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Mayor of Kyoto Asks Kim Kardashian to 'Reconsider' Her Bid to Trademark Kimono

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By Daniel Goldblatt

Kim Kardashian's decision to name her new shapewear line Kimono drew a slew of backlash and now the mayor of the Japanese city of Kyoto is asking her to change her mind.

In a letter posted to the city's website, Daisaku Kadokawa writes, "Dear Ms. Kim Kardashian West, I am writing this letter to convey our thoughts on Kimono and ask you to re-consider [sic] your decision of using the name Kimono in your trademark."

He continues, "Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history with our predecessors’ tireless endeavours and studies, and it is a culture that has been cherished and passed down with care in our living. Also, it is a fruit of craftsmanship and truly symbolizes sense of beauty, spirits and values of Japanese."

Kadokawa goes on to say, "We are currently undertaking initiatives nationally to make 'Kimono Culture,' symbol of our culture and spirits, registered to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. We think that the names for 'Kimono' are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture therefore they should not be monopolized."

He concludes his letter by extending Kardashian an invitation, saying, "I would like you to visit Kyoto, where many Japanese cultures including Kimono have been cherished, to experience the essence of Kimono Culture and understand our thoughts and our strong wish."

Kardashian took a lot of heat when she announced the name last week but in a statement to the New York Times, she said she had no "to design or release any garments that would in any way resemble or dishonor the traditional garment."

She also said that she understands and has "deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture" but has no plans to change the name.

Kardashian added, "I made the decision to name my company Kimono, not to disassociate the word from its Japanese roots but as a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment. Filing a trademark is a source identifier that will allow me to use the word for my shapewear and intimates line but does not preclude or restrict anyone, in this instance, from making kimonos or using the word kimono in reference to the traditional garment. My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I’m incredibly proud of what’s to come."

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