News Letter

News Letter

Thursday, July 20, 2006

No 125

Dear Customers & Friends
Hello from Japan! This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.125.Here in Japan it is getting colder and colder these days, and I noticed only two weeks are left before New Year's Day. Almost in all over the world, it must be the peak of Christmas shopping season now. Also at our site, to send our items before Christmas, the time limit almost passed. If we send our items by Express now, it may reach you by Christmas Eve. But the package may stop at the custom, and we canno't assure it will reach before Christmas. And if you need items within this year, please let us know. Our store will be closed for winter holiday from Japan Time : 27th December to 2nd January ( 26th December to 1st January USA Time). We are very sorry for inconvenience during the holidays.As we wrote in previous News Letters, we are making new sites - 'ICHIROYA Antique' and 'Tour J Artisan'. We would like to sell Japanese handicraft besides antique items, and if we can do, we hope we can find new customers from over the world to artisans. Site designs are nearly completed, and we visited two artisans.We thought we could easily find artisans, who want to sell their items on the internet to all over the world. But such idea seems not to be good for many artisans. We sent more than 10 emails to introduce ourselves and asked them to sell their items. I was a manager of sales promotion division of department store, and from my experience I expected responses from most of them even if they may not agree to our ideas. But except Kiyohara Weaving Company, they all ignored us. At last we realized that we were only a stranger and they thought they could not expect anything by replying us. I do not belong to a famous department store, and we didn't have actual performance to sell handicraft items. Even though we are well known in the antique kimono market, our email must be just same as junk mails for them. But we have confidence that there are a quite many customers all over the world who want to buy high-end Japanese handicraft, and selling on the internet is the most efficient way to reach them. We will be taking more time than we expected.We must let artisans know our policy and our business ways, with showing the best practices. And we must ask them to make different design or items compared to their ordinary ones, because the life style and tastes are different between Japan and foreign countries. For example, we suggest to make gorgeous formal bag for tsuzure-ori weavers, who always weave obi, fukusa and wallet. Visiting artisans, studying how they make and discussing about new items or design will take long time, but without these processes we think selling to foreign countries must be very difficult.We will start our site in the end of the December or January. We will visit artisans one by one, and would like to introduce them with more detailed information including their personalities.
By the way we would like to introduce about bamboo artisan Takae san a little more. Now he must have returned from Honolulu ( I checked the Honolulu marathon page, and found his record - 7 hour, 26 minutes. Great! He run out!) , and is making bamboo bags as usual.Now his bamboo bags are deemed to be one of the best in Japan ( we think his is best of best), but he didn't plan to become an artisan when he was young. After graduation he got a job with a chain restaurant company, and worked for them about 10 years. But he quit his job to start living in the country, just same as I quit my job. He emigrated to Ajimu village in Oita prefecture, and started agriculture. His senior advised him that he had better to get a skill to earn cash too. Oita prefecture is famous product center of high quality bamboo, and he started to make bamboo crafts besides farming. He says he found that making bamboo basket was very interesting, and later bamboo craft became his avocation. He is very cheerful person and a great innovator. Besides making bamboo he also made his log house by himself! ( We will show you the photos of his log house in our new site.)His bag is made of exceptionally thin bamboo plates, and he made many distinctive inventions on it. His got some major prizes for artisan, and his bags are highly-regarded as very modern and stylish bags made with very traditional technique. He has warm and flexible mind, and he offers 5-Years-Free-Repair-Service on every his bags. He laughed that a squashed bag came home, which had to be sit on by someone. But he said he repaired it with no charge, and sent it back to the owner. His bags already came to our office, and all staff admire its elaborate work and beauty. We asked to sell his best ones, even though the prices are not cheap. We think his bamboo bag is the very best in the world we can order now. And all process takes more than a month, so we don't think the price ( approx 2000 USD - 600 USD) is too expensive. I'm looking forward to offering his bags on our site.
Today, Yuka and I went to one of the auction held in Kyoto- it was snowing in Kyoto, even thought we had no snow in Osaka.The place where the auction was held was at a house on the slope and the road was so slippery--neighbors were trying to melt the snow for the tourists. We worried whether we could come back by car but there was a nice sunshine in the afternoon, so we could drive home safely.The snowcapped Kiyomizu dera temple was pretty. There are not so manytourists to Kyoto in winter time but the temples were charming.Thank you very much for reading our newsletter.
We will be adding our new arrivals in about 6 hours from now.We are adding Maru obi, Antique items, Katazome fabrics, shibori kimonoand bolts.
We wish you a pleasant weekend, dozo yoi syumatuo!

Ichiro & Yuka WadaKimono Flea Market "ICHIROYA"
e-mail: info@ichiroya.comaddress: Asia-shoji Bldg.301 1841-1 Nishi 1 chome Wakamatsu cho Tondabayashi city Osaka 584-0025 JAPANTEL&FAX ****( international number ) - 81-721-23-5446


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