News Letter

News Letter

Thursday, July 20, 2006

No 138

Dear Customers & Friends
Hello from Japan! This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.138.Sakura(cherry) starts flowering here in Osaka. Mugi, our younger daughterattended an entrance ceremony of her college with Yuka. I am very surprisedto hear that the college have an exhibition soccer match with a professionalteam from Osaka for celebration.
Two staff left our office, and both go to school to learn new things. Most school starts in April, and many people start new things in spring.Some people leave and some new staff are coming--April really has come!
In this letter, I would like to some short topics about our daily life and works.
*I am wearing a jeans, which is dyed with natural 'ai'(indigo). As you know, Japanese natural ai is different from chemical indigo, which is ordinarilyused to dye jeans. Natural ai dyed cotton has beautiful deep navy ai color,and when it is washed, its color become deeper and more beautiful, same as theold cotton we have at our site. Chemical indigo dyed jeans's color only becomeslight and whitish. I want to check how the natural ai color will change on jeans.Natural ai dyed jeans is expensive ( approx 300USD), but if the jeans becomebeautiful like old Japanese cotton by wearing many times, don't you think theprice is worth? I started to wear this jeans a few weeks ago, and washed once. Its navy color is deepand beautiful now. I will inform you how the color change during the long time!
*Last week I went to Tokyo, and looked accessories made of 'kumihimo'. Kumiko Muramatsumakes elegant accessories with 'kumihimo' technique. 'Kumihimo' is a technique ofweaving(brading) cords for obijime and other kimono accessories. She learned 'kumihimo'technique, and uses for making her charming accessories.We are asking her to offer her items on our site Tour J Artisan.
*Tow days ago, I talked to an fan artisan in Kyoto. He makes fabulous fans and selling alot mainly at his shop. He is a hard-core artisan, but he seemed to be interested in ourproject. We said we were looking for supreme Japanese fan for our site, with the highestquality of hand work and exotic Rimpa taste. If our customers become to want buy fans,they never want the souvenir level ones. He says there must be the market I suggested,but now he nor other Kyoto fan makers don't make such items. He is very busy to produce ordinary items now ( summer is coming!). But during that timehe said he will study about the taste we wanted, and after high product season he promisedto try to make special fans for our site. We are very happy to know he thinks our plan isvery valuable to be tried. We will send some photos and documents for the fan planning. Don't miss it!
*About two weeks ago, I met a lady whose name is Anna Nakajima. She is making Western dressusing uchikake and other kimonos. We knew some people who were makin dresses with kimonos,but she is special because she is selling mainly to European customers. I visited herworkshop, and checked her items. They have good quality and well thought designs forforeigners. She is very young ( early 20's), but she had lived in Europe for a long time.She speaks English fluently, and already has lots of customers in especially in theUnited Kingdom. From her speaking, I came to know she has very good Japanese servicemind for her customers, and also business plan.She has her website in Japanese, but now she is making English site. We are going tointroduce her to our customers, for those who are interested in making a custom made dressusing kimonos. We will let you know when her new site is open. If you are interested,please check the site below ( Japanese site).
*We are trying to make large size men's kimono. We are often asked about large size men'skimono, but Japanese men's average height is approx 170cm, which is about 10cm less thanWesterners. In addition, people in olden times were shorter approx 10cm compared to now.So always we were frustratedt that we could not offer matching size used kimono for tallermen. Todays men's average height become higher, but making large size kimono cost veryexpensive. We are trying to make men's formal black kimono and haori set for tall men ( it will fit up to 195cm- 76.8in height) at very moderate price. We found polyester black fabrics,and found sewing company in China. We must study and arrange for consignment manufacturingtrade, but in future we will sell them at our store.Recently we found men's hakama for tall men ( approx 185cm-73in height).
*Yesterday my mother called me, when I was attended a kimono auction. She said my fatherhad a car accident yesterday. He run his car toward the opposite lane ( he seemed to lethis mind drift). Fortunately, no one have been harmed, but he gave scratches to two cars.Police men came, and my father apologized the drivers. He arranged the fix of the cars.Everything seemed to be settled, but next day a driver called my father and made an appointment to meet my father.My mother said, 'I am worrying whether your father can manage. He is very unreliable.Can you go with him?' I couldn't go, but I gave some advice - Apologize sincerely.But never promise anything, for examples giving money or something. All monetarynegotiations must be done by the insurance company. After the auction I called my father and got angry to hear that he promised to pay about1000 USD to him. Now he is 76 years old, and turned to be like a little boy! ImmediatelyI called the man's cell-phone,and I declared that I will never let my father pay anythingto him. Immediately he said he understood, but would go to police again, and say he wasinjured by the accident. I said OK! No problem! You can go to police and assurancecompany to deceive if you can! I felt interesting he seemed to be slightly scared,because of my strong wording and the word of 'I am the son of him, and dealing kottou(Japanese antiques)'. I couldn't imagine my father and mother became to need my such kind of helps, whenI was young. Yuka feelingly said that ageing is such kind of thing. Yuka also is feelingthat her parents are sometimes like kids recently.
Thank you very much for reading to the end. Today we will list moderate price uchikake, haori,antique items and bolt. We wish you could find your favorite ones amongthem.
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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