Kimono Shirt Guide

So you want something a bit Kimono, but not too Kimono? You want the vibe but, don’t want to commit to the full six feet of flowing robe? Well, join the rank and file of those who have joined the half-way, kimono shirt revolution.

What is a kimono shirt anyway?

You’ll find that quite a few different garments get lumped under the term “Kimono shirt” (Kimono literally just means “clothing” in Japanese, not a particular type of clothing). There are free flowing, split at the front, cardigan shaped garments that would more commonly be called a Happi or a Hanten in Japan. These variously get called a kimono wrap shirt, cardigan or jacket across different places across the internet. Some places will use the Japanese names for them. For women, these may look like this:

And for men, like this

These types of Kimono shirt are commonly worn over the top of other items of clothing, most commonly a simple white t-shirt, singlet or tank top. They can also be worn over something more skimpy, such as a swimsuit or underwear, a la something like this:

There are also more Western-shaped shirts that are made from materials or patterns that are often associated with Japanese kimono such as this:

Other options to a Kimono Shirt

If you are looking for a light Japanese style wrap-around, it may be worth considering getting a Jinbei, which is a wrap-around top and bottom combination. The design of these garments are essentially unisex, but are often given more masculine of feminine patterns and colors.

There are also warmer versions of Japanese wrap-around, such as the cotton filled Hanten jacket.

How much does a Kimono Shirt cost?

There is a really wide range of price points for kimono shirts and kimono wrap arounds. There are some great high-brand items from the likes of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Ambush, Visvim, Haider Ackermann that will easily set you back more than $1000. This one Kimono shirt from McQ is more on the reasonable side of high end:

There are highly original, sometimes hand made, items on Etsy from the 1-300 range, such as this:

If you are after a bargain, you can find some great stuff at low prices at Newchic.

If you want some super bargains, and are willing to wait a little longer for postage, you can find some outrageously inexpensive items at Aliexpress:

Kimono Shirts We Like

Kimono Shirt Women's

Kimono Shirt Men's

Other options in the world of Kimono shirts include a warm Hanten style jacket top, or a Jinbei with matching top and bottom. You could even try making your own using kimono fabric. If you’re after a full blown male kimono, look here.

Japanoscope uses affiliate links. Which means we may receive commisions when you click on some product links. We only link to products we believe in, use ourselves or think are genuinely good. This helps us keep all of the content on the site free of charge. As Monty Python once said, “We’re selling records in the foyer. Some of us have gotta eat too you know”.

Kimono Shirt Guide

Comparing different kimono shirt options, including kimono wrap around shirts, designer shirts and budget kimono inspired options.

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Rocket Japanese Review 2021

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Best Japan Coloring Books 2021

Japan is known around the world for design. So it’s no wonder that Japanese coloring sheets and books have become hugely popular in recent years and are perhaps amongst the most popular Asian coloring pages available. The concept of mindfulness has largely come to the West through the filter of Japanese buddhism, and the new coloring books for grown ups movement is intrinsically linked to the idea of mindfulness. Japan also has a strong tradition of making fine paper and crafting paper objects, so in many ways there is a perfect storm of factors that come together to make the Japanese Coloring Book so, well, right.

I’ll go through some of the different types of Japanese coloring books for adults below, be first I’ll go ahead and show you my very top picks.

You may also be interested in the Japanoscope guides to Japanese Wall Art, Studio Ghibli Posters, and Japanese Wall Scrolls.

Table of Contents

My Top Six Japan Coloring Book Picks

#1 Floating World Woodblock Print Coloring and Art Book

I love this book, it really is as much an art book as a straight out coloring book. It has beautiful full-color images of 22 ukiyo-e woodblock prints. In addition it gives you a full page background on each artwork and artist. So you’re learning about the history of this wonderful Japanese artform, but doing it in an active way where you are recreating the artworks. The coloring pages are actually recreated from the original artworks themselves, so they are incredibly accurate.

The only drawbacks are that they may be too intricate for some, and 22 images is less than some other options.

#2 Female Beauy Coloring Book

This is an exquisite, rare book of Japanese feminine beauty. The pictures are very detailed and represent a great challenge for people that like intricate coloring work. The design is also fantastic and it intersperses poetic pieces of text in Japanese – for those want to to do some Japanese study while they color (or just like observing the beauty of the language itself).

The only drawbacks are that they may be too intricate for some, and 22 images is less than some other options.

#4 Japonisme Natural Coloring Book

japnoism2

Exquisite Japanese flowers, birds, landscapes based around the theme of “Japanonisme” – the European craze for all things Japanese in teh 19th century. Highly detailed, the Japanese on the cover says 上級者向け “aimed at advanced colorers”.  98pages /343g.

#5 Kimono Beauties Coloring Book

kimono sugata 2

This one has a truely dignified classic feel. The pictures feature many of the tropes of traditional Japanese culture, such as cherry blossoms and Japanese architecture. The book only features 16 picures to color, so it may not be substantial enough for some, but each picture is a work of art in it’s own right.

#6 Vive Le Color Japan Coloring Book

Not so much a “book” as a bumper “pad” of 72 wonderful patterns and images. It’s top bound with glue, so you can easily remove individual sheets. The Vive Le Color coloring book range are tremendously popular, so you know you’re going to get something that is generally good quality. This book is fairly small, which makes it pretty portable. The downside is that this also means that a lot of the designs are small, and can feel a little “cramped”. It’s a trade off really. Still this book has so many fans, it pretty much couldn’t be left out of the top list.

Japan Coloring Book Genres

Japanese coloring books have been so popular that there is now a plethora of sub-genres to choose from. Given the colorful elegance of the country’s national dress, unsurprisingly kimono coloring books and books of beautiful women wearing kimono are amongst the most popular.

 Likewise, Japanese coloring pages that feature samurai and traditional Japan are a common theme. These fall within the larger genre of historical coloring books.

Given that Zen buddhism is intimately associated with Japanese culture, unsurprisingly zen coloring books, as well as mindfulness/stress reduction related resources.

 

Of course, Japan is the world home of manga art so manga coloring books are also on the top of many people’s coloring lists. There is even a sub genre of saucy to outright erotic coloring books. Who would have thought the world of eroticism and coloring in could become so, ahem, intimately entwined.

One of my favorite things about Japan coloring books is that some of them mix in coloring with short excerpts from Japanese literature, haiku and quotes. So you can learn about the culture while you are honing your shading skills. 

The genre of Woodblock Print coloring pages, called Ukiyo-e 浮世絵 in Japanese, is another wonderful meant-to-be rabbit hole of coloring to go down. The vivid colors in woodblock prints really makes them a perfect candidate for getting your colored pencil set a-scratching. What better way to gain a deeper understanding of the creation process behind this rich vein of Japanese artistry. After all, even in Western arts traditions, the first step for budding painters is a trip to the gallery to make hand drawn sketches of the great masterworks. 

As in Japanese aesthetics more generally, nature is a strong theme Japanese coloring pages and books. Mt Fuji, Cherry blossoms, sakura, maple leaves. They’re all in there.

What to look out for when buying an adult coloring book?

Although the tendency is obviously to choose a coloring book based on the overall aesthetic of the design, it is worth keeping in mind that there are several practical considerations that you should consider when investing in a coloring book. Here’s a list of some of the main ones.

Paper Quality

Thickness and paper type come into play here. Thickness is especially an issue if you like to color using markers rather than colored pencils. If the pictures are double sided, then the thicker the paper, the more likely you will actually be able to color on both sides without the colors bleeding through.

Size

For home coloring, usually the bigger the better. If you want to do your coloring on the commute, you’ll want to check to see if the size of the book you are getting will fit into your bag.

Perforated or non-perforated

Do you display your finished designs on your wall, give them to friends as a present etc. Is it important for you to be able to easily tear out your artwork? If so, perforated pages should be one of your criteria.

Do you want extras?

Some Japanese coloring books come with cultural information and literary quotes etc. Others have designs that you can cut out and paste in a scrapbook. Some mix up coloring and craft, such as origami. Is this something you would like or do you want to keep your coloring simple. Ultimately it comes down to your own personal reason for coloring in the first place (relaxation, decoration, fandom etc.)

Design Type

This is the one that most people look to first. But aside from purely aesthetic things to think about, there are also some practical considerations. Probably the main one is, do you want a design that is more complex or simple? Do you love the challenge of coloring into a thousand nooks and crannies? Or do you want to concentrate on your mindfulness while doing large plains of color? DO you have a goal to work on your shading technique?

Types of Japan Coloring Books

Japanese Traditional and Kimono Coloring books

Japanese Woodblock Print Coloring Books

Japanese Manga Coloring Books

Hopefully this guide has given you some good starting points for where to take the next step in your journey into the world of Japanese coloring books for grown ups. Please let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any of your favorites in the list!

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts doing a Masters Degree, have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1). I’ve written songs in Japanese and have released several albums through Tokyo label Majikick Records.

ピータージョセフヘッドです。4年間京都市立芸大の大学院として日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

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Japanoscope uses affiliate links. Which means we may receive commisions when you click on some product links. We only link to products we believe in, use ourselves or think are genuinely good. This helps us keep all of the content on the site free of charge. As Monty Python once said, “We’re selling records in the foyer. Some of us have gotta eat too you know”.

Kimono Shirt Guide

Comparing different kimono shirt options, including kimono wrap around shirts, designer shirts and budget kimono inspired options.

Read More »

Rocket Japanese Review 2021

I take an in depth look at the Rocket Japanese platform, 2021 edition, in depth and outline what I like, what I don’t like and what some of the alternatives are.

Read More »

The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

Read More »

Moshi Moshi Yusuke – 30 Top Japanese New Japanese Words In Japanese in 2020 P.II

Do you know these Japanese words? AI超え おうち時間 顔芸 These are some of the new Japanese vocabulary that entered the lexicon in 2020. Japanese language, like any tongue, is a living, breathing thing. It’s constantly changing. This means the process of learning Japanese is an ongoing one. But a fun one! Each year, the education company U-Can releases a list of the 30 new words, called 流行語 or 新語, that have entered the Japanese for that year. I chatted with Moshi Moshi Yusuke もしもしゆうすけ about the different words on the list. We talked about the different social movements in Japan that have occurred over the year that have lead to these new words coming into the Japanese language.

Read More »

Best Japan Coloring Books 2021

A big list of my all time favorite Japan coloring books for grown ups. Including the latest Kimono coloring books, zen coloring books, and manga coloring books.

Read More »

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts doing a Masters Degree, have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1). I’ve written songs in Japanese and have released several albums through Tokyo label Majikick Records.

ピータージョセフヘッドです。4年間京都市立芸大の大学院として日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

Top Japanese Gift Ideas For 2021

Japan has nice stuff. Interesting clothes, anime paraphernalia, traditional stuff, modern stuff. So you don’t get overwhelmed, here are some ideas for gifts for Japan lovers.

So first thing you need to decide is what kind of Japan stuff are you after? Different people love Japan for very different reasons. Would you like a traditional Japanese arts present? A Japanese pop culture gift? Do you love Kawaii culture? Muted-tone Japanese aesthetics? Minimalism? Riotous colorful Japanese culture? Let’s attempt dividing these disparate things into some categories.

We also have lists of Japanese gifts for her, gifts for him and gifts for Sushi Lovers.

Table of Contents

How to Choose A Gift For A Japan Fan

First step is to figure out what category of Japan lover you are buying for. 

There tend to be a few different main types of Japan lover. Here’s how you can roughly divide these groups:

The “Otaku” Japan-Lover

This is the “nerd” Japan-Lover. 

The Otaku tends to be into the anime, manga, and tech sides of things. Some Japanese gift ideas Otaku types include:

My personal favorite is Sushi GO! Card game

The “Zen" Japan-Lover

This Japan fan is characterised by love of Japanese traditional and more refined arts. Steve Jobs loved traditional Japanese design, and it influenced the minimalist design of Apple products.

Gift ideas for the “Zen” Japan-Lover include:

The Modern Japan-Lover

The "Linguist" Japan-Lover

Here is a list of some of my favorite Japanese Language Resources. Maybe your linguist love one would like something from there?

Cool Japan Stuff

Let’s start with the fundamentals. Gift for a man? Socks is number 1 right? BUT, they don’t have to be the same old boring socks. How about a pair of anime socks! Totoro on your ankles anyone?

Or check out any of these Studio Ghibli socks.

Make your own mossball!
Buying a gift for a greenthumb? Or just trying to easily get a little green inside? This Kokedama moss ball kit, makes it super simple to get in on the Japanese moss action!

Gifts For Anime Lovers

We’ve put the emphasis on anime gifts that could be given to most Japanese anime lovers.

Japan Coloring Book Gifts

Coloring books for adults have taken off in recent years. See our Japan coloring books page here.

I love this book, it really is as much an art book as a straight out coloring book. It has beautiful full-color images of 22 ukiyo-e woodblock prints. In addition it gives you a full page background on each artwork and artist. So you’re learning about the history of this wonderful Japanese artform, but doing it in an active way where you are recreating the artworks. The coloring pages are actually recreated from the original artworks themselves, so they are incredibly accurate.

The only drawbacks are that they may be too intricate for some, and 22 images is less than some other options.

The only drawbacks are that they may be too intricate for some, and 22 images is less than some other options.

Not so much a “book” as a bumper “pad” of 72 wonderful patterns and images. It’s top bound with glue, so you can easily remove individual sheets. The Vive Le Color coloring book range are tremendously popular, so you know you’re going to get something that is generally good quality. This book is fairly small, which makes it pretty portable. The downside is that this also means that a lot of the designs are small, and can feel a little “cramped”. It’s a trade off really. Still this book has so many fans, it pretty much couldn’t be left out of any Japanese Coloring Book list.

Japanese Home Gifts

japanese Kitchen & Dining Gifts