kimono Online

Sunday, December 18th, 2022

We frequently receive questions from friends and customers about how to buy a kimono. Sometimes they ask where to buy a kimono and what should someone know when buying a kimono.  Let’s walk through some basics of purchasing an authentic Japanese kimono.

One of the most important aspects of buying a kimono is how you plan to wear it.  Is this for lounging? Are you attending an event? What is the event and when? If you simply love Japanese culture and want a kimono to wear as a robe or for lounging, then simple cotton robes are the best choice. Robes made of 100% cotton are easy to care for and good quality garments are machine washable.

A soft cotton kimono or lighter-weight yukata is wonderful for lounging around the house. After a soothing shower, slipping into a kimono is not only practical and easy but is extremely comfortable to wear. The distinctive designs place you in a mood and mind of your own. The designs can be very relaxing to the eye and help you remain calm and destressed after a long day. We often find people wearing one after a swim or as a coverup at the beach. Useful, practical, and stylish – that is what a kimono is all about.

If you are seeking a kimono to wear to a ceremony or special event, a cotton robe is still a good choice. Cotton fabric is available in many grades and levels of quality. A tightly woven fabric with a decent cotton count makes for a long-lasting, frequently worn treasure. One you can wear often for many years. The type of design or print will be important depending on the event you attend. The design should flow with the ceremony or social gathering. Consider it similar to a wedding. How formal is the wedding? How formal is the event?  Be practical in your choice and you will not only look great but feel good too.

It is fairly easy to purchase a kimono today. As the popularity has increased, especially in the west, there has also been an influx of dealers or retailers offering these beautiful robes. Shopping online is the easiest. Locate a dealer that has a large selection, quick shipping, especially if you are in a hurry, and easy returns in case it doesn’t fit the exact way you like. One wants to be very careful when shopping online. Like buying anything there are unscrupulous dealers and below-standard retailers trying to take advantage of customers.

We prefer shipping with a dealer that has a long and extensive track record. After all, if a business has been around for over 20 years, it says something about them. In general, a business with a long history shows stability in the market place and their experience will help you find what you are looking for. We receive countless emails each month about foreign-based dealers and the bad experiences customers had with them.

Bad results from shopping overseas include lengthy transit and shipping times. Dealers may offer delivery in a few days but it actually takes over a month to arrive. Taxes, duties and import fees are another issue we hear about. The customer wasn’t told that there may be import taxes due and discover this when they get a bill for $10-$40 for these fees.

Returns seem to be an automatic nightmare for many. Countless unanswered emails and phone calls, translation issues and simple refusals to accept a return are common. Shipping a kimono back to Japan or Asia can be very expensive. Costs range from $25 and up to $45 depending on the level of service, weight, insurance and tracking services.

There are also many dealers who lie about the robes. They ship alternate patterns and prints, use a different fabric and sizing can be far different than what is advertised. A big deception that takes place is where the garment is made. While dealers may claim a Japanese origin, they are often made in China, Viet Nam or Pakistan.

In simple terms, locate a dealer based in the USA. Be sure their reviews provide a positive experience. Look at social media to see they are active and in steady business. Check their listings to see if the Japanese kimono is actually made in Japan. Verify their return policy. Are returns accepted without a lot of fine print and exclusions? Has the online retailer been in business at least 15 years or longer?  If the answer is yes, then you should have some confidence in making your purchase and having comfort that the dealer will honor their promise.

This online dealer has been a leading kimono specialist for nearly 30 years….https://www.chopa.com and has one of the best reputations around.

Floral kimono for women

Hanu Garden Kimono

Learn About Kimonos From a Pro (Part 3)

Sunday, September 25th, 2022

Managing Partner, Ron Irving of Chopa.com sat down recently for a live question and answer session at a professional trade show. With the growing popularity of Kimonos and Yukatas across the globe, attendees were very interested in what Mr. Irving had to say. His expertise and management of Chopa have allowed this company to remain a leading provider of authentic Japanese robes to customers everywhere. Excerpts from his interview were previously posted on this site. This is part 3 and the final post.

How do you choose the right kimono for an occasion?

“Kimonos come in a wide variety of styles and purposes. Choosing the right kimono for an occasion can be tricky. But following some basic guidelines can help. The two most common styles of kimonos are formal and casual. Formal kimonos are usually made with long sleeves and are ornately decorated. They are worn for special occasions such as weddings or tea ceremonies. For example, at a Tea Ceremony, you would wear an extremely formal kimono. Whereas for a festival you might choose something colorful and festive.

Casual kimonos are made of lighter-weight fabrics like cotton and cotton-sateen and usually have shorter sleeves. They can be worn for everyday activities such as going to the grocery store or taking a walk. Choose a kimono color that coordinates well with your skin tone and hair color. Black typically works well for everyone, but other colors such as white, red, and blue can also be flattering depending on your complexion.

If you are unsure about the level of formality required for an event, it is always best to overdress rather than underdress. Formal kimonos can be quite expensive. If you are not ready to make that kind of investment then purchase the next level down or what you can afford. I have seen countless situations where a yukata with a colorful and distinctive design outmatched a formal kimono. The cost was a fraction as well.”

Who is your favorite designer of Japanese kimonos?

“If we are speaking historically, when it comes to kimono design, there are few names more iconic than Hiroaki Oikawa. Born in Osaka in 1948, Oikawa is a self-taught artist who first rose to prominence in the 1970s. He created bold and vibrant kimono designs with the use of traditional Japanese motifs combined with modern pop culture references. He helped to redefine kimono design for a new generation. Today, Oikawa is widely considered one of the most important kimono designers in Japan. His work can be found in the permanent collections of several museums around the world. If you’re looking for a truly unique kimono experience, then Hiroaki Oikawa is the designer for you.

Most people, myself included don’t purchase or wear designer kimonos. I prefer more mainstream, made of cotton, easy to care for, and comfortable to wear. A former business partner of mine used to splurge and purchase original designer kimonos to wear. I noticed one day, that he rarely wore them. They became artwork for his walls because they were so special to him. Visiting his house for a dinner party was a treat because guests would stare at them in awe of the beauty, detail, colors, and style. It was like attending a museum with cocktails and great Japanese food he would always serve.

I asked him once about this and he said they were just too special for him to wear. For the amount of money he paid he opted to display them and just admire them. They were certainly worthy of dramatically distinguished wall art. But they reminded me of visiting my grandmother’s house when I was a child. She bought brand new furniture and was always afraid of having anyone sit on it because it might become ruined.”

Where can I buy a good kimono or yukata?

“What can I say? If you’re looking for a kimono or yukata, one great option is Chopa – Your Kimono Source. At Chopa, you’ll find a wide selection of kimonos and yukatas in a variety of colors and styles. Whether you’re looking for a traditional kimono or something more modern, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. In addition to kimonos and yukatas, Chopa also sells obis and sashes, Tabi socks and other accessories to complete your look.

I became a managing partner in Chopa for my love of the garments, more so than money. Some people will say, yeah, right, but for me it is true. I want other people to fall in love with the heritage, the styles and symbolism Japan has given us. Few things in life give some people such joy, but for me kimonos are as good as it gets.

Like some people love cars, others horses and some prefer sports or photography, I fell in love with kimonos many decades ago and it just gets better everyday. Working in retail will always bring some complaints, but our thank you notes exceed complaints 100 times to one. So if you’re looking for a kimono or yukata, be sure to check out Chopa – They really are Your Kimono Source.”

Thank you Ron Irving.

If you wish to see the fine selection of colorful, beautiful authentic Japanese Kimonos and Yukatas that Ron speaks of, visit their online store.

kimono yukata shop

Kimono History – Where to Buy Kimonos

Learn About Kimonos From A Pro (Part 2)

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Ron Irving is a Managing Partner of Chopa – Your Kimono Source. Established in 1994, Chopa continues to be a leading provider of authentic Japanese Kimonos and Yukata robes.  Ron recently sat down for a one-on-one interview with a live audience at a business trade show.  We are pleased to share some excerpts from this fascinating interview. This is part 2.

How do you know which kimono or yukata to wear?

I like to tell people it is a personal choice. With that, there are some caveats. The Japanese kimono was originally a formal garment most commonly made of silk. It was typically worn by women on important occasions, such as weddings and funerals. Yukata, on the other hand, are casual kimonos that are made of lighter materials, such as cotton, linen, or polyester. Yukata are typically worn in the summer months and at festivals. Because they are less formal than kimonos, yukata are more commonly seen in everyday life.

When choosing a kimono or yukata, it is important to consider the occasion. If you are attending a wedding or funeral, it is appropriate to wear a kimono. For more casual occasions, such as summer festivals, a yukata would be more appropriate. And if you’re not sure which one to wear, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and go with a kimono.

With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be sure to find the perfect kimono or yukata for any occasion. If you are wearing it at home or small gatherings with friends and family, either style works. In the western world, we tend to prefer comfort over all else.

What’s the difference between kimonos and yukatas?

Kimonos and yukatas are both Japanese garments that are worn on special occasions. However, there are some key differences between the two. Japanese kimonos are made from a variety of different materials, including silk, cotton, and linen. They are often brightly colored and feature intricate patterns.

Yukatas, on the other hand, are made from a single piece of fabric and are typically made of cotton. The fabric is also much lighter, making it more comfortable to wear in warm weather. In addition, kimonos are generally more formal than yukatas and are often worn to weddings and other special events. Yukatas, on the other hand, can be worn for a variety of different occasions, including festivals and fireworks displays.

What is your favorite Japanese kimono?

That isn’t a fair question. Japanese kimonos are some of the most beautiful and intricate garments in the world. I have always been fascinated by their design. If I had to select a favorite I would go with a yukata. Yukata are made of lightweight cotton, and they are typically worn in the summer. They are also often worn at Japanese festivals.

I love the way that yukata flows when you wear them, and I love the bright, vibrant colors that are typically used in their design. Kimono yukata are truly works of art, and I am proud to own one. I am normally warmer-blooded so the lighter-weight style works best for me. It is a personal choice. I always recommend that customers buy what they like and prefer. Don’t let someone else’s style or opinion influence you.

What do you think sets Japanese kimonos apart from other types of traditional clothing around the world?  

Japanese kimonos are renowned for their beauty and elegance, setting them apart from other types of traditional clothing around the world. Formal kimonos are made of high-quality silk, which is dyed using a variety of methods to create intricate patterns. The kimono is also cut in a way that flatters the figure, and it is usually worn with an obi or sash, that cinches the waist.

In addition, Japanese kimonos are often accessorized with beautiful jewelry and hair combs. Yukata are a type of Japanese kimono that are made of lighter fabric and are typically worn in the summer. Kimono yukata are a hybrid of the two, and they are made of medium-weight fabric that can be worn in either spring or autumn. No matter what the season, Japanese kimonos are always a fashion statement.

This is Part two in a series. Ron Irving has been an integral part of Chopa for many years. His understanding of the kimono has been so beneficial to our company and our customers.  Shop our online store 24 hours a day. Check back again soon for Part 3 of his interview.

yellow womens kimono

                    Beautiful Kimonos

MOST POPULAR KIMONOS

Saturday, August 6th, 2022

The results are in for July and here is our list of the Top Selling Kimonos and Yukatas for the month. We want to thank everyone for the nice emails we receive. Your support and appreciation for this monthly posting prove to us that this is something you genuinely look at and look forward to.

For those who are new to this blog or our company, we are Chopa.com – A.K.A. Your Kimono Source. We have been an online purveyor of authentic Japanese Kimonos and Yukata robes since 1994. Our love for these garments spread to friends and acquaintances many years ago and here we are, loving what we do every day.

This list highlights just five of our best-selling Kimonos. We offer over 100 different styles and colors of quality cotton robes and loungewear imported directly from Japan. These handmade robes are crafted by experienced craftspeople. The kimono is both stylish and comfortable. They have beautiful patterns that will look great with most outfits. You can wear it to work or school or even just around the house. Steeped in symbolism and color, you’re sure to find one that matches your style perfectly.  Shop online 24 hours a day at our online Kimono Shop.

Our customers decide through their purchases. Here is the list:

  1. Yukata – Tree of Life. This ever-popular men’s yukata is part of our Premium Collection. This collection features higher-quality fabrics and prints. Available in six sizes.
  2. Black Kimono Samurai Robe. Crafted in fine 100% cotton broadcloth, this stylish kimono for men is perfect for lounging, martial arts, or meditation.
  3. Yukata – Dragon and Mt Fuji – Blue. It seems this pattern becomes more popular by the day. The dragon and Mt. Fuji are two of Japan’s most iconic symbols. This style is also available in black and both colors in the shorter length Happi Coats are also available.
  4. Yukata – Navy and White Bamboo. This women’s yukata is stylish and inspiring. In Japan, bamboo is symbolic of prosperity, purity, and innocence. What more could a lady ask for?
  5. Yukata – Sakura and Mt Fuji. This lady’s yukata is a favorite among our female staff members. The gorgeous blue background accents the colorful image of Mt. Fuji and Japanese sakura blossoms. Available in four sizes.

There you have it. With our large selection of styles and patterns, competitive pricing, and quick shipping, it’s no wonder Chopa is Your kimono Source. Now Get Your Kimono On!

               Sakura and Mt Fuji Yukata

Best Kimonos – May 2022

Friday, June 10th, 2022

Are you looking to purchase a new Kimono or Yukata?  Let us help you.  Each month, we publish our Top Five Best Selling Kimono Yukata List. We provide you the opportunity to see what is selling well right now.

Feel confident that you are buying something that other people have loved and enjoyed. Stay up to date on the latest trends. Become part of our community of Kimono Lovers everywhere. We are a friendly group that loves and appreciates Japanese Kimonos and Yukatas.

Here are the TOP FIVE BEST SELLERS for May 2022:

  • Yukata – White Moji
  • Yukata – Dragon and Hawk
  • Happi Coat – Blue Koi
  • Kimono – Black Dragon and Tiger
  • Black Kimono – Samurai Robe

What do all of these have in common?  They are generally men’s robes, but it coincides with Father’s Day, so it isn’t unusual.  Before Mother’s Day, women’s robes outsell men’s by about five to one. Seasonal factors play a part in buying patterns. The main point we get out of it is that kimonos and Yukata always make great gift choices.

These beautiful robes aren’t something that is often purchased by an individual until they see one or are presented as a gift. Then all bets are off as customers see firsthand how comfortable and regal they make you feel. The history behind Japanese Kimonos is fascinating. Tie this in with cultural significance, styles, patterns, and symbolism and it is a wonder why everyone in America isn’t wearing one today.

Chopa carries a wide selection of robes in 100% cotton. This is very popular among our customers because they love the easy-care feature and the fact they are machine washable. If you are searching for a kimono or yukata, you have come to the right place. Our online Kimono Shop is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  We never close. Shop online now.

                        White Moji Yukata

Follow Us On Social Media.

Sunday, March 6th, 2022

Follow us. Pin Us. Tweet Us. Like Us. Read our latest Blog. In other words, keep in touch with us on social media.

Chopa.com has been a leading provider of authentic Japanese Kimono and yukata robes since 1994.  We pride ourselves on being a 100% Employee-owned company and providing excellent customer service.  We have a passion and nearly 29 years ago, we took that passion and turned it into one of the premiere kimono dealers on the web. Great selection, quality robes, and fast shipping from the USA.  Join us on Social media.

Chopa – Your Kimono Source maintains an opt-in customer email list and sends out periodical emails. It serves as a way to remind customers we are here and ready to serve up a brand new Japanese Kimono Yukata.  Besides the newsletter, we also use Social Media to stay in touch with existing or potential new customers.

Here are a few reasons it benefits you to ride along with us on this Japanese inspired social media journey:

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and products from Chopa. We love to publish announcements of new arrivals, new colors, prints, and patterns.  Social media is usually the first place we inform our customers. We also keep followers up to date with arrivals, delays, and ordering processes at our production facilities in Japan. This was very handy with the Covid Pandemic and continues today. Due to extended restrictions in certain areas, shipping is still very tricky to import into the USA.  Our partners also have difficulties or delays with printing fabrics. We posted a lot of updates pre-holiday about what to expect and when to order. This helped our customers immensely.

You can connect with us directly, ask questions, and provide feedback. If you have a question about something, email or text us for a prompt response, but if social media is your preferred communication, send us a note.

We invite customers to send in pictures of themselves wearing their favorite kimono or yukata.  If they approve, we include their social media handle and you can like and or follow them.  You can also ask questions and discover what other customers’ interests are.

You can see what others are saying about our kimono, yukata, and other products and services. Unless derogatory or offensive, we allow customer posts and comments. Chopa invites you to share our media pages with friends and family members that have the same interests. We can learn from each other.  We receive far more emails and texts than we do social media contacts, so help us spread the word and let people know we are here and to join us.

You can join in on online conversations and discussions about the Japanese Kimono, Chopa, and our industry. By engaging with us on social media, you create a two-way communication channel that allows you to stay informed while also giving feedback and voicing your opinion. It’s a win-win! Tell us about things you would like to see, new experiences you would be interested in.

Chopa also posts information on new products, flash sales, closeouts, discounts, and specials. If a fabric is discontinued and we are down to just a few kimono or yukata, we will mark them down to finish off the lot and enable our customers the opportunity to pick up a great deal.

Here is how to reach us on social media:

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/KimonoYukataStore

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kimonosource

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/your_kimono_source

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/YourKimonoSource

Blog – https://www.chopa.com/blog

Social media can be a powerful tool for customers to stay in touch. It allows you to connect with us on a more personal level without high pressure sales tactics or expectations.  If you’re not following Chopa – Your Kimono Source on social media, what are you waiting for?  Join us today and be part of our Kimono family.

Follow Chopa.com on social media

Is your Kimono Produced by Slave Labor?

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Are you buying a Kimono produced by Slave Labor?

If you purchase a kimono or yukata from Chopa, you can be assured that no slave labor was used in producing these fine robes. We only offer robes produced in Japan without the use of forced or slave labor.

If you are buying a kimono elsewhere, chances favor that you are, if it was made in China. Forced slavery in China has been a hot topic for decades as the world looks closer at how some things are produced for such low costs. One of the reasons is low-cost labor. Ask any manufacturing manager or factory owner what one of their most important factors are in determining price, and labor is inevitably among the top answers.

China has a long foothold on producing low cost goods and labor is a predominate factor. Days are long, the standard workweek is six days and benefits for many are nonexistent. In some factories, employees also live there. Some consider it part of their pay; others call it forced imprisonment. Some factories have block walls around the perimeter with razor wire fences and watch towers that resemble prisons.

Jonathan Bass, CEO of PTM Images told Gordon Chang, Author of The Coming Collapse of China that “We all need to decide our moral responsibilities as Americans and what we stand for. We do not stand for slave labor. We in fact fought a war on our own soil to end it.” Mr. Bass’ insights are a startling reminder we shouldn’t take for granted and the message should never be forgotten.

We often see kimonos for sale on Amazon, Etsy and similar sites selling for $20.00 to $30.00.  They are often deceptively advertised as Japanese kimono, but we immediately know from the price, that these are not made in Japan. Japan is not a communist country and their leadership does not condone slavery. In China, the communist government denies any knowledge or acceptance of slavery but there are far too many documented cases and facts that disprove their claim.

Forced labor doesn’t begin inside the walls of a factory, but rather in the fields of cotton. China is the largest cotton producer in the world, with 84% of its cotton coming from the Xinjiang region. Chinese officials force hundreds of thousands of Uighur Muslims into cotton harvesting.

Cotton and yarn produced in Xinjiang is also exported to other garment-producing countries like Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. All three are also low-cost producing countries with subpar working conditions and little accountability for employee rights. According to Anti-Slavery International, one fifth of all cotton production in China is presumed to be linked to forced labor. Persecuted Muslim Uighurs in China are forced to supply the world’s fashion companies in the fields and in the factories.

In contrast, The United States has been a major supplier of raw cotton to Japan for more than a century assuring that the cotton kimono you buy from Japan is made without forced labor.

In 2016, the Global Slavery watchdog group estimated that on any given day in China, there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery. Forced child labor cases were detected in a garment factory in Changshu, Jiangsu Province, where underage workers were forced to work overtime and beaten if they refused. They also had their passports and mobile phones confiscated if they attempted to run away. Huge numbers from within this minority group, who are from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in the north-west part of the country, have allegedly been locked up and hired out by Communist party officials to greedy factory bosses. A leaked Beijing document revealed the scale of its detention camps, with officials admitting that up to eight million people had gone through “training” at state “gulags”. Global Slavery said “This is the largest mass detention of an ethnic and religious identity since World War 2.”

A coalition of more than 180 human rights groups believe that “virtually the entire global apparel industry is tainted by forced Uighur and Turkic Muslim labor. You could inadvertently be putting on a product that was made off the backs of forced labor of Uighurs.”

In February 2016, President Obama signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.  This Act removed the “consumptive demand” exemption which allowed importation of goods produced with forced labor if they were not made “in such quantities in the United States as to meet the consumptive demands of the United States”. This effectively gutted the forced-labor prohibition. Unfortunately, his administration did not enforce the law against many large corporations, like Nike. Chang proposed the question to CPB, Customs and Border Protection, “How can Nike shoes made in a factory surrounded by walls, barbed-wire and watch towers, and where the workers, many from a racial minority, are not allowed to leave, not be made with forced labor?

The audits of Chinese suppliers are nearly always suspect. It is said that buyers of goods, when asking for prices of China-made products, are quoted two prices; one for goods with inspections and the other for goods without. The spread between the two prices approximates the cost of bribes for inspectors.

While U.S. law states that products made with forced labor can be seized, those made in horrible conditions in China and elsewhere are routinely cleared through Customs and end up on the shelves of American retailers.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli, who oversees the border agency, called “Made in China” a “warning label.” The cheap cotton goods you may be buying for family and friends during this season of giving, if coming from China, may have been made by slave labor in some of the most egregious human rights violations existing today in the modern world.”

The next time you seek to purchase a kimono, check the source carefully. Don’t be fooled by descriptions simply because the dealer says Japanese style, Japanese Robe or Japanese Kimono. Look for where it was made. If they don’t tell you clearly and plainly, ask. One of the biggest frauds we see on Amazon is that of companies claiming they are made in China but for export to Japan using Japanese standards. If you don’t shop carefully, they may have a bridge to sell you as well.

It may not seem like an issue but if you are against forced labor and slavery, don’t purchase a China-made Kimono. There is a reason we offer true, proven, quality made kimono and yukata from Japan. We don’t want to participate in the slave trade and won’t. Nor should you.

Yukata From Japan – No Forced Labor