Hina Matsuri in Japan

Every March 3rd in Japan, hina matsuri (also known as girl’s day or doll’s day) is celebrated in Japan.

Visitors and those living here in Japan will be familiar with special displays of traditional Japanese dolls representing the Emperor, Empress and court of the Heian period, placed on tiered platforms.

Each doll represents a different member of the imperial court from musicians to ladies-in-waiting, with the highest tier being occupied by the Emperor and Empress dolls and the lowest tiers of the display usually reserved for representations of items from within the imperial palace.

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The practice of celebrating hina matsuri dates back to the original custom of hina nagashi (doll floating), where straw dolls are sent floating downstream to take negative spirits away with them out to sea.

Complete sets of hina matsuri dolls can be incredibly costly, and are often passed down through the generations.

Here at kay me, we love to celebrate traditional Japanese festivals, especially hina matsuri. Our philosophy of placing women at the centre of our business and designs ties in perfectly with the beautiful annual celebration of hina matsuri.

NY de kay me, part three

Here’s the third and final part part of kay me HQ staff member Akiko’s blog about her experiences in New York (you can catch up on her previous NY blogs here!):

Hello again from Akiko!

It’s my last NY blog today, so I’d like to introduce some of my favourite places I found in New York.

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First up, a typical spot: the Chrysler Building and Empire State building – they are the symbols of the city, and look so beautiful lit up at night.

Next up is the World Trade Center – have you ever been here? It’s a beautiful space with a very open feeling.

I visited an up-and-coming start-up company located in a vacant space on Wall Street. It seems that many financial institutions and organisations have dispersed from that area, so it’s great for new companies and co-working spaces. They told me that there’s always beer in the shared space! What a free and unique office!

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Personally, I love Manhattan’s High Line, running from north to south. It’s an aerial garden made by rebuilding what use to be an elevated railway, and in 2014 was extended 14th Street to 34th Street.

There are lots of wood benches with different designs, and as you walk from the south to the north, the scenery of Manhattan spreads to the Hudson river on the left and to the right. The signs of the old railroad make it unique.

I also explored Soho, there are many famous shops and I’m never bored here.

On Thursday, it suddenly started snowing! The city looked wonderful although it was really cold and some companies were closed. It was kind of a tough day!

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I hope kay me will come back to New York soon…!

Thanks for sharing your NY adventures, Akiko!

NY de kay me, part two

Here’s the second part of kay me HQ staff member Akiko’s blog about her business program visit to New York:

Hi, it’s Akiko again…

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I’ve been having so many valuable business experiences. I visited and observed enterprises that develop cutting edge business, and at the Japanese start-up company exchange meeting, I made a presentation in English about kay me.

At an office building overlooking Manhattan, I got the chance to learn about various viewpoints… I even spoke to a professor from New York who’s at the forefront of business. It was really exciting, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity!

Next time I’ll share what I saw between programs, chilling out on the streets of NY – I’m looking forward to it!

NY de kay me, part one

kay me HQ staff member Akiko (you might recognise her from our Instagram!) recently visited New York as part of an international business program.

Here’s her first blog about her trip:

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Hello, it’s Akiko here!

This week I’ve been in New York…

kay me was selected as a member of the New York visit program by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and I was asked to participate on behalf of kay me.

I did a lot of preparation and research, but I was still a little nervous!

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Of course, kay me fits perfectly in my suitcase, and for travelling I wore our turtleneck knit dress in grey with a belt to keep me warm – it’s also cute!

After the 12-hour flight from Tokyo to New York, I prepared my wardrobe for the week at the hotel. I decided what to wear according my schedule for the week.

I stayed in New York for a week, and I’m looking forward to sharing more about kay me in New York with you next time!

Spring Flowers in Japan

It’s a chilly February day here at kay me HQ in Tokyo, so what better time to take a quick look at beautiful spring flowers in Japan? With a few matching dresses, of course!

Plum Blossom (February to March)

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One of the first spring flowers to be spotted, plum blossom can be found from February. With petals ranging from white through to deep pink, plum blossom is often overshadowed by its cherry cousin, but is certainly equally as charming and brings a smile to one’s face on cold days when spring warmth seems far away. You can find plum in parks across Tokyo and Japan.

Capture the vibrancy of plum flowers with our Amaranth dress in bold pink, in a cross-over style new for spring 2017. Let this dress shine on its own with minimal block-colour accessories in monochrome.

Cherry Blossom (March to April)

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Perhaps Japan’s most famous flower, cherry blossom is known for its short-lived fluffy flowers in all shades of pink. Don’t miss out on Japan’s hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties, and kay me recommends a stroll along Meguro river in Tokyo to see countless trees draping their boughs and blossoms in the water.

The perfect dress for spring occasions, our Cherry Flower dress was created with hanami in mind, great for spring events. Soft and feminine with a strong traditional Japanese kimono influence, style with a kay me jacket for more formal occasions.

Tulips (April to May)

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A non-native flower, tulips have been growing in popularity in Japan, and with their bright colours and variations, it’s easy to see why these bulbs have captured imaginations. Gunma Flower Park in Gunma prefecture, north-east of Tokyo, is famous for its beautiful floral displays throughout the warmer months and nightly illuminations in winter.

Our Perfect Lila dress is a riot of floral petals and brushwork in cool blues and lilacs. A wonderful dress for the transitioning seasons, Lila can be worn with matching kay me jackets and knitwear and looks equally gorgeous with a simple string of pearls.

Wisteria (April to May)

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Known for its delicate purple flowers and winding branches, wisteria trees have a long history in Japan and in artwork too. kay me recommends Tokyo-based wisteria hunters visit Kameido shrine (see how many turtles you can spot in the pond!), and those after a dramatic experience should head to Ashikaga in Tochigi prefecture.

Blend in with the flowers in our classic cache-coeur dress in violet, a deep purple that flatters many skin tones. Keep it spring-like with floral patterned accessories, or take a more urban approach with metallics and a kay me biker jacket.