Tokyo Weekender is the longest-running English language Magazine in Japan. It reports on lifestyle, culture, art, music, events, and fashion to its hundreds of thousands of readers each month. In March, the magazine published an in-depth interview with MUKOOMI cofounder Priyanka Yoshikawa.
In the interview, Priyanka spoke candidly about growing up mixed race in Japan, overcoming bullying, her experience with CBD, and the creation of MUKOOMI. You can now also access the entire interview online via the Tokyo Weekender website.
Hello, and a big welcome to the MUKOOMI community!
This is our first of many blog posts and a celebration of the hard work and dedication it's taken to bring this beauty and wellness line to fruition.
We're so excited to share the MUKOOMI message and products with you. We hope that especially at a time when we are facing one of the biggest health crises the global community has ever seen, we can offer a little light, some proof that life does go on, and while right now you may feel alone, please take some solace that this won't last forever.
The initial idea for MUKOOMI started to form around two years ago when I came back from a trip to the United States. There I discovered the world of CBD, a natural product that offered relief from personal and professional stresses of my daily life.
When I was modeling, I went through a lot of emotional ups and downs. It was an exciting life, but it's also a high-stress life; going to castings, being judged, getting rejected. I started to worry a lot, and I could feel the early stages of anxiety and uncertainty eating away at me.
During my travels, I discovered CBD and spoke with a lot of people about its benefits. So, I introduced CBD in my daily routine, and over time I felt the change in my body and mind. It helped with sleep, anxious thoughts, and stress-related breakouts. It was a gradual process, but an undeniably beneficial one.
After I got back to Japan, I noticed the CBD world was still in its very early stages, there wasn't much information available, and it wasn't transparent, so I decided to start my own CBD wellness line.
While the company has been two years in the making, the MUKOOMI message and passion for advocating for diversity in Japan is a campaign I’ve been working hard on since 2016, when I won Miss World Japan. I have a Japanese mother, and an Indian father, and I experienced a multi-cultural upbringing in the United States and Japan. I know what it means to feel different, but one of my biggest passions is finding common ground with those of diverse backgrounds.
The name MUKOOMI is a play on the Japanese words 'mukou' (向こう) - beyond and 'miru' (見る) - to see. For me, MUKOOMI is a call to action. It means to see beyond typical beauty expectations, see beyond divides physical or metaphorical. When we speak about 'diversity,' we're looking at all the smaller subsets of what it means to be different within that umbrella term.
In a nation as homogeneous as Japan, the word 'diversity' is often associated with the more obvious physical markers that differentiate us, like race, which is something I’m very aware of. But what makes us different and unique goes far deeper than just the color of our skin. Age, gender identity, religion, social and ethical beliefs are the markers of what makes us who we are and make us different, not just what people see when they look at us.
After I turned 25, I realized that despite common belief within the beauty industry here in Japan, I wasn't past my prime, but only just beginning. There's so much beauty in aging, experiences are what makes us beautiful. I look at the laugh lines on my Mom's face and see my own body slowly transforming, and for me, it's not scary, but exciting, it's the chance for change and renewal.
I believe experience is what makes us beautiful. Age is a number of how many years you have enjoyed your life, youth is not the definition of beauty. I hope that through MUKOOMI we can change the Asian market's negativity attitude towards aging.
MUKOOMI is a genderless, non-race specific, and ageless wellness and skincare line that focuses on offering CBD products. But beyond the products, I also want to build a MUKOOMI community consisting of open-minded individuals with a passion for living their best lives and creating a more inclusive world. We’ll have pop-ups, talks, meetups, educational experiences planned for the future. Right now the team and I are focussing on digital, but we can’t wait to one day meet you in person.
I’m aware that CBD products still maintain an air of mystery in Japan, especially given the legal ambiguity of hemp-based products. So, at MUKOOMI we pride ourselves on being a transparent, accessible, and responsive company, that doesn't only sell products we're proud of, but can also answer any of your burning questions. Check out our FAQ page for more details on our products and CBD in general. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, then get in touch directly.
Thank you for joining us on this new and exciting adventure and welcome to the MUKOOMI family!