Posts Tagged ‘kimono’

New Shipment of Kimono and Yukata Arrived!

Monday, 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?

Saturday, 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 is poor condition are 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

Monday, 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?

Monday, 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

Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Panama City Beach Award Program Honors the Achievement

PANAMA CITY BEACH April 24, 2014 — Chopa Zen Home and Gift has been selected for the 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award in the Online Retailer category by the Panama City Beach Award Program.

Each year, the Panama City Beach Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Panama City Beach area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Panama City Beach Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Panama City Beach Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Panama City Beach Award Program

The Panama City Beach Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Panama City Beach area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Panama City Beach Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Panama City Beach Award Program

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Best online Retailer Award

Best online Retailer Award

Cover your Man in Yang Male Energy with this Navy Dragon Yukata

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Navy Dragon Yukata

Navy Dragon Yukata

Ladies, do you want your man to look fashionable by the pool or spa this summer?  Then maybe it’s time to start doing some early Father’s Day shopping.  This striking Navy Dragon Yukata is certain to get attention and make your favorite guy feel like a million bucks.  Perfect for lounging by the pool, as a summer bathrobe, or wherever he likes to relax, this 100% cotton yukata makes an impressive statement.

Made in Japan, the legendary dragon is emblazoned on this navy blue yukata, along with gray and white stylized clouds and calligraphy.  The dragon is depicted across Asian cultures as one of the Four Legendary Creatures, each of which is the guardian of the cosmic “directions”.  The Dragon guards the East, and was often painted alongside the other “creatures” (tortoise, tiger and red bird) to keep evil spirits away from early Chinese tombs.  The dragon is also represents the spring season, the colors green and blue, and the element of wood.  Its virtue is Propriety and it is an enduring symbol of Yang male energy.  (more…)

“Wax Poetic” in this Navy Haiku Kimono

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Navy Haiku Kimono

Navy Haiku Kimono

According to the Urban Dictionary, to “wax poetic” means to become increasingly verbose and romantic in speech, or to become more and more like a poem.  While these might not seem like the qualities conferred upon one by simply wearing a kimono; not all kimonos are decorated with this inspired Haiku design.  If you’re looking for some poetic inspiration, why not try this Navy Haiku Kimono?

The Japanese art of Haiku is the most important form of traditional poetry in Japan, and like most Asian traditions it has a long and storied history.  Haiku was originally perfected by the efforts of Masaoka Shiki in the 1890’s as a form of poetry that was to be written in such a way that it could stand alone as an independent poem, rather than being part of a longer chain of verses.  The writer of haikus can describe almost anything he or she likes, but haikus are to be written with the goal of giving the reader a whole new experience of an everyday situation.  Haiku poems are written in a pattern of 5, 7 and 5 syllables, and each haiku traditionally includes a seasonal word, or “kigo”.  While many “rules” exist about writing Japanese haikus, there is no consensus about how to write them in languages other than Japanese.

When one looks at this alluring navy blue kimono, the vertical nature of Haiku writing is evident and arouses curiosity.  Even if you cannot read Japanese, the striking white calligraphy of the Haiku pattern against a navy blue background may inspire you to “wax poetic” and get into a creative mood.  This lightweight Navy Haiku Kimono is made with 100% cotton and has a matching belt, which makes it more of a Yukata robe for spring and summer.  It makes a unique fashion statement when worn at the beach or by the pool, but it can also be worn when just relaxing at home.  View the Navy Haiku Kimono in at www.chopa.com.

Kimonos – The “thing to wear”

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Just one of many colorful Japanese Kimonos available from Chopa.com

 

 

 

 

In Japan, the  kimono is such a commonly known garment that the word “kimono” is literally translated as “thing to wear”, or clothing.

This particular type of full-length robe is a roomy, wide, and T-shaped, with little design variation, other than being available in a selection of splashy satin fabrics and colors.  In Japanese ceremonies, kimonos are worn by both men and women, which is why the hem falls about 56” down to the ankle.  They are typically wrapped around the body, left side wrapped over right, and finished with a wide belt, or obi, tied in the back. 

In modern-day Japan, kimonos are worn more often by women, primarily on special occasions.  A few elderly ladies and even fewer older gentlemen still wear a kimono every day.  They are also seen wrapped around professional Sumo wrestlers, who must dress in traditional Japanese attire when making public appearances. 

A lighter, more summery version of the Kimono is called the Yukata.  This 100% cotton, kimono-style robe is more commonly worn as loungewear, after a bath, or as a cover-up at the pool. While most Yukatas are made in less decorative fabrics than kimonos, there are many brightly colored fabrics available for women. 

Popular kimono designs include repetitive patters of koi, dragons, butterflies, cranes, lilies or cherry blossoms.  Most kimonos come with a matching fabric sash, but they are often worn with a heko or kaku obi, or belt, on special occasions.  

Kimonos are an elegant and traditional piece of Japanese culture, and the act of wearing one is steeped in tradition.  In addition to the many methods for wrapping and tying a kimono, there are subtle aspects of kimonos that, to a trained eye, can tell a lot about the wearer.  But don’t let this keep you from wearing one.  Unless you are attending a formal gathering in Japan, chances are you will never need to worry about adhering to these traditions.