Six Japanese Proverbs for Inspiration and Motivation

Statistics say that only a mere 20% of new year resolutions are kept by February, and less than 8% of people achieve their full new year goals, which everyone can agree is pretty low.

At the kay me atelier in Tokyo today we’ve collected some of our favourite Japanese proverbs (諺 – kotowaza) to keep us motivated this January and well beyond:


案ずるより産むが易し (anzuru yori umu ga yasushi)

Translation: Giving birth to a baby is easier than worrying about it

Worrying never helped anyone! Don’t put off that big project because you’re worried about, instead dive in and start working – you’ll feel much better.

虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず (koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu)

Translation: If you don’t enter the tiger’s cave, you can’t catch its cub

He (or she, or they) who dares, wins. If you don’t even try, you’ll never have the chance to succeed…

雨降って地固まる (ame futte jigatamaru)

Translation: After rain falls, the ground hardens

Difficult experiences can toughen us up – sometimes in unexpected ways. We love learning from mistakes, and try our best to treat everything as a learning point.


花より団子 (hana yori dango)

Translation: Dumplings over flowers

Or, substance over style. At kay me we’re so lucky that we can share substance and style with our amazing customers around the world!

七転び八起き (nana korobi ya oki)

Translation: Fall seven times, stand up eight

It’s a classic for a good reason – when our print designs have to be reworked or a pattern isn’t quite right, we get right back on track (sometimes after a soothing green tea or walk around the atelier!).

継続は力なり (keizoku wa chikara nari)

Translation: To continue is power

Similar to the above phrase, it’s possible to find power in perseverance, whether that’s learning a new language, sticking to good habits or even starting your own business just like kay me’s Junko Kemi.

Join us throughout the year as we continue our journey from Japan to the world! 

The Secret to kay me Comfort

Hello everyone, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team here!

Right now we’re looking forward to summer, and preparing for next autumn and winter – we’re working hard every day and it’s often a struggle but I’m always excited to start planning for the new season.


The other day, we checked the toile (3D draft for clothing) for my new design, which I always look forward to.

First when we make clothes such as dresses and jackets, the patterner who creates the paper pattern works with our fit model to create shapes – the designer shows the initial sketch to the patterner who then makes a 3D version.

The relationship between the designer and patterner is very important, as even if the design is wonderful, unless the intention and feeling of the garment is conveyed to the patterner we can’t fully create what the designer envisioned.


The patterner is responsible for developing the silhouette of the overall clothing, but also the more subtle points of cutting and draping, as well as how the clothing fits the body and how comfortable it is to wear. Depending on the finished pattern, the fit, finish and comfort of the clothes will be completely different.

This relationship supports kay me’s core value of “instant elegance”.


One after another, new designs are developed… it’s so busy in the atelier!

Until next time… Yuko.

Introducing… New Spring Suits, from kay me

Here at the kay me atelier in Tokyo, we’ve been working hard creating our amazing new range of suits to meet the needs of busy women around the world.
kay me was created by Junko Kemi, herself a successful consultant in Tokyo, as a way of making her own line of office-appropriate clothing that worked for her in terms of style and practicality.


This spring we’re very excited to announce our new suits, including jackets, dresses, skirts and trousers, with coordinating tops.
Read on for a closer look at our super suits…


Our classic tailored jackets are now available in seven colours, including beige, white, pink, black, light grey, grey and navy. Our tailored jackets feature side pockets, a self fabric covered button and classic notched collar. Our bolero jackets in white and navy have turn-up cuffs and a standing collar that draws the eye upwards.
In grey and navy and new for 2018, these jackets are also available in special longer and crop lengths, each with a shawl collar that can be styled as you like. Pair our longer length jacket with trousers, and the shorter length with dresses.


Designed to match our jackets, new mermaid-style skirts and hourglass dresses are also now in store and online. With a gentle flare and sharp seams, our skirts are the last word in feminine elegance. For those looking for another way to expand their working wardrobe, our 3D stretch dresses in white, pink, light grey and navy create an effortless hourglass figure with perfectly placed tucks and panels, plus handy pockets for everyday small essentials.

Get ready to bend and stretch with our chic trousers in our special soft and stretchy fabric, available in grey and navy. A centre pleat and medium width makes legs look longer, and four pockets and belt loops keep things practical. Fully machine washable like all our suits, these pants are also crease-resistant.


The perfect partner for our new suits, our twist tops have been redesigned with three-quarter sleeves and the same eye-catching asymmetric front twist, now in French macaron-inspired vanilla, grape and strawberry pastel shades.

Discover your new kay me suit style today, with free global shipping as standard.

Getting Organised for the New Year

As we welcome 2018, it’s a great time to embrace (or brush up!) our organisational skills. Whether this means cleaning out your closet, sorting the files on your desktop or investing in a new pen and paper planner, taking a small amount of time makes a big difference later on.


We asked our Japanese customers which methods they prefer for keeping track of their schedules, and the results proved very decisive! Here’s the final breakdown:

Paper planner – 62.9%

Other scheduling apps – 11.4%

Smartphone/tablet in-built scheduling app – 10%

Google calendar – 7.1%

Paper calendar – 5.7%

Company’s own scheduling system – 2.9%

It seems that our Japanese customers by far prefer traditional pen and paper when it comes to scheduling and planning. It’s no wonder, as Japan has some of the most beautiful stationery made from ancient techniques, as well as practical solutions including the world-famous Hobonichi Techo planners.



kay me’s Junko Kemi loves her leather-covered schedule book, with a week on one page and free list-writing space on the other. It’s familiar sight at the kay me office!

For those on the hunt for Japanese stationery and goods, we recommend the century-old Itoya store as well as Tokyu Hands, both just a short walk from our flagship store in central Ginza.

Happy planning!

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

2017 has been another amazing year for us, with kay me going from strength to strength each and every month.

Some of our highlights include the opening of our new store and members club in Shinjuku, Junko receiving yet more industry awards, our new kay me Select line and the relaunch of our international website.

Here’s a few of our favourite images from the past year:




Keep in touch with us on Instagram for more…

A big thank you from everyone at kay me for joining us on our journey this year, and we’re so looking forward to sharing the next year with you!