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How to Channel Your Inner Geisha

Synonymous with “art person” in Japanese, geisha are the epitome of style and grace. I’ve long been fascinated by their mesmerizing beauty and poetic movements. A part of their allure is that they’re a bit unknowable. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with geisha of all ages and they’ve taught me so much about life and beauty. I believe that we all have a bit of geisha in us, we just need a little help bringing it out.

“I asked a geisha friend to share the secret to being a great geisha

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Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Indigo

From the shores of Okinawa Island, to the ocean’s deep is a natural wonder: a gradient from white-sand shores and translucent waters to a midnight blue. This stunning sight inspired our newest treasure, the Ruri Okinawa Indigo Scarf. Hand-dyed by artisans who harvest Indigo in an untouched part of Okinawa, the Indigo Scarf has fascinating ties to its tropical provenance and a history of Japanese Indigo. I was surprised to learn these fascinating facts about the Indigo dyeing process.

“the transformation remains a captivating mystery”

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Tips and Tricks on Keeping Cool for Summer

Earlier sunrises and later evenings: summer is here, my friends. While some may thrive in the brighter, warmer days, I’ve never been one for the heat. Before my first visit to Kyoto in the summer, I worried about how I’d handle the humidity. But when I arrived, I was surprised by how my Japanese friends made their homes and everyday lives adaptable to the summer heat. Here’s some of their advice on staying cool, without air-conditioning:

You can enjoy the breeze of a folding fan anytime by tucking one in your bag

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A Wishful Journey

One of the most magical and colorful times in Japan happens over the summer. I’ve had the pleasure of being there during the Tanabata Festival. Bright streamers hang hopefully from above, and colored paper adorned with calligraphy flutter from bamboo branches. Also known as the Star Festival, the celebration originates from an ancient tale that has become one of my favorites.

 

“Follow your heart’s compass.”

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A Fantastic Craft

During the warm Kyoto summers, it’s not unusual to see women and men unfolding hand fans and quietly enjoying the breeze. This effortlessly cool accessory, called sensu in Japanese, is steeped in rich history and remains as a timeless art form. To this day, folding fans flutter in the hands of geisha walking along Kyoto’s cobblestone streets, businessmen hailing a cab, or even chic women waiting for a subway train.

My friends at Miyawaki Baisen-an, a centuries-old fan shop in the heart of Kyoto, shared with me some fantastic facts and figures behind this elegant invention.

“87: steps to make a fan by hand, from start to finish.”
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