Discover Kyoto Beauty Secrets with Junko Sophie Kakizaki

Tell us about yourself

I am a master of Ikebana, Japanese flower arranging and tea ceremony. I am also an expert on Kimono culture. My family history dates back to Heian period Kyoto in the 9th century. Due to the constraints of my strict traditional upbringing, I dreamed of travelling to foreign countries since my childhood. After graduation from college, I studied French flower arranging in Paris. This was the start of my passion for travel that took me to over 55 countries to explore the many facets of beauty in various cultures. These experiences have inspired me to return to Japan and focus my attention on the heritage of beauty in Japan, especially ancient beauty secrets and wisdom.

I now live in Kyoto where I dedicate my time to promoting and reinterpreting traditional Japanese culture, both in Japan and internationally through writing, photography and cultural exchange projects.


Tell us about your initiation into beauty

Coming from a family of art lovers, I grew up surrounded by various art masterpieces, such as paintings by Bernard Buffet and ceramics by Rosanjin. My grandmother's aesthetic sensibility was especially refined. She introduced me to so many of the beautiful things I was craving. I remember her doing haute-couture embroidery while listening to opera. She decorated napkins and pillowcases for me with designs that I loved. The little box containing for her embroidery set was something she deeply cherished. I used to secretly open it, enchanted by the beautiful little skeins of French embroidery thread and the Czech glass beads she collected. I believe this is where my strong attraction for beautiful things began.

Tell us about your inspirations & motivations for the range - Kyoto Beauty Secrets 

I am researching the wisdom of Ishinhō, which is the oldest surviving Japanese medical and beauty text. It was completed during the Heian period(794-1185) and is 30 volumes in length. Ishinhō was presented to the Imperial court in the year 984 and is now registered as a national treasure. Until the text was translated into modern Japanese in the 1980s, few people knew the existence of this ancient knowledge. Of the 30 volumes in total, one of the editions is devoted to Heian period beauty secrets. The text reveals many amazing beauty methods and the wisdom used by Japanese women since the ancient past. Many of the Japanese cosmetological ingredients and techniques that are described in Inshinhō are used in our product range. This is our way of reviving the authentic lost traditions and beauty rituals of Japan, and make them available to our customers in the modern age.


Please give a small brief on insights into your culture & history

Let me explain the culture and history of Kyoto with my own interpretation. In Japan, there are four seasons, these seasons are further divided into 72 micro seasons that express the subtle movements of weather and changes in nature among plants and wildlife. These changes can be felt every five days, we call them the Shichijunikou. By becoming aware of and appreciating these delicate changes of the seasons, our daily life becomes more refined and enjoyable.

"Wabi-Sabi / Miyabi" is the core concept of Kyoto Beauty Secrets. Wabi-Sabi is one of the major aesthetic ideas of Japan. It refers to feeling acceptance of the beauty we have in our lives. Even as we age we come to discover new realms of beauty within ourselves. (In this sense we promote "with-aging" rather than "anti-aging)

This Wabi-Sabi sensibility allows us to naturally discover and feel the deep and rich beauty in our own lives. Wabi-Sabi is also a central idea of ​​Japanese culture, which is believed to be close to the experience of enlightenment. If we can open our senses and allow ourselves to experience more the beauty of life, this beauty will then radiate from us.

 

Miyabi, with Wabi-Sabi is central to Japanese experience of beauty.

The origin of Ikebana came from China, as well as the Kimono. Although the Kimono is not worn anymore in China, it remains as a high fashion and art in Japan. Tea came from China, but after it was introduced to Japan, it was integrated with other cultural elements from around the world to become more sophisticated. Burning the incense is also a custom that came from India and China, but expanded as a culture of incense ceremony in Japan due to many cultural influences.


In this way, various cultures arrived in Kyoto along the Silk Road, and Japan, being an island country, these cultural influences were absorbed and mixed with other cultural influences to become distinctly new forms of culture. So many things accumulate here in Kyoto, and over time a new culture is created that becomes a tradition. I think Kyoto is the final destination of culture from all over the world and the place where these cultures incubated and matured.



Tell us about the cultural skills you are equipped with. ( mastery, artforms, craft, etc)

I am a certified teacher of Ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement and French flower arrangement. I am also a master of tea ceremony and an expert on Kimono culture. As a jewelry designer, I like to work with traditional Japanese craft materials and techniques to make them more visible on the global level. I was also the youngest recipient of the Kateigaho (one of the highest quality magazines for insight into Japanese art and culture) award for table set design and cuisine.

A woman finds happiness when she feels good about her body. This is where the secret of beauty is found. It is a gift that all women have inside themselves.

Which is why we encourage the experience of Tashinami. You can discover this wonderful body of literature by clicking on the image below.


Any special message for our readers and community 

If more women can feel this inner beauty and happiness, we can make the world a better place. This is our role as women to share and realize, I believe.

I hope that we can collaborate to achieve this: to create beauty products that go beyond skin care; to share the secret of beauty with women around the world.

Through this collaboration we can bring these rivers of wisdom and secrets of beauty from ancient Japan back to their source.

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