#InsiderSeries: Let’s Take a Peek Into The Immersive World of J-Beauty

India and Japan have a long history—be it the beauty rituals or the ancient wisdom, there has always been a sense of belonging with both cultures. But who better than a Japanese expert who comes from the world of matcha and mangas to tell you more about the rooted Japanese beauty culture. Here, meet Junko Sophie Kakizaki, CEO/Creative Director​ of Maison de Kakizaki LLC. She has always had a deep cultural affinity with India—whether it is her role as the ambassador of Kyoto Yuzen sarees (Indian sarees made by Kimono artisans Kyoto Yuzen Sarees Instagram Link) or her association with Indian, homegrown label Global Beauty Secrets to revive an ancient Japanese beauty regime called ‘Kyoto Beauty Secrets’—her expertise as a Kyoto-based Japanese culture provides invaluable insight into the values of Japanese beauty and the world of J-beauty brands. Let’s hear more about it from her: 

(The below story has been written exclusively for Lavenderoom by Junko Sophie Kakizaki)

{Junko Sophie Kakizaki’s association with Global Beauty Secrets}

INTRODUCTION TO J-BEAUTY 

At the heart of Japanese beauty is a set of core principles and philosophies that shape the unique beauty rituals and practices that the Japanese people have cherished for centuries. It encompasses a depth that is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and tradition. Japanese beauty is an exquisite fusion of aesthetics, simplicity and reverence for nature. 

In the Land of the Rising Sun, beauty is more than skin deep; it is a reflection of the inner state of mind and spirit.  The concept of “Wabi-Sabi” epitomises this approach, emphasising the beauty to be found in imperfection, transience and the natural world. Appreciating these imperfections is seen as an acceptance of the transient nature of life and an acknowledgement of the beauty that lies in things as they are. 


{Zen garden symbolising Wabi-Sabi}

This means that J-Beauty celebrates individuality and seeks to enhance, rather than mask, one’s innate beauty. A “less is more” philosophy prevails as Japanese women prefer gentle and minimalist routines to achieve radiant and youthful skin.

THE INFLUENCE OF CULTURAL HERITAGE 

Japanese beauty rituals are inspired by the country’s rich cultural heritage. The tea ceremony, known as “The Way of Tea”, goes beyond the simple act of preparing and drinking tea; it is a ritual art form that emphasises mindfulness, grace and appreciation of nature. It embodies the concept of mindfulness and tranquillity, which translates into beauty practices that emphasise relaxation and self-care. 

Ikebana, the art of flower arranging, embodies the essence of Japanese aesthetics, emphasising asymmetry, minimalism and the celebration of seasonal blossoms.

Incense ceremony, or Kōdō, which means “Way of Incense,” is a ritualised Japanese incense ceremony that deepens spiritual and sensory awareness. The secret of Kōdō lies in “listening”: Kōdō enriches Japanese beauty with sensory awareness, mindfulness. The secret of creating beauty is to awaken all the senses of the body.

Geisha culture, for example, emphasises the importance of flawless skin, leading to the creation of traditional beauty remedies and practices. The silk puff that Global Beauty Secrets and I created was inspired by traditional Geisha beauty, a puff that is both sustainable and can make your skin feel like silk. The Japanese reverence for nature also inspires the use of natural ingredients such as rice bran, green tea and camellia oil in skincare products.

Japanese beauty is also influenced by Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto, a folk belief in Japan, emphasises the sanctity of purity, while Buddhism promotes inner peace and balance. 

I live in Kyoto, the centre of Japanese culture for 1,200 years, and practice the tea and incense ceremonies almost every day. When I am tired, I feel better by facing myself and practising, even if it is only for 30 minutes. It is a miracle that when the mind is in order and free from stress, it is also connected to the skin.

THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION 

J-Beauty is not just about physical appearance. The rituals are deeply intertwined with well-being, emphasising the importance of nurturing the mind, body and spirit. 

The Japanese diet, renowned for its health benefits, plays a key role in promoting beauty and well-being. Traditional Japanese cuisine emphasises fresh, seasonal ingredients, balanced flavours and mindful eating. With an abundance of nutrient-rich vegetables, fish and fermented foods such as Miso, Japanese cuisine supports healthy skin, hair and overall vitality. There is a Japanese saying, “Medicine and food come from the same source,” which I take to mean, “Beauty and food come from the same source.”

Cleansing rituals, such as the double cleansing method, not only remove impurities from the skin and hair, but also symbolise the cleansing of the mind and soul from negativity. In my opinion, this is derived from Misogi, an ancient Japanese spiritual culture in which people bathe in water to wash and purify their bodies to remove dirt and impurities. In this sense, Japanese beauty rituals are also meditative practices. 

In summary, I believe that Japanese beauty is more than a physical ideal; it is a philosophy that embraces simplicity, purity and harmony. Rooted in cultural influences and traditions, J-Beauty embraces imperfection, values individuality and seeks to enhance the natural beauty of each person. By fostering the connection between beauty and overall well-being, Japanese beauty rituals offer a path to inner peace, mindfulness and lasting radiance.

J-BEAUTY BRANDS THAT DESERVE ALL YOUR ATTENTION 

Shiseido: At the forefront of Japanese beauty, their skincare products are inspired by traditional ingredients and rituals, harmoniously blending modern innovation with cultural heritage. Their emphasis on timeless elegance resonates with the aesthetic sensibilities of Japanese women, offering sophisticated, simple and refined beauty for an understated yet impactful look. I support Shiseido not only for its high-quality products, but also for its deep-rooted connection to Japan’s beauty heritage, its global influence and its commitment to empowering individuals to embrace their unique beauty.

.

SK-II: A transformative skincare brand that harnesses the power of “Pitera,” derived from sake fermentation. Its commitment to radiant and youthful skin is in line with the Japanese concept of graceful aging. I support this brand because it empowers women through campaigns that promote self-confidence, which resonates with Japanese values of embracing unique beauty. 

SHIRO: A niche skincare brand made from traditional Japanese foods and plants such as fermented Sake-less, rice bran, mugwort, kelp and Yuzu citron. Their commitment to “Medicine and food come from the same source” is reflected in their Tokyo restaurants and cafes, which use beneficial ingredients. Embracing the “less is more” philosophy of Japanese beauty, SHIRO‘s gentle and straightforward formulations are perfectly aligned with Japanese beauty values.

About Junko Sophie Kakizaki 

CEO / Creative Director​ of Maison de Kakizaki LLC 

Website: www.maisonkakizaki.com/en

Author

  • Junko Sophie Kakizaki

    Based in Kyoto, Junko Sophie Kakizaki is a versatile cultural enthusiast. A master of Ikebana and French flower arranging, she's also an expert in the traditional tea ceremony and a dedicated advocate for kimono culture. She studied French flower arranging in Paris and now combines Ikebana and French floral art in her teachings. Junko founded MAISON DE KAKIZAKI LLC to promote Japanese culture, beauty, crafts, and art worldwide, hosting the 'KYOTO LUXURY EXPERIENCE' for inbound guests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *