BOSATSU BRAND is a fashion brand from Nara Prefecture, that is proving Buddhism can be fun and that there is more to it than just chants and meditation.

The startup company is run by musician Nishikeke Kanoko, who is attempting to spread positive vibes through her ‘buddha image’ fashion brand.
Nishikeke started the company back in June of 2020, and since then has sold a variety of t-shirts and sweatshirts featuring her illustrations inspired by buddha statues. The musician/fashion designer states that she has always enjoyed looking at images of buddha, and wants to introduce the idea to people that ‘buddha can be fashionable’. Through her brand, Nishikeke also aspires to support mental health awareness, explaining ‘when it is difficult, BOSATSU BRAND’s Buddhas will encompass you in a strong embrace. In a sense, Buddha imagery is like a hospital for the heart’.

From the beginning of April the store has also begun to sell these adorable ‘Buddha Image Socks’ featuring Kanoko’s illustrated motifs of Maitreya Bodhisattva, Nyorai and Kannon.

Designed by Nishikeke, the socks are then produced by Yamaya Co. Ltd., which is a sock brand from Nara prefecture.
The machinery used by Yamaya are all analog and therefore must be supervised by staff continuously. Each hour, these machines can only complete 10 pairs of socks, and the finishing process is completed manually by master socks craftspeople.

BOSATSU BRAND Buddha Image Socks

Available in 3 different designs; Maitreya Bodhisattva, Nyorai and Kannon. The socks are available at 2,200 yen per pair, and come in 2 sizes – M (for feet up to 24.5cm) and L (for feet from 24.5cm up to 27cm).

85% cotton
10% nylon
5% polyurethane

Anyone who purchases a pair of socks during April 2021, will also be given a free drawstring bag featuring a Maitreya Bodhisattva motif.

Nishikeke Kanoko and her ‘Buddha Image Socks’

By sharing the image of Buddha through fashionable items featuring unique pop art designs, and by working with local manufacturing companies, BOSATSU BRAND aims to revitalise Nara prefecture and encourage the return of tourism to the region.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.