News Letter

News Letter

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Dear Customers & Friends
Hello from Japan! This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.101.I cannot believe it was already seven days ago, when we felt happy to write newsletter No.100. This week I(Ichiro) attended three auctions ( Kyoto, Osaka and Marugame-Shikoku), and went to a bridal costume company to buy uchikake and other formal kimono. This week was comparatively fruitful, and we are satisfiedwith some rare items.
One of very our favorite items is this piece. samurai is vividly dyed, and cherry blossom in the upper part makes this piecevery unique. In Japan cherry blossom('sakura') is the symbolic representation of an aesthetic feeling. Cherry blossom burst to bloom, and fall suddenly. It was the image of appropriate Samurai's way of living. Samurai had not to hold onto life, but had to hold on to his privilege. Samurai had to live beautiful andproudful life, and had to die graciously like cherry blossoms go away.
Of course samurai doesn't live now, but we are always familiar with samurai in the movies, TV program and novels. When I was a boy, I couldn't imagine a human could cut his own belly by himsilf, as samurai commit harakiri in TV drama. Novels and books say most brave samurai cut their belly crisscross deeply and afterwords someone cut their necks, or grab their intestines out! And when a coward samurai had to commit harakiri, he only cut very slightly in his belly ( or only pretend to cut ), and another samurai chopped his neck from behind( it is called kaisyaku ). From my childhood I sometimes have imagined if I wasa samurai, which was me - brave or coward samurai.Maybe most of Japanese men must have the experience to imagine their own harakiri scene.
Recently the chances to see samurai wear and sword increase, and I often imaginetheir lives and pride. Samurai's armor and wears in the battle field has exceptionally eye-catching and impressive colors and design. Sometimes it looksway too heavy or obstructive for fight. For examples samurai carried a 'sashimono' in his back at the battle field, which might interfere their action.Sashimono is the some figures or flag, which are attached on the long pole, andsamurai intend to be recognized by them at the battle field. Some wore flags, 'fukinagashi' sleeve target, uchiwa(fan) and others, which samurai thought to beeasily recognized from others. Later this sashimono became to have more and moreunique design, which slightly have the atmosphere of fancy-dress parade.At any hand Samurai had to distinguish himself at the 'snafu' battle field. Evenif he did good fights, he could get nothing if anyone recognized HIS works. In fact, there is a story who made too large 'sashimono' and had to die in idleness.He made a large ancestral tablet ('ihai'), which was approx 3.6m-140in long, and wrote death song. But it was too big and heavy, and he and his horse couldn't run fast for too large flags, and delayed to reach the front. He was said to be starved to death with shaming himself. There also is interesting story about too small sashimono. One samurai was reprimanded by the general thathe didn't wear big flag as other other samurai. He indicated very small flag, which had an ant motif. He said everyone wear large flags, so smaller one is better to stand out in the battle field. He fought well and became famous because of his unique small ant flag. Here is the page of samples of sashimono illustrations,
If you have seen the samurai armor, you must be astonished by its beauty and feel it must be hardest to move first with it. I always wondered if enemy wear acomplete armor, how can I give damage to him. Almost all his body is covered with armor, and there seemed not to be places where I blow the sword. my simple question is resolved by a book. To damage the armored samurai, you must aim the joints or interspaces. So the aiming points were eyes(and face), underarm, crotch and calf.
Samurai's desire was to die in a spectacular for his master at the battle field,and to leave his name as a brave samurai. In the early age of provincial wars, samurai had frequent chances to act like this way in the battle field - samuraiannounced themselves each other, and begun to fight as single combat. But laterending of Sengoku era, guns became common, and fight style became modern warfare. So the remarkable hard-bitten samurai could be killed by a single bullet of ex-farmer cruit, if he announced himself on the horse in a style that followed theold arrangement.
If I was born in Sengoku era, I should be born in the merchant family. So theremight not be the occasion of harakiri! But I want to be an enterprising merchant,and importing guns and artillery and selling them to daimyo. But anyway I am very happy I was born in this age!
**We are adding Children's kimono, haori and bolt. We will be very happy if youhave some time to check our new arrivals!
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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