News Letter

News Letter

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Dear Customers & Friends
Hello from Japan! This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No 85 .We are looking forward to spring, but it is very cold in these several days, and in Tokyo it snowed heavily out of season. The day after tomorrow I will become 46 years old. Recently a young businessman, who owns several IT companies is trying to purchase a big mass communication company ( which owns TV station, news paper and some magazines). It is contested takeover, and attention is focused on the concourse of it. He is moving more than 50 billion yen for the takeover. He is only 32 years old! Most Japanese businessmen must feel how small we are compared to him. When I was 32 years old, I was a sales leader of small group in department store, and struggled to manage members. Of course I also want to be a great businessmen, but I feel I am not tough enough to do a hostile takeover. There must be my unique way to serve society, and there is not other ways except doing my work best everyday. But I dream it must be fun if we have ICHIROYA JAPAN TRAVEL, ICHIROYA AIRLINES, ICHIROYA HOTEL GROUP and so on like Virgin group!
Recently I got an old book about cotton textiles. It is published in Showa 6 (1932), and has many fabric samples are added. I have not read it all yet, but I come to know some interesting things about kasuri. In Taisho period(1912-1925) and early Showa period(Showa:1926-1989) raw cotton was imported mainly from India and USA. That book says how the prices are determined compaired to the market price of New York. Raw cotton was imported from USA, and spun in factories and sent to kasuri product center. I knew the Kurume kasuri was made of spun yarn, but I didn't know the material came mainly from India and USA. When we send our a vintage kasuri to the customers in USA, how interesting story she has! She was born in cotton field in USA around the Great Depression, and crossed the Pacific Ocean. She was spun in a factory, and sent to Kurume in Kyusyu region. She might be hand woven by a prisoner ( the book says approx 40% of Kurume kasuri was woven in prison at that time), and became a men's kimono. She had to be sent to the big city like Tokyo or Osaka, and displayed at a store. An university students bought her, and wore her frequently. A few years later, he had to go to the war against her home country, and he died. His mother sold personal effects, and she(kasuri) became to be owned by another man. Fashion changed, and he became not to wear her often, and she came to sleep long time in the drawer of a house. After 40 or 50 years later she was awaked, and offered at a kimono auction. We won her, and took pictures of her, and offered at our web site. She was bought by a customer i!n USA, and we sent her back by air mail. After 70 years trip, she came home, and next she will become a material for new owner's handicraft. I feel it is amazing--it is really a wonder. I wonder how you feel about it.I came to know some other interesting points from that book.* Almost all Kurume kasuri were dyed with natural ai at that time. But Iyo kasuri( in Shikoku region) were dyed with natural and synthetic dyestuff at that time.* Kasuri of Sai'in district ( Kurayoshi Gasuri, Yumihama Gasuri and Hirose Gasuri ) were also mainly woven with spun yarn. But for the highest quality request, they used hand spun cotton, which was produced in that district. But it seems very rare. We sometimes came across Yumihama Kasuri which seems to be hand spun, they must be from Meiji priod(1868-1912) or earlier. Cotton had been produced from Edo period domestically, but in early Showa period or Taisho period, almost all cotton were replaced by imported spun yarn.* At that time already printing technique was developed, and the book says printed kasuri fabrics became to have high quality and were very popular to customers. From a distance they look as if the pattern was woven. ( We sent a printed fabric as kasuri to a customer by mistake - we are very sorry for our carelessness. We bought a loupe with high power today!) Thank you for reading to the end. We will write more if we get more interesting information. Today we are going to list some kimono, antique flag and some bolts. We will list them about five hours later from now. We are very happy if you could check them.
**We are sending Ichiroya News Letter - the information of new arrivals and bargains. If you would like to join our mailing list, please visit here:
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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