News Letter

News Letter

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Dear Customers & Friends Hello from Japan. This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.60. Just now I returned from Niigata early morning. Always I go to Niigata and Sendai by airplane, but this time I went by sleeper train for the first time. And I found travel of sleeper train is very comfortable and fun! Train departs at 11 p.m. and arrives at 8 a.m.. Bed is big enough for me ( it is double-decker ), and I could enjoy the scenery from the full width window. Light is put in near the head, and white sheets and yukata are prepared. I read books, enjoyed the night scenery and slept tight. It was very calm, and not crowded. There is not a flight which arrives early in the morning to Niigata, so I must fly the day before the auction day and stay in a hotel, in order to arrive in time to the shrine where the auction is held. So if I need to arrive in Niigata in time, I must take a flight which flys at 6 p.m., and I must stay in a hotel in Niigata. Sleeper train fare is less expensive than air fare, and in addition I don't need to pay hotel charge, and I can stay worki!ng at our office nearly 5 hours longer. Trip by air is speedy and always economy with time. But this time I checked the time tables, and I found that airplane isn't always best. If you have a chance to travel in Japan, I would like to recommend you to take a sleeper train once instead of airplane-and-hotel-stay. In this letter I am going to write about hair style of Japanese. Don't you wonder why samurai's forehead hair are shaved? Ordinarily forehead are shaved, and do up their hair in a topknot ( 'chonmage') in the top or back head.Contemporary sumo wrestlers also have chonmage, which are symbol of their prides, and when they retire they cut chonmage in a ceremony called 'danpatsu-shiki'. Sumo wrestlers leave their forehead hair, but samurai and people in Edo period (1603-1867), shaving forehead is ordinary, and it was called 'sakayaki'. It is said that at first samurai shaved their forehead hair to avoid the heat and humidity. Samurai wore the very heavy helmet at battlefield, so they are said that they shaved their forehead only attend the war. But later, during the Sengoku era (warlike age), samurai became to shave all the time because the war become often. In Edo period (1603-1867), people had their chongame styles determined by their classes they belonged. In the Meiji period ( 1868-1912), chonmage was prohibited just same timing as prohibit of possession of sword. In ancient days, women let their hair long, and did not put up their hair. Typical hair style in Heian Period ( 794 -1192 ) is like this piece. Raven-black long hair was thought to be the best for the Japanese skin color for long time. Later, in Edo period (1603-1867), putting hair up is common for ordinary women. There are many kinds of hair styles, and there are some styles in this page. You can find many kinds of Japanese hair accessories in these photos. They are called 'kushi'(comb), 'kanzashi'(hair pin), and 'kougai'( hair stick to hold hair ). They were made of silver, urushi, tortoise shell and others, and added gorgeous and intricate decoration on them. You can enjoy rich collection and good photos of them here. Please try to click the link parts. You will be astonished how the crafts men poured their skill and passion to this small accessories. * Some customers may be wondering why the kanzashi have an ear pick shape in their tops. Recently I came to know that ear pick shape part were used for scratching head skin beyond the hold hairs. First they also may be used for ear picking, but later anyway the ear pick shape became the standard shape, which didn't have functional inevitability. In ancient text there is a description as below. ' Looking the ear pick shape of kanzashi, foreigner must think Japanese ears are huge! ' After the Meiji period ( 1868-1912), women's hair style became more active and Westernized just same as wearing style. Modern Japanese women maybe make their hair as classic Edo style only once in their wedding ceremony with wearing uchikake. But they use hair wig, and not put their own hair up. Some of the women don't wear uchikake at wedding, and don't use the wig. Raven-black long hair had been thought to be the best for long time, but nowadays many people became to like blonde hair, and dye their black hair to blond or brown. When I was a boy, I had never seen men or small girl make with their Hari dyed, but dyed hair become very poplar also among young men. If you see the international soccer match between Japan and Korea, you will find many blonde hair players among only Japan team. My daughters sometime make their hair brown. Yuka sometimes scolds them for 'too brownish for school girls!'. I also prefer the black hair for Japanese, but maybe it is because I become too old. During puberty I let my hair long ( reflecting 70's fashion), and my parents seemed to be displeased about my hair style. It was a nice old days. You might have seen some women with black teeth in the pictures of old time women. It is called `ohaguro'. We will write about interesting make-up history in our future newsletter. (I wrote this in midnight) We just had an earthquake--horizontal shock. We had an earthquake about 5 hours ago and it came again. It was quite a long time( we felt ) but nothing fell down. Just the noise of the shaking sounded scary. There is tsunami warning but so far, there is not big damage reported yet.The seismic focus of that earthquake was in the sea of Wakayama area(it is in kinki--southwest Japan). We will know more about this earthquake tomorrow morning. Our area is totally fine.
Thank you for reading to the end. We are listing new items now. are very happy if you enjoy the new listing items!Thank you again for your patronage!
Ichiro & Yuka Wada Kimono Flea Market "ICHIROYA" e-mail: address: Asia-shoji Bldg.301 1841-1 Nishi 1 chome Wakamatsu cho Tondabayashi city Osaka 584-0025 JAPAN TEL&FAX ****( international number ) - 81-721-23-5446


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