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'Please don't steal our culture': Kim Kardashian West trademarks 'kimono' for new underwear line

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The television personality revealed her new shapewear line "Kimono", in what she presumedly thought was a clever play on words.

Kim Kardashian West has angered people in Japan and around the world with her latest endeavor - a shapewear line called "Kimino". 

“Finally I can share with you guys this project that I have been developing for the last year. I’ve been passionate about this for 15 years,” she wrote Tuesday on Instagram.

"Kimono is my take on shapewear and solutions for women that actually work".

The line's name is obviously a play on the star's name, but the internet was less than impressed with many saying it was insensitive. 

Women wearing kimono walk in Kyoto on May 26, 2019, as a heat wave grips Japan with temperatures exceeding 30 C in many parts of country. (Kyodo via AP Images) ==Kyodo
Women in kimonos walk in Kyoto as a heat wave grips Japan in May, 2019.
KYDPL KYODO

The kimono dates back to 15th-century Japan and is a long, loose traditional robe with wide sleeves, tied with a sash.

In addition to their unique aesthetic, kimonos are valued for their symbolism. 

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What's the big deal about cultural appropriation?: The Feed
What's the big deal about cultural appropriation?: The Feed

Kim Kardashian West has applied to trademark “Kimono” as a stylised wordmark, along with the terms “Kimono Body” and “Kimono World”, according to media in the United States

The internet has exploded into a rage, with people in Japan and around the world calling the trademarking blatant culture appropriation.

Social media users fear if the trademark is approved, Japanese companies would be unable to sell kimonos in the US under the name or terms. 

BBC News Japanese editor Yuko Kato tweeted Ms Kardashian West to "please reconsider". 

"I find the naming of your products baffling since it has no resemblance to kimono, if not outright culturally offensive, especially if it’s merely a word play on your name," she said. 

The debacle has sparked the hashtag #kimonoisnotunderwear.

The reality-TV star often flaunts headline-grabbing outfit choices and has been accused of cultural appropriation several times in the past. 

In April, she wore an Indian headband to her husband Kanye West's Sunday Service. 

Ms Kardashian West wore cornrow braids last year at the MTV Movie and TV Awards, which she said she did out of a “real place of love and appreciation”.

She has even been accused of looking like she was in blackface.  

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