Shortly after Kim Kardashian West launched her brand of figure-hugging underwear called Kimono, the Japanese people on social media accused her of disrespecting their traditional clothing.
The reality TV-star posted the first images of her shapewear collection earlier this week. The new line is available in numerous flesh tones and aims to create smooth lines under clothing. The collection features seamless bras, one-piece bodies, high-waisted shapewear, and more.
As the official website reads, Kimono is the culmination of Kim's personal experience with shape-wear. Kardashian West said previously on Twitter that she was unable to find matching shapewear that blended with her skin tone, so she decided to create it herself.
Business Insider searched the online database for the United States Patent and Trademark Office to find out that Kim Kardashian's Kimono Intimates applied to trademark a specific font version of the word last year. In addition to that, Kardashian also filed trademarks for "Kimono Body," "Kimono Intimates," and "Kimono World."
Kardashian West's new business initiative quickly sparked the Japanese anger on the Internet. Many locals expressed their disapproval using the hashtag #KimOhNo.
Kimono is a loose long-sleeved robe usually tied with a sash. Although the word 'kimono' literally means 'something to wear,' it has a special place in Japanese culture. Its history dates back from the 15th century.
Nowadays, it is female celebratory wear, reserved for special occasions such as weddings, engagements, or funerals. Also, many Japanese women tend to wear it when they want to dress up. For many local people, wearing kimono is their way to feel connected with their past and to keep their cultural heritage alive.
San Francisco-based Yuka Ohishi was among the first Japanese people to tweet about it. According to her, Kardashian showed no respect to the traditional Japanese culture naming a piece of underwear on it. Moreover, as Ohishi put it, it was not even inspired by the Japanese kimono.
Yasuno Yoshizawa, a Japanese cross-culture expert, based in California, said that it was ignorant from Kardashian side to select such a name for her underwear line.
In an interview with the BBC, Prof. Sheila Cliffe, from Japan's Jumonji Women's University commented it was disrespectful towards the Japanese culture. The world does not belong to the Kardashians', prof. Cliffe concluded.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the protest of the Japanese people against Kim Kardashian?