Bebe Taian: Wool Kimono for Sale + Japan is Suspending US Shipping

November 15, 2010

Wool Kimono for Sale + Japan is Suspending US Shipping

As reported by The Kimono Lady, Japan is suspending shipping over 16oz. to the US except for known business arrangements. How small an operation can be before it is disqualified is in question. This means that importing kimono or other items from Japan after November 17th can be difficult if not impossible.

For those who read Japanese, the original link is here.

The post office central is moving locations, and some terrorist-related concerns have been voiced leading to the disallowance of SAL, Airmail, and EMS.

Fortunately, I am a US seller of kimono and other Japanese items! I can ship Priority Mail with insurance to reach you within three business days of sending it out. I recommend this method so that it gets to you quickly and both of us are covered if for some reason the post loses or damages the package.

With winter coming, it may be time to examine your kimono closet! Properly, awase (lined) kimono should be worn until spring. However, if you are simply doing errands like laundry or grocery shopping, and you live in an area like mine that is 85F in the dead of winter, layers of lined silks may not be for you. It is much too hot for that, and silk or other fine materials are inappropriate to work in. What to do? Don't worry- just wear unlined wool kimono with the usual juban and accessories. Wool is durable enough to wear for errands while the obi provides back support, and unspecific patterns do not speak much for any one particular month or season, so it can be worn most of the year! Nagoya obi are cheap and easy to wear with these, and if you have a tsuke obi (pre-tied obi) or wider, more durable hanhaba obi it may be acceptable to wear in the home.

Unlined wool kimono would usually be worn in very late spring or very early summer because it is not ro or sha silk, which are both lighter, sheer weaves of summer fabric. In the late spring/early summer though, the weather can be shifty and being able to stay warm or cool with the same dress on it paramount! The weather can be the same here in Florida all throughout the winter. One day it's 65F in the morning and by the afternoon it's 80F outside and raining while the sun is clearly visible. ::facepalm:: At that point, wool is one of the best materials to wear!

If you are looking for a Nagoya obi which is easy to wear and versatile, it may be worth looking at this one. It is fairly cheap at only $50. I have several kimono that look great with this simple piece; geometrics can be worn with just about anything well, and having only two simple colours to match the kimono up with makes things much easier when deciding on an outfit. This Nagoya obi is a synthetic, easy to care for piece that has less chance of being damaged by humidity or light. Even so, it should be taken care of. Spot clean it as necessary, and only have it drycleaned by professionals who are experienced with Asian textiles.

Neither of these items are on ArtFire or Zibbet due to them not being vintage. If you want a newer item, check this blog for listings! Just message me here or at Etsy and I will invoice you through Paypal for anything you would like to purchase.


  1. Just an fyi on the whole Japan shipping thing, it is not a measure of how large or small the business, but whether they have the special commercial shipping account with Japan Post that dictates whether they can still ship via airmail/ems etc. or not. This account is available to those who ship x number of packages a month or more, but even individuals can use it IF they conform to the prerequisites. So if you're buying kimono from an ebay accoutn just selling grandmother's old kimono, then yeah it might be a problem, but any of the bigger kimono sellers like yamatoku or ichiroya will be fine. Doesn't make the whole thing any less bloody annoying for those of us who live in Japan, but there you go.

    (and because this comment is super random, I saw a post of yours on the kimono blogs and clicked on your link!)

  2. Thanks!

    Believe it or not, some of the newer large-sale kimono dealers are only just now finding out about this themselves. Ack! But yes, Ichiroya and Yamatoku should be fine... japanese.antiques is a good seller too, if they send by Sea Mail. Right now, Sea Mail is the only option that kimono dealers are telling me they can send by, unless the package is under a certain weight. It takes 2-3 months, and does not come with insurance or tracking.

    Supposedly, all of this is a response to American customs having problems. The question is: why? Are Americans so stupid that we can't tell the difference between Japanese and Arabic? We are not at war with the Japanese. They rely on us pretty heavily, as we do on them. Why the sudden problems with shipping? There is more to this than anyone is saying.