And the WINNERS are…..Top Five Sellers for April, 2021

May 6th, 2021

Top selling kimono

Each month we like to celebrate and wrap up the month with our Best Selling Kimono and Yukata list. This idea came as a result of our customers who write us and asked for ideas about which Kimono or Yukata would be the right one for a gift, a spouse, a kid, significant other or even themselves. While we always point out that selecting a kimono is simply a personal choice, we are happy to provide feedback if they have certain questions or need comparison information. We have been selling kimono and yukata for over 27 years and have learned at least a thing or two.

This has become a fun and enjoyable task each month and also helps us with inventory, ordering needs and knowing what’s the most popular choice during the past 30 days. Check back each month if you have an interest in what the current trend is for the most popular Japanese robes. We received an email  from a repeat customer the other day, who had been sitting on the fence deciding on a choice for his next yukata.  He has purchased several from us over the past year and wanted to add to his collection.  He mentioned that he sometimes has a hard time deciding because of the many styles we offer, but began to look at this list we publish monthly and said it really helped him. His newest yukata was shipped last month and he wrote us to say he couldn’t be more happy with his choice.  He wanted us to give a shout out to our customers for helping him decide. This customer thinks he is getting older and has a harder time making decisions to which we say, you are not getting older, just becoming more “retro”. Last month was his birthday and we included a nice little gift with his purchase. It’s the little things like this that make us love what we do.  We love hearing from customers, so if you have thoughts, questions, comments or concerns, please let us know.  You can use the email address listed on our order confirmation or our Contact Us form located on the web.

So, without further delay, here are the TOP FIVE SELLERS in April:

  1. Yukata – Pink Cherry Blossom
  2. Happi Coat – Blue Koi
  3. Yukata – Great Wave – Purple
  4. Yukata – Dragon & Mt. Fuji – Black
  5. Yukata – Dragon and Hawk

We have been very busy shipping Mother’s Day gifts over the past few weeks, so it wasn’t a surprise to see the Pink Cherry Blossom yukata hit the number one spot.  The balance of the list were men’s robes, so it would appear that customers are shopping early for Father’s Day, June 20th, and perhaps picking up yukatas for the warmer summer months. Of course we usually see a brisk shift in business for graduations and weddings from now through the end of July.

Whatever the event you have throughout the year, if you need a unique gift, visit us online at www.chopa.com. We offer a large selection of Japanese robes for men, women and kid’s. We receive dozens and dozens of notes each season telling us what a great idea these were for gifting. Of course, don’t forget Christmas which is our biggest selling season of all. It’s never to early to start a gift list and we offer an extended return window for Christmas purchases which is announced later in the year. For now, let’s just enjoy the warmer weather rolling in and the bright sunny days ahead.  Here in Florida it has already warmed up and the roads and beaches are becoming more crowded each week. Our short length Happi Coats are popular and very stylish as cover ups at the beach or pool. Lounging on the patio with a cool cocktail isn’t a bad idea either.

Best Selling Yukata in March

April 17th, 2021

March Best Sellers.

The TOP FIVE Selling Yukata for March are:

  1. Yukata – Pink Cherry Blossom
  2. Happi Coat – Blue Koi
  3. Yukata – Tree of Life
  4. Happi Coat – Longevity
  5. Yukata – Eternal Chain

Happi Coats are short-length versions of the yukata and kimono.  These are very popular during summer months to lounge in or as cover-ups at the pool and beach. If you are looking to make a statement at your favorite swimming spot this summer, wear a happi coat and all eyes will follow. They also make great gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Dragon meets the Kimono

April 4th, 2021

The dragon is a popular pattern used in Japanese Kimono and Yukata robes. Dragons have been revered in Japan for over one thousand years and were considered to be ancestors of the first Emperor of Japan. These mythical creatures were commonly associated with bodies of water.

The Japanese dragon has three claws versus the Chinese version which has four or five. Dragons are believed to control fire, rain and the earth. Variations in history featured dragons in water, among the clouds and sky or nestled in forests surrounded by the majestic Japanese  Tsuri pine trees. Sometimes referred to as Tatsu which translates to ‘sign of the dragon.’

Dragons are considered to represent wisdom, power and success which in turn produces luck, fortune and most importantly strength. It’s easy to see why the Dragon is popular in Japan which is rich in symbolism and culture.  The fascinating history of the dragon has reached continents far and wide. Chopa Zen Home has been your Kimono Source since 1994.  We offer two dozen patterns celebrating the symbolic  dragon. Whether you seek a full length Kimono, lighter weight yukata, short length Happi Coat or a robe for Big and Tall men, you will enjoy shopping our wide range of styles and patterns in our online store.  Shop 24 hours a day and receive Free Shipping on orders of $75 or more in the USA. Most orders ship within one business day.

dragon yukata for men

The dragon yukata is available at www.chopa.com

 

TOP FIVE SELLERS IN FEBRUARY

March 16th, 2021

Best selling yukata.

The best sellers in February were:

1)  Dragon & Mt. Fuji Yukata – Blue
2)  Navy Kagome Yukata
3)  Wave Yukata
4)  Dragon Yukata
5)  Great Wave – Purple

Thank you to all of our wonderful customers. We hope you enjoy your Japanese Yukata.

 

 

 

January Best Selling Kimono and Yukata.

February 5th, 2021

Top 5 Sellers for January, 2021.

1) Dragon and Bamboo Yukata
2) Great Wave Yukata (Purple)
3) Navy Longevity Yukata
4) Tree of Life Yukata
5) Navy Dragon Yukata

Top five selling robes.

Top Five Best Sellers for January.

New Shipment of Kimono and Yukata Arrived!

January 18th, 2021

Chopa strives to have a full offering of Japanese Kimono and Yukata at all times, but with sudden surges in sales related to Holiday Gifts, a mention in social media or a large bulk order, we experience shortages from time to time. We like to be busy and shipping hundreds and hundreds of robes, but we dislike running out and work hard to alleviate the dreaded “Out of Stock” notation on any particular style.

The good news is that a new shipment, the first of the year, just arrived and we are pleased to announce that over 25 sizes and colors are back in stock and ready to ship. Among the list of new arrivals are the Men’s Kagome yukata, the ever popular “Dragon” yukata, Tree of Life, Daimonji Kimono, Royal Cranes, Ukiyoe, Dragon and Tiger, Cherry Blossoms, and Ribbons Kimono.

Some styles are offered in five different sizes and those are back in stock. This is just the first of many more shipments scheduled over the year. We generally receive new inventory monthly along with several large shipments in the Spring, Summer and Fall. It has been more difficult scheduling over the past 6 months due to Covid restrictions throughout Japan. Production has slowed and in many situations, our producers are working with smaller staffs for social distancing and to allow others to work from home.

We welcome inquiries on any pattern or style of kimono or yukata we offer. If you don’t see a size in stock, email us and we can let you know when we expect more to arrive. Chopa offers a free email notification service to anyone. When a particular size or style is available, we send you a courtesy email alerting you of the news.  There is never an obligation to make a purchase and we will only send you one email.  It’s a free service and we are happy to monitor upcoming shipments for you.

Happy Shopping!

kimono and yukata robes

Fresh Kimono and Yukata.

 

What is a “Vintage” Kimono?

January 16th, 2021

The word “vintage” has different meanings and connotations. One person might recall a fine wine they enjoyed and make note of the year it was produced. Another may think about the classic car their grandfather drove. Some remember an antique they found at a garage sale.

In the kimono industry, vintage describes used kimono and yukata robes. There are a growing number of dealers that trade in “vintage” clothing. In many cases, vintage is simply used for marketing purposes. In advertising, “vintage” sounds better than “used.”  The same is true of used car dealers referring to their vehicles as pre-owned.

“Pre-owned” clothing fits in people’s lives for many reasons. Some shop used clothing stores looking for a bargain, others seek a unique clothing piece to compliment an outfit. Of course, there are true fans of the “vintage” look that browse resale shops or conduct online searches in hopes of finding that trove of special threads.

Occasionally we receive an inquiry for vintage kimono, but more commonly, someone asking if we buy vintage kimonos. The quick answer is “no, we do not.”  Since we already offer nearly 100 different kimono and yukata styles for men, women and kid’s in our online store, www.chopa.com, we are content to focus only on new Japanese robes.

What is the true meaning of a vintage kimono?  Does it mean the kimono was made in a “good” year like a fine wine? Does three years old qualify or must it be 20 years old to be labeled vintage? Is it just another word for old? In our mission to learn more about vintage kimono, we discovered the market appears to be very arbitrary and difficult to follow along a hard set of rules.

A used kimono may be discovered at a garage sale, but often there isn’t a reliable story behind it.  Sellers can be vague and the most common information we were given was that it was a gift a family member received or someone visited Japan years ago and it was sitting in a closet since.

Just like in most industries there are wholesalers and retailers trading in used kimonos. Wholesale dealers often buy kimono in bulk bundles or even pallet-size loads.  Some may be auctioned or sold sight unseen, while others may offer a glimpse into what a buyer might expect to find as far as the average age, style, condition, etc. Sometimes these bundles are sold by the number of pieces and other times sold by the pound.

Dealers will then sort and rank the robes, selecting the best for resale. Robes in average condition may be flipped to another dealer and kimono in poor condition are usually sold for fabric use only.  These remnants can be used in art, fashion, design or repurposing pieces and sewn to make a quilt or even a kimono.

Vintage kimono and yukata will often be graded by the seller. Keep in mind, grading is highly subjective and most dealers feel they know more about grading than the next competitor. We have seen grading range from A to AA, Good to Very Good and Normal to Top Grade. If you shop for a robe by grade, research this yourself first. Ask yourself, who is the dealer?  How long have they been in business?  Where did they learn how to grade? Did they spend years in Japan or work in the industry prior?

Here are two grading descriptions we located on a website.

Condition C – Well-used Japanese kimono. Clear signs of wear and staining. Not suitable for formal occasions, but suitable for sitting around, cosplay, costume or decorative purpose.

Top Grade – Fabric is in great. Pattern and fabrics are both wonderful. Kimono used in our shop standard. Reference price – brand new – over $2500. (sic)

In the examples above, the explanation for Condition C is pretty self-explanatory, like wear it at home when nobody is looking. The Top-Grade description doesn’t really tell us much. While it might be in part to a language barrier, it is vague and doesn’t provide specifics.

Ads for used kimono will often indicate any soiling flaws, like “light staining” or “some spotting.”  The first question that may pop into your head is “stains from what?”, while others may not want to know the answer. Don’t hesitate to ask how and when a kimono was cleaned?  With infectious diseases and heightened concerns about Covid-19, caution should never be dismissed.

Another question one should ask is how were the robes stored?  Were these stored in a climate-controlled environment? Were they stored in an old warehouse with high temperatures and humidity? Are there musty or moldy odors? Consumers with lung issues or concerns should be extra careful.

Each individual can decide if a used or “vintage” kimono is right for them. There are thousands of beautiful and unique, used Japanese kimono and yukata available on the market. Some have a great history and story behind them, but like any form of art, a buyer should research, investigate and question any seller. Good luck and happy shopping.

kimonos for sale

Shop for New Kimono and Yukata at www.chopa.com. We offer a large selection and fast shipping from the USA.

December Top Selling Kimono and Yukata Robes

January 11th, 2021

December is always a busy month at Chopa Zen Home.  Our large selection of  Japanese Kimono and Yukata are popular gifts and we experience a substantial surge in business each year.  We wish to thank all of our customers for their loyalty and patronage in December and throughout the 2020 year. Here is to a bright and healthy 2021. Happy New Year to all.

Top 5 Sellers in December 2020:

navy dragon yukata

(1) Black – Zen and Martial Arts Yukata

(2) Blue Koi Yukata

(3) Navy Dragon & Mt Fuji Yukata

(4) Tree of Life Yukata

(5) Navy Kagome Yukata

Shopping for a Kimono?

March 11th, 2019

A common question we receive from customers shopping for a kimono robe is about the safety of purchasing one from an overseas vendor.

If you reside in the USA, we always recommend buying one from a reputable USA vendor. In our experience there are many risks involved beyond cyber security and the protection of your personal and credit card information.  Credibility and customer service are at the top of our list to provide easy and smooth customer transactions. The most common complaint we hear with overseas dealers is the return process. With time zone changes, it can be difficult and expensive to call an overseas retailer. Other complaints include language language translation issues, receiving a kimono that is different from what they advertised, and the costs associated with returns.  It is common for customers to pay for return shipping, but returning a kimono or yukata robe to Japan or China can be 4-6 times what a package costs in the USA.

It is easy to check online for estimated shipping costs to Japan.  Shipping costs for a 1 or 2 pound package, can range from $25 – $50 with added insurance and delivery receipts. In addition, there are usually a plethora of restrictions about returns overseas including timelines, reasons and whether a full refund will be granted.  We have witnessed various overseas vendors’ policies including 30-40% restocking fees, additional surcharges on handling and worse yet, denials or refusals to accept returns because of creases or missing the deadline by a couple of days, even if it was the fault of the carrier or customs delays.

Customers have voiced frustration about currency conversions with PayPal or their credit card provider and there is little if anything that can be done to rectify these situations. Some vendors don’t accept returns if you have tried on the robe.  Can you imagine?  Trying on a robe voids their return policy?  We don’t believe there is any store in any mall that would survive if they didn’t allow customers to try on clothing before they buy. Another vendor denies returns because “you didn’t like the fabric”.

Shopping online, sight unseen always has some degree of risk, but working with a reputable retailer eliminates most of these problems.  Chopa.com has been a USA based online retailer for 25 years.  We import our kimono and yukata robes directly and eliminate these unnecessary risks. We offer fast shipping, easy returns and have many repeat customers which proves the shopping experience and quality of the robe meets or exceeds their expectations.  Happy Shopping.

kimono-robes

Beautiful Japanese Kimono

Why does a mala have 108 beads?

March 23rd, 2016

If you ask several people, you may receive several different answers. The number 108 is significant for several reasons. Some meditation practitioners believe the journey of the human soul has 108 stages, while others associate the possibility taking just 108 breaths in a day, while in a deep meditation state of enlightenment. We would not recommend one try it.

The best theory we discovered is that the 108 beads on your mala is open to your own interpretation. What is important to you is what matters most. Mala beads were created as a practice tool to use during meditation. While you don’t need mala beads to meditate, most people that use them make it part of their ritual. Mala beads help you to manifest and keep you focused on a mantra. A mala allows one to chant their mantra and keep track of where you are. While many mala necklaces have 108 beads, some contain 54, or half of that amount of beads.

Another explanation for the number 108 is based on Chakras. It is believed there are 108 energy lines connecting to the heart. One of these paths is believed to be the path of self-realization. Others state that while chanting your mantra during meditation you are whole when you reach 100 times.  The extra eight beads account for errors or are meant to be an offering to your guru.

Another belief is based on the ancient script of India.  Within the Sanskrit alphabet, there are 54 letters.  Each has a feminine and masculine version adding up to 108. Other theories evolve around desires, lies and delusions. There are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals. There are said to be 108 lies that humans tell. There are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance.  Math also points to some theories of the number 108. Nine times twelve; both of these numbers have significance in various traditions, 9 X 12 = 108.  The number 108 is also a Harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits. Harshad is from Sanskrit and means ‘great joy’.

The more research you perform, the more ideas and theories you will discover. We fall back to our belief

108 bead mala

Mala bead necklace

that whatever is important to you is what matters.  Namaste!