"Craftsmanship of Calen Blosso"

Rooted in the culture of Kimono, we create Western-style Japanese garments and promote the idea of "Fun in Kimonos"

Since the Meiji Restoration, the kimono lifestyle has diminished due to the influence of Western culture. While we don't aim to restore its past prominence, there's a comforting feeling when wearing a yukata (casual summer kimono) to a summer festival, or a straightening of the spine when donning a kimono for a celebratory occasion. We believe these sensations might be rooted in the Japanese landscape, or perhaps even in the DNA of the Japanese people, evoking such emotions. It touches the soul of the Japanese. We want to craft items that connect with these emotions and experiences. We aim to capture moments that make one think, "Kimonos are lovely; they are so fun," and, "This is distinctly Japanese."

Calen Blosso is a private brand of Hishiya Corporation. Since its establishment in Taisho Year 15 (1926), we have been making Western-style Japanese products by blending the Japanese sensibility and techniques we've cultivated over the years with Western fashion and functionality.

Calen Blosso's Items


Calen Blosso's zōri made their debut at the International Fashion Fair Tokyo in 2001. At that time, they were named "hanao sandals."
The materials for the zōri bases back then were mainly cork, but there were also ones made from urethane soles, sponge, and wood. Replacing the core material of these zōri with EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Copolymer), which is used in sneakers, led to the birth of hanao sandals, now known as café zōri.
The resilience of this material, as well as the design where the height of the toes proportionally matched the heel's height, received praise from the start. Customers commented, "When worn, they make one appear taller and more stylish. Above all, they are comfortable. Even after wearing them all day, my feet didn't get tired."
On the other hand, due to the innovative design that cut the heel diagonally to prevent water from splashing and wetting the hem of the kimono, and because the thong (hanao) couldn't be replaced, these new zōri had their advantages, such as preventing rainwater from soaking through the base. However, they also faced criticism, especially from established kimono shops, with some saying, "If you can't adjust the thong, it's not a zōri."
Over time, due to their comfort and reduced fatigue when walking, word of mouth from users increased. Sales at the direct sales stores rose, and the café zōri started gaining recognition in the kimono industry.


Prior to starting Calen Blosso, we were involved in the making of Western-style bags using the Japanese-patterned leather from Hishiya. These bags were targeted for kimono users and were described as "Japanese-style bags that also go with Western clothes." Surprisingly, they sold quite well. We also made bags using obi (kimono belts) fabric. We received feedback from customers saying, "I wear kimonos, but usually I'm in Western clothes. Therefore, a bag that matches both kimonos and Western clothes is very handy."
With that in mind, we slightly adjusted the concept. Instead of "Western clothes-compatible Japanese-style" bags, we planned for "Japanese-style compatible Western" bags. The bag designs were trendy, akin to what you would see in a department store bag section. Of course, we also referred to designs of brand-name bags when we took on the challenge of creating these Western-style bags.
These bags received high praise from Hishiya's traditional clientele. However, we encountered a distribution pitfall unique to the kimono industry. We realized that by the time our bags reached the customer, their selling price was marked up more than five times our original price. Intuitively, I felt that this wouldn't be sustainable.
Therefore, we decided to launch a private brand where the manufacturer determines the product's price. Bags made of original materials, with original designs. The private brand name was “Calen Blosso." This was in 1998.

The material of Calen Blosso

Rinpa Silver

The Rinpa school began in Kyoto during the Edo period and has been inherited by notable Japanese artists; the likes of Kōetsu, Sōtatsu, Kōrin, and Hōitsu. It is characterized by its bold and luxurious aesthetic, evident in artworks like the Wind and Thunder Gods folding screens, the Red and White Plum Blossom folding screens, and the Summer and Autumn Grasses folding screens. The gold and silver backgrounds of these pieces originally used genuine gold and silver foils, known for the unique grain pattern called "foil legs" that speaks to their elegance. This foil, said to be as thin as 0.0001mm, is susceptible to humidity and variations in thickness, leading to unavoidable damages like tearing or scraping. From the perspective of art preservation, authorized reproductions are created. To reproduce the appearance of gold and silver foils that have aged for hundreds of years, one needs not only foil craftsmanship but also an artistic perspective. Foil artist, Yuuto Rekisho, successfully replicated the aged "foil leg" pattern after studying the process of producing a high-fidelity reproduction of the national treasure, the Wind and Thunder Gods folding screen. This led to the original design known as the "foil surface pattern." At Calen Blosso, we created an original "Rinpa Silver Leather" by using gravure roll printing on genuine leather with this foil surface pattern. The result is a material that feels uniquely Japanese, yet exudes a vintage-modern vibe.

Lacquered Zebra

The reencounter with the zebra pattern happened when we decided to create a bag from an original material and headed to the company's stockroom. In a corner of the warehouse stocked with over a hundred traditional Japanese patterns, printed on leather for sandal straps – including Edo sarasa, Edo komon, bingata style, stripe patterns, and lattice patterns – we found a familiar zebra pattern. This was something our predecessor had produced, inspired by a swatch book of an Italian designer during a trip to Italy. He had commissioned a Yuzen artist to create it as a Japanese-style pattern for sandal straps. I remember having a cushion made from this zebra-patterned leather at home when I was young. When I asked the previous president about it, he told me it was never commercialized as sandals due to its large pattern that didn't reproduce well. With a deep affection for this pattern, the journey to make a Calen Blosso bag with the zebra design began. From the start of our Western-style bags in 1998, by 2001, we had created a bag combining canvas material and the zebra-patterned leather, which became a hit at exhibitions. It was subsequently adopted by national-level select shops and featured in magazines. The zebra pattern had a unique feature. It wasn't just a hand-dyed process. When heat was applied after hand-dying, the zebra parts would puff up. It was referred to as the "puffing process," and this raised texture was its most distinctive trait. While we continued to develop other materials, like cotton with a breeze weave, nylon jacquard, and embossed leather with the zebra pattern, nothing quite matched the feel of the original puffed texture. The Kyoto dyeing factory responsible for the puffing process closed down in 2015, marking the end of our original "Little Horse Colorful" pattern. Despite our search for a similar raised texture, even though our prototypes using flock printing were successful, they couldn't match the quality of the original puffed texture, and the endeavor didn't continue. As years passed, we kept hearing requests asking if the zebra pattern would ever be restocked. Then, in the spring of 2023, a miraculous encounter occurred. We discovered a technique using lacquer to recreate the original puffed "Little Horse Colorful" pattern. We met a technology that allowed us to apply the zebra pattern with lacquer onto various materials, including leather. After numerous prototypes, adjusting the material and size of the zebra pattern, the long-awaited second generation of the "Little Horse Colorful" series with the raised texture, the "Lacquered Zebra," was born.







Yafuso Bingata Workshop



Grand Seiko



Hatune Workshop



Shochiku Official Kabuki Design Series



Hishiya Calen Brosso
Tanimachi Honten

6-18-5 Tanimachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Business hours: 11:00-19:30 (irregular holidays)

Hishiya Calen Brosso
Tokyo Midtown Store

9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo D0314
Tokyo Midtown 3F
Business hours: 11:00-21:00 (irregular holidays)
About business hours
For the time being, the store will be open from 11:00 to 20:00 and closed at 20:00.

Hishiya Calen Brosso
Nihonbashi Store

3-2-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
COREDO Muromachi Terrace 1F
Business hours: 10:00-21:00 (irregular holidays)
About business hours
For the time being, the store will be open from 11:00 to 20:00 and close at 20:00.


For inquiries about collaborations, interviews, and lending products for TV/CMs, etc., please contact us here.