Chicago Japanese Matsuri 2018

Enjoy the kickoff of our annual Japanese summer festival in the heart of Chicago where you can experience authentic Japanese festival foods, cultural performances of Taiko drumming, Shodo/large scale calligraphy, Traditional Martial Arts, Sumi-e ink painting, Cosplay Contests, shopping and so much more! Interactive Japanese cultural booths will be throughout the festival featuring origami, games, arts, traditional fashion such as kimono, handwritten calligraphy requests, photo booths, and beyond!

The festival arts and performances are lead by the Japanese Culture Center and will include performances of Taiko drumming (maybe shamisen as well TBA), Shurikenjutsu, Indigo Dyeing and Mokume Shibori, Karate, Sumi-e, Aikido, Iaido, Large Scale Shodo Calligraphy, Ikebana flower arrangement, and much more!

See you there!

2018-09-25 14_18_20-Event Map 0914.jpg

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe Blog

Are you new to blogging, and do you want step-by-step guidance on how to publish and grow your blog? Learn more about our new Blogging for Beginners course and get 50% off through December 10th. is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Exhibit: Modern Samurai – Men’s Kimono

Explore blended fashion as traditional Japanese men’s attire is mixed into modern concepts and designs. Spree Kingyo is a renown costume historian who promoted traditional kimono culture all throughout Europe, and the Americas.  A wide variety of fashion shows, and educational lectures are credited to them. Working in conjunction with Spree Kingyo for this exhibit is the Japanese Coordinator: Kumi Shimizu.

There will be over two dozen outfits on display og Men’s Kimono Designs Designers include; Afrikan Kimono (Portugal), Akira (Japan), Logan Doggs (New York), Modern Antenna (Japan), Robe Japonica (Japan), Katsura Sunshine (New York & Japan), and more.

  • Where: Oct 18th – 21st, 2019
  • When: 889 Broadway – New York, New York 10003

“A new and super creative generation of Fashion Samurai is emerging in Japan and internationally ~ bravely setting out to redefine men’s Kimono styles ~ keeping tradition alive while infusing it with new life. Their unique ensembles make a lasting impression at weddings, Kabuki, theater, hip restaurants, or just hanging out!

For this ground-breaking exhibition, ten international designers and stylists from Japan, Europe, and the United States contribute their innovative designs. Urban, elegant, or practical, they are all refreshingly modern and avant-garde coordinations ~ showcasing the new wave of male Wafuku ~ off the beaten track, risky, whimsical, yet so worldly and sophisticated.”


The Heavy Basket: Yokai in Japanese Prints

The Japanese Arts Foundation and Japanese Culture Center in Chicago are teaming up to host a spooky lecture focused on Yokai with guest speakers Elias Martin. Elias Martin is a renown collector and dealer of Japanese Prints, and is a member of the Ukiyo-e Dealers Association of Japan. In this discussion Ukiyo-E, Shin Hangam, and Sosaku Hanga that depict yokai will be explored. Yokai are best understood as supernatural Japanese goblins and spirits of foul temper from folklore and legend.

“In the land of the rising sun deep shadows are cast and ghouls, ghosts and demons abound. Come and learn more about what makes those things that go bump in the night as depicted in your favorite Japanese prints.”

Kimono in Summer Time; is it right for you? + Anime Convention Matsuricon

Hello, welcome to the never-ending summer of 2018! For our first CBUS post, I wanted to share some of my thoughts about wearing kimono during the hottest time of the year. Something I didn’t quite connect with when I first started wearing kimono publicly was the concept of fabric and structural seasonality. It wasn’t until I really understood the concept of kimono for summer vs. kimono worn the rest of the year that I actually noticed these hitoe (unlined) sheer, airy kimono floating around in the web shops I frequented.  I was that person who wore awase (lined) kimono and obi in 80+ degree heat. I’ll never forget the single time I attended Otakon and someone pulled the fire alarm forcing everyone to stand outside. Sweating. Profusely. Lined kimono + August in Maryland = misery.

A big hump people new to the kimono hobby experience is the financial input required just to have a couple basic outfits. At a bare minimum, I would have to say you need 3 full ensembles if you’re not planning to replace your formal attire with kimono. One aseasonal lined outfit for early spring, late fall and winter, a summer outfit (unlined and of an open weave like ro, probably with no specific motif or a very general summer design), and a yukata. If you really wanted to be spartan, you could use a single hanhaba for all three outfits and pass on a lot of the obi accessories. You could. I can’t stress enough that a yukata should be the thing you start with anyway, please please please don’t jump into this hobby by buying a furisode to wear right off the bat. Please. Should I write a post about why that’s a terrible idea? I should.

Your under kimono, juban and accessories (for the enthusiastic purists, me) all come in summer forms. Open woven and sheer materials, linen and linen blends, space age homeostasis materials, etcetera. I’ve fallen into the pit of ro polyester kimono which have the benefit of being easy to wash after a good hardy sweat. I can’t say they breath but I can attest that a good breeze feels amazing. If you happen to come across a yukata that’s constructed with of an open weave ‘ro’ cotton, I HIGHLY encourage that purchase. The point of all this is if you’re presented with the opportunity to go out in the summer in casual kimono you have to ask yourself; do I have the appropriate kimono? If all you have is synthetic lined kimono, will you survive? If all you have is a lined silk kimono, will you risk staining it with your body’s attempts to keep you alive? If you’re even considering wearing a vintage kimono with natural red dyed lining, STOP! That stuff will run and transfer like crazy, okay, just don’t do it!

Is it worth being miserable? Your kimono will be there for another day. Of course if you do choose to wear kimono, the usual things apply; hydrate well, rest frequently, avoid standing in strong sunlight and don’t forget your handy dandy fan! Can you imagine the worst case scenario? You’ve passed out from heat, someone calls for emergency medical services… those paramedics WILL NOT TAKE THE TIME TO UNWRAP YOU! YOU WILL BE CUT OUT OF YOUR KIMONO AND OBI. Absolute worst case, okay? It could happen.

Here are some basic examples of summer wear (you WILL need proper under garments and juban for light colored kimono like this!) A synthetic ro komon and a double sided hanhaba obi. (If the links are broken, the items are no longer available, sorry!)

This upcoming weekend, August 24th-26th 2018, Columbus Kimono will be at Matsuricon in Columbus Ohio. We will have one panel Friday night on the topic of Geisha in the modern world. I am planning to wear an incredibly boring drab brown summer kimono. But that sucker is some sort of natural magic fiber and is soooo comfy! Actually it’s kinda raw and itchy, but will keep me moderately cool in August in Ohio so please enjoy my ugly kimono (though we did order nice new geta made with bamboo mat so yippee new shoes.) In an effort to stay hydrated I’ll finish up my stamp card at the bubble tea shop.

Keep cool!


Columbus Kimono




Sights At the 63rd Ginza Festival

This past weekend we were delighted to attend the 63rd annual Ginza Festival at the Midwest Buddhist Temple located in Chicago, Illinois. For three days there was a fantastic selection of entertainment including the likes of taiko, and even koto as well as traditional obon dancing. Aside from the entertainment which drew large crowds of local Chicago natives there was a large selection of Japanese food, and even a wonderful shopping experience on grounds. At the festival we saw a number of authentic Japanese kimono dealers, pottery artists, and even a metal smith. All weekend long people could be seen wearing yukata. Here are our photos from the weekend, we look forward to attending again next year.

  • Ginza 2018 Merchants:
    ARIYAMA STUDIO  – Contemporary woodblock prints
  • ASIAN ARTIQUE – Asian antique art objects
  • ENTROPYWARE – Jewelry
  • JEFF CHIU CERAMICS – Handmade ceramics
  • MBT BOOKSTORE – Books and other educational materials about Buddhism
  • OHIO KIMONO – Japanese Kimono and clothing
  • ORIGAMI ONLY – Origami art
  • PLANET OBI – Japanese Kimono and clothing
  • PLUMTREE STUDIO – Functional ceramic pieces
  • POMEGRANATE DESIGNS – Washi paper art
  • SANSEI ARTISANS – Japanese craft items
  • SHOP MBT – Japanese items, shopping bags, household items
  • SUMO FISH – T-shirts
  • TERRA ELEMENTA – Jewelry
  • TOUCH OF GLASS – Glass jewelry and other glass items
  • UNIVERSAL ARK – Jewelry
  • WABI SABI DÉCOR – Kimono gift items

Official Website: