As you probably know, a certain self-absorbed woman (whom I shall not name) from the US has recently announced a new line of underwear that she wanted to name “kimono”, of all things. I’m definitely not one who’s waving flags on the “cultural appropriation” bandwagon, but even I would say that was a bad idea to begin with. And as if it couldn’t get worse, said self-absorbed woman from the US had plans to get the name trademarked. Don’t even get me started on that one…

Anyway, the idea caused a veritable shitstorm on the internet, and many of the people involved were Japanese, who otherwise let foreigners get away with murder. But not with naming stuff “kimono”, apparently. The outcry was bad and loud enough that even Daisaku Kadokawa, the current mayor of Kyoto got involved in the issue. Even though modern Japanese don’t wear kimono in their daily life anymore, and many of the cheap summer kimono are now made in China, Kyoto is still the main producer of high-end kimono in Japan. As in former days, the Nishijin district where kimono are painted and obi are woven is still a major part of Kyoto’s industry.

So, it is only natural that the mayor of Kyoto got involved, I think. Especially since he is one of the few men who are still wearing a traditional kimono every singe day. And in the end, he – and all the other Japanese who complained – won an earned victory. Of course, part of the appeal of modern society is that you do things publicly, and therefore, he posted a number of letters pertaining to the affair on his facebook page. Here are four letters, in English, and in chronological order, the last one a letter to the League of Historical Cities, which is interesting in itself.