News Letter

News Letter

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Dear Customers & FriendsHello from Japan! This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.61
We hope you are having a nice and relaxing weekend. Summer ended --by leaving us some bitter-sweet feelings. I have seen many `akatombo'(dragonfly) and kaki (persimmon)on the trees today. Kaki color always makes us think autumn is here.
Today, we are going to write about Japanese makeup of old time. We were always wondering why Japanese women were always portrayed with thick white makeup.Of course Geisha(Geiko) and Maiko wear thick white makeup but they are very special. However, white makeup is one of the main characteristics of makeup history of Japan. Three colors--white, red and black are the three `key' words. White face with Oshiroi(white powder) was thought to be the most important aspect of beauty. In Heian period(794-1192), white powder was very valuable which only allowed loyal people to use. Both women and men in that class used white powder. Later, in Edo period(1603-1867) it changed to be women's etiquette of all class. Oshiroi powder became to be sold at the shops and they often had `shirasagi'(white heron) on the hanging sign. Thick makeup is not done anymore of course Japanese women try very hard to keep fair skin using all kinds of methods.
You may have noticed that the women in ukiyoe or other pictures have very small mouth. In Japanese, to wear lipstick, it is said `beni o sasu' sasu means to spot or put just a little. Small mouth are said to be the symbol of obedience and `never claim' was a virtue of women at that time.
Finally black color--it is `ohaguro'. Ha is teeth and guro(kuro) is black. You might have also seen women with dyed black teeth in the pictures from old time. Just as white powder, ohaguro was at first done by loyal women and men in Heian period. From Sengoku period, it became a characteristics of married women. The component of ohaguro is almost the same as ink of fountain pen. Ohaguro needed to be applied everyday or every two or three days, so it was quite a work. Loyal people had their own `ohaguro set' of gold-relief lacquerware with mon(family crest) --of course ordinary people used much more simple set.
In the time of `Madam Butterfly', `ohaguro set' was included in the wedding chest. Ohaguro is made of kane(acetic acid iron) and gobaishi(tanniferous powder) Just as furisode and tomesode, married and unmarried was clearly distinguished and ohaguro was a symbol of married women. Until the beginning of Meiji, the tradition of wearing ohaguro continued but in Meiji 6(Meiji 1968-1912), The Empress quit ohaguro and then courtladies and other women followed the Empress. Because of ohaguro, much of tooth decay was prevented--but applying ohaguro everyday was a troublesome and timetaking thing and moreover--white teeth gradually became to be considered to be more `beautiful'.
We say, `Onna gokoro to akino sora'(women's hearts and autumn sky)--to refer something very changeable. Do you have same saying in your country?We are very curious!
*We would like to thank you for all your e-mails and consideration about earthquake and typhoons we had last week. Fortunately, there was no serious damage in our area. Domo arigatou gozaimasu for your messages full of warmth and compassion.
Today we have listed obi sampler fabrics, men's haori, child kimono pack, cotton bolt and silk bolt. We are very happy if you could check them!
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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