Neo Kimono Styling and the Ikigai in Evolving Cultural Traditions with Yui Maejima

Ikigai with Jennifer Shinkai

18-04-2023 • 55分

On the latest episode of Ikigai with Jennifer Shinkai we are joined by Yui Maejima. Yui is a Neo Kimono Stylist supporting her clients to find themselves through a new perspective in their kimono. Yui’s first experience with kimono as a child made her never want to wear them again, but then as a young adult she went to the US and through being in another culture began to appreciate being Japanese more. She decided to immerse herself in something uniquely Japanese as a way to explore her cultural identity and express herself, and settled on modern kimono fashion. Through her love of fashion and of being Japanese, Yui found her ikigai in Neo Kimono style and now helps others see themselves in a new light with her styling.

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Yui’s first experience with kimono made her not want to ever wear kimono again at 10 years old
  • How being in the USA made her appreciate her Japanese culture and embrace kimono as a way to express a part of her identity as well as her love of fashion
  • About how kimono used to be contemporary daily wear in the past and how that freed Yui up to evolve and modernise kimono in her styling
  • About Yui’s styling business and how it connects to her Ikigai

About  Yui:

Yui Maejima was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan. As a college student she studied information systems in the US for two and half years before returning to Japan and working as a systems engineer. Her experience in the US gave her a new appreciation for Japanese culture and she studied the art of wearing kimono.

After 7 years as a systems engineer. she pivoted her career into the kimono industry working first in a kimono rental company and then as a freelance kitsukeishi  着付師 (Kimono dresser). Now Yui refers to herself as a Neo Kimono Stylist supporting her clients to find themselves through a new perspective in their kimono.

Things Mentioned in the Episode:

Yui’s client with braided hair:

Connect with Yui:




Airbnb experience:

Connect with Jennifer

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