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Japanese New Year's Traditions

Heading into a new year, let's take a look at some traditions observed in Japan over the oshougatsu (New Year) period. This is a time for family, much like Christmas is in the West, and a time for renewal, a time to give thanks, and time to pray for the year to come.Let's start with some of the food enjoyed at New Year.    Toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles) is traditionally eaten on the evening of December 31st. However, depending on the area or on family traditions, this may vary. That said, as toshikoshi soba is believed to cut away bad luck, it's not considered a good idea to continue eating it from New Year's Eve into the early hours of...

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Our name “BENI” comes from…

BENI (紅), a traditional Japanese word, is a shade of red. It is a bright, glamorous and festive color which, we believe, gives energy to us all. It is often used in kimono fabric, especially for special events such as wedding ceremonies and the Coming of Age Day (成人の日 seijin no hi). We started the brand wanting to bring this festive and bright spirit to your daily life through our products. "BENI" also means lipstick. Since the Edo period in Japan, women have used it to feel brighter.   There’s another Japanese brand that is fascinated with the beauty of "BENI". Menary (https://menary.org) provides an ethical, plastic-free lipstick, “BENI”, to support women in South-East Asia through their profits and the...

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Japan Domestic Shipping Fee and Holiday Season Notice

We have great news for residents in Japan. We have reconsidered the shipping fee for local customers who purchase small items (like accessories) and have reduced the domestic shipping fee from 700 yen to 350 yen!   International shipping fees have risen, due to COVID-19, but the good news is we will keep the fee at USD20 for international customers!   The delivery period is usually 1–2 days within Japan and 1–2 weeks for international shipping from the time we send out our products. However, we expect this will be longer during the holiday season. (We already know this to be the case for the US and Australia.)   Please take this into consideration for your gift planning or home...

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Shichi-go-san (七五三)

Have you heard of the Japanese festival, Shichi-go-san (七五三), held every year in November? If you know a little Japanese, you'll probably know that it literally means "seven five three". Now, you might be scratching your head asking yourself how three seemingly random numbers represent a festival. Well, the festival celebrates the health and longevity of girls aged three and seven, and boys aged five. The children dress in traditional Japanese clothes – for girls, a kimono and a hifu (a vest-like garment); for boys, a hakama (pant-like kimono) and a haori (a formal overcoat).     When celebrating Shichi-go-san children make their debut at a shrine decked out in these traditional Japanese clothes and participate in a Shinto purification...

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Kimono Project: Can you find the one for your country?

The Olympics are over but the Paralympic Games are underway in Japan! Although the situation isn't ideal, seeing these athletes trying their very best is exciting and inspiring, even if it is just on the TV and, sadly, not live at the venues themselves.   For the Olympics/Paralympics, a project called the “Kimono Project” has been created. This is a project started by a kimono maker with other kimono tailors/masters nationwide in Japan. The idea was to make 213 kimonos representing 213 countries.     Unfortunately, it was not officially included in the Olympic events, but it is too good not to share. Please take a look to see how amazing these kimonos are!   https://youtu.be/jjD06pnb1aE  

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