The Bigan-Jutsu Massage - Presentation and Meeting with Japanese Facialist Fumie Kawabe by Keiko Suyama
In this article, Keiko Suyama interviews Fumie Kawabe about the "Bijo; Signature" treatment, a Japanese facial therapy that emphasizes facial harmony, taking into account the unique characteristics of each face, pressure points, and lymphatic circulation, with the aim of improving mental and physical health while enhancing beauty.
The Bijo; Beauty Studio was born from my encounter with facialist Fumie Kawabe. Throughout my career as a beauty journalist, I have tried many massages and treatments that are considered "top-class," but I have never been as amazed as I was by Mrs. Kawabe's treatment. It was simply incredible!
I was astonished by her remarkable technique and her ability to read what lay deep within my face to offer me solutions. What I felt during this treatment went beyond the realm of beauty. That's why I wanted her to take care of me regularly.
Together, we created our very first treatment: the Bijo; Signature by Mrs. Kawabe. The concept is to experience the world of customized beauty and Japanese healing, where each technique and product are tailored to our skin and the desired effect!
In this interview, I invite you to meet Madame Kawabe and understand her unique and spiritual approach to beauty.
Q: Tell us about your career and the Kawabe family.
A: I come from Fukuoka Prefecture, and my family has run a beauty salon since my great-grandmother's time in the late 19th century. My family has been specializing in facial care for four generations: my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my aunt.
When I arrived in Tokyo, I worked as a makeup artist and hairstylist for fashion shows, photo shoots, and films. Even at that time, I always started my work with facial care. Gradually, this method gained recognition, and a major Japanese hotel entrusted me with the direction of facial care and makeup at their beauty salon. I trained hundreds of people there.
When I moved to Paris in 2007, I continued to work as a makeup artist, but I wanted to devote myself more to facial care, a beauty practice focused on the individual.
Q: Your Bigan-Jutsu technique translates to "beauty of the face." Can you tell us more about this technique?
A: In my grandmother's beauty salon, the place where she performed facial treatments was named the "Bigan-Jutsu room," which translates to "the beauty of the face room." That's why I thought it could be the origin of Japanese aesthetic treatments. The beauty of the face in Japan is based on the concept of Yin and Yang, as well as morphology, with specifically Japanese elements such as personality, constitution, features, and spirituality. I consider touching people's faces as something sacred. When I start a facial treatment, I first ask for the person's permission to touch their face, and then I begin with respect.
"I consider touching people's faces as something sacred.."
Q: The "Bijo; Signature" for which you are responsible is a fully customized menu based on clients. Can you briefly explain the process of the treatment?
A: Before starting, I select the products by observing the person's face and expression. Then, I warm up the abdomen and hands. The abdomen contains many pressure points, and by warming it up, we calm both the mind and body and restore balance. The hands are very sensitive, so I warm them up to improve blood circulation and provide a comforting sensation. Since I deal with people facing a lot of stress, I ask them to relax, let go, and focus on themselves.
Next, I massage the scalp with the KENZAN scalp brush, followed by cleansing the face and décolleté with a cleanser suitable for each person (oil, milk, gel, etc.), followed by a foam cleansing that envelops the entire face. Afterward, we enter the actual facial treatment. From there, everything is customized based on the individual, using serums, oils, facial massage techniques, eye patches, and masks.
For the 105-minute formula, I use two masks and add the YA-MAN radiofrequency treatment according to each person.
The rest, it's a secret!
custom selection before the treatment
Q: What effects can be expected from the Bijo; Signature? And how often is it recommended to receive this treatment?
A: The goal is to bring people back to their natural beauty. When I touch someone's face, I can understand it. Many people exert excessive efforts in their lives; they are breathless, exhausted, and their faces are often so tense that my fingers can't penetrate deeply. I advise these individuals to take care of themselves and relax. The face is the mirror of a person's soul. It reflects their lifestyle and way of living. Harmful behaviors, diet, and habits can be visible on the face; if a person has a negative mindset, the corners of their mouth may also droop. During treatments, I notice that some people clench their jaws or grind their teeth under stress. With the Bijo; Signature, I start by helping people know themselves, then guide them towards their best aspect.
The frequency depends on each person's physical and mental health. For those who are in good health and regularly visit a salon, a visit every three weeks is sufficient. For those who are very tired and in need of proper care, a weekly visit can be beneficial to start.
"When I touch someone's face, I can understand it."
Q: As a professional in facial care, do you feel any differences between the skin of European people and Japanese people?
A: I believe there is a significant difference. Young Europeans (from 20 to 30 years old) often have firm and beautiful skin, but from the age of 40, their skin starts to age rapidly and shows pronounced sagging. On the other hand, Asians tend to have skin that is less prone to sagging, it is firm, and it is less susceptible to dryness, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles. I think this is also related to diet and genetics. The Europeans may have resilient skin, but it loses its elasticity, moisture content, and becomes flaccid. It's possible that the structure of collagen and elastin is slightly different. If you leave fruits on a table for a long period, they wither, but the withering speed is faster for the Europeans and slower for Asians, that's my impression.
discovery of the face during the treatment
Q: As a professional in facial care, do you have any advice for French clients?
A: Beyond external skincare, it is important to pay attention to the daily diet and not beware of sun exposure. It is also important to correct facial expressions and daily habits. For example, think about doing facial gymnastics such as lifting the corners of the mouth every day, but also receive regular professional care. By adopting a positive attitude and regularly reducing stress, one can maintain a good state of mind and preserve a beautiful face. Many people use good products but do not achieve the desired results because it depends on how they live in harmony with themselves. Those who live without forcing themselves, being themselves, often have a more beautiful face. Through the Bijo; Signature, I aim to guide people towards deeper aspects that they need.
If you would like to experience Madame Kawabe's "Bijo; Signature" treatment during the month of July, we invite you to book your treatment during the residency of Bijo; Beauty Studio at the Bon Marché Rive Gauche institute.