News Letter

News Letter

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Dear Customers & Friends
Hello from Japan! This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.79.Here in Osaka, we have cold days as before. When I come office very early morning by bike, I wear a leather jacket on a down jacket, and I still wear fleece sweater in side. Difficult to imagine, but customers in south hemisphere must enjoy hot summer days!As I wrote in my previous news, we bought a big wagon car a few month ago. We came to be able to carry lots of package, and we don't need to hesitate to buy big bundles at auctions. But now I notice that our office space is becoming not to have enough space for packages. These days we must put some packages at the aile out of our office. Yesterday I burn out, and started to get them straight. Until late evening Yuka and I check the stocks, and we separated approx a third of stocks. We decided to sell them at bundles, and reduce the stocks and make more room for new kimono. We made some bundle box and set for our customers. Maybe those box will be good for customers who use them as material for handicraft, or sell their customers as material.If you are interested in bundles, please check them, and please help to reduce our huge stocks! ( We will list them tomorrow.)
Several days ago, I got three old book about fukusa. As you may already know, fukusa is Japanese gift cover, and has fabulous embroidery ( or woven or dyed) patterns on it. We are very interested in fukusa, because it is small, but its handwork are incredibly elaborate and designs are so artistic. Now I am reading these books, and studying about fukusa more, but as far as I come to know, I would like to write some basic topics here. Fukusa is like this one.
Fukusa is used to cover present when people give present formally. In older times there were many conventionalities, and fukusa had been ordinarily used. But nowadays we rarely use fukusa. We use only for very imporant events like marriage.I have never used fukusa or had for using. But old days conventionalities were very important, and when people present something, they put their hearts into gifts as formal methods. When people present something, they put their gift on tray, and cover with fukusa. When present cooking, they used multitiered box ( 'jyu-bako'), and cover them with fukusa ( so fukusa is also called 'jyu-kake'). There were some ways to put fukusa, and ways changed from age to age - put fukusa on gift with stretch its pattern side.- fold fukusa ( two sides of fukusa are turned under) and put it on the gift.- fold each sides to the center and put it on jyu-bako. It is to avoid being stained with food. In the manner, the patterned part is inside ( and can not be seen ), so a ceremony to see the hidden pattern became necessary ).- fold in quarters with the pattern side inside, and make the the lower right corner pattern(of the wrong side) top. And put it on jyu-bako. Fukusa has often have pattern there as below picture. fukusa and tray(or jyubako) are returned to the presenters, after presentees enjoy fukusa pattern.
Patterns of fukusa always have meanings. For examples, 'kaioke' is the popular motif in fukusa.'Kaioke' is a hexagonal container to store clam shells, which are used ancient shell matching game - 'kaiawase'. In the each shells various patterns are painted, and player must look for the pair of shells. Each shells has different shapes(especially joint part), and only original pair match. It calls up suggestions of good couple, and its is emblems of conjugal felicity. So this fukusa was used by bride as emblems of oath of virtue. fukusa has lobster motifs which is dyed. Large lobster with left head means male god, and small lobster with right head means femal god, and as a whole it means conjugal felicity. Lobster has bending back like old person, so it is added the hope of longevity. Lobster is also a symbol of Ise Shrine. ( 'Ise' is the part of the name of Japanese lobster). So this piece was used at New Year's congratulatory ceremony to wish conjugal felicity, longevity and peace and security of a nation.
Every antique fukusa had special meanings in the pattern, and presenter chose the fukusa according to the occasion. Patterns are from various Gods theme ( like lucky seven gods), Noh plays ( for example popular Takasago motif is from Noh play 'Takasago' Old couple are the Gods of Takasago and Sumiyoshi ), Chinese legends ( dragon's gate and so on), motifs of four seasons of Japan and others. Sometimes patterns are made only the part of the ordinary pattern- for examples a bamboo broom without old man are embroidered, and people got the full meaning of Takasago from it. It could be done in olden times, because folk myth were shared in common. ( Nowadays we are loosing folk myth, so we must study the meanings by book!)So the each fukusa has different meaning, and only can be used in particular ceremony, people had to prepare many different type of fukusa. Kamon(crest) fukusa was made, because it was used in any ceremony.
There are more many stories about fukusa. I will write more in future. We are very happy if you could check and enjoy our fukusa collections. To see fukusa, please check our search box with words 'fukusa', or from category Interior Display.
Thank you very much to read to the end. Today we have listed some high-end uchikake, shiromuku, haori, ranru and fabrics. Fortunately we have got lots of high-quality uchikake at a time, mabe now we have largest stocks of high-end uchikake. We are very happy if you could check them. Thank you again for your patronage. We wish you a nice winter Sunday!
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 JAPAN


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