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The Yamano Beauty College Legacy

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Yamano Beauty College Founder Aiko Yamano (1909-1995) Yamano Beauty College Founder Aiko Yamano (1909-1995) Photos courtesy of Yamano Gakuen.

The Yamano Beauty College Legacy

Interview with Yamano Gakuen Chancellor & Kimono Aficionado Jane Aiko Yamano

Yamano Beauty College was founded in 1934 by Aiko Yamano (1909-1995), a pioneer in the hair and beauty industry. At 16, she opened her first salon in 1925. Her dream was to dignify the beautician profession by increasing educational standards. Yamano also introduced the permanent wave machine to Japan in the 1930s and in 1980 was awarded the “3rd Class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure” by the Emperor of Japan. Today the Yamano group of schools has 3,125 students, with four areas of study: beauty, aesthetics, medical/chiropractic and Japanese language. Yamano’s granddaughter and successor, Jane Aiko Yamano discusses the 80th anniversary of her family’s school and Aiko Yamano’s legacy.

TJ: Aiko Yamano was quite a powerful woman. Did she start the Yamano group of schools?

YAMANO: She was the technician and the star of it. My grandfather put the state boards together and made the beauty association. They put the beauty industry together. He was the brains; she was the talent. When something would come out, she would teach the technique and use the equipment, like the perm machine.

TJ: Did she have a huge influence on your life?

YAMANO: It mainly started once I graduated high school, because when I was a young girl she was just a grandmother that visited Los Angeles once a year and dressed us up. We couldn’t speak to her because we didn’t speak Japanese. I didn’t really know what our company did or who my grandmother was. As I traveled with her, and went to beauty school and college, I learned that she was very dedicated. People always loved her. People would cry and she would calm them. They considered her like a god.

TJ: What is your favorite part of the business?

YAMANO: Being with the students and sharing what we have to share about beauty and the kimono. The Olympics will be in Japan so hopefully we can help dress the presenters! tj

The complete article can be found in Issue #274 of the Tokyo Journal. Click here to order from Amazon.

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