News Letter

News Letter

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Dear Customers & Friends
Hello from Japan. This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No88.In last week some customers visited our office from UK. Thank you very much for visiting us! We are very sorry but our office doesn't have enough space for visitors and couldn't offer enough hospitality for them. K san and J san said they saw a crane in Kyoto. And I was very interested in their story. We often see 'sagi'(heron) in Kyoto and other district of Honsyu, but I have never seen a wild crane in our district. And I asked whether the crane had a crown in her back head, because I thought they might saw a heron.
As you already know, crane is the one of the most popular motif in kimono and other Japanese designs. Crane is very special bird for us. It is the most biggest bird in Japan, and designated as a protected species special national treasure. In olden times crane said to live for thousand years, and tortoise for ten thousand years, and both have been thought to have auspicious meanings. Also today we make 'orizuru', crane made of folding paper, with hoping something. For example in a class students make thousand orizuru 'Senba Zuru' ( 'sen' means thousand ) to pray for the recovery of a classmate in hospital. These students made senbazuru to hope the piece of the world.
And I searched about cranes more through the internet.There live 15 species of crane in the world, and in Japan we can see four kinds of cranes. But only one kind of crane 'Tancho'(Japanese Crane) live in Japan throughout their lives. Other kinds fly to Kyusyu and Yamaguchi district to pass the winter, but they are different colors ( have large gray parts) compared to Tancho. There is photos of cranes, and you will know only Tancho ( Japanese Crane ) the the design source of crane motif - white feather, black neck and tail end and red head. photos of Tancho are here.
No only 1600 - 2000 tancho live, and only 800 tancho live in Hokkaido, and the rest live in China and Russia. Tancho and their breeding grounds are under protection, but the number of individuals stand still. By Edo period(1603-1867) lots of tancho lived in Hokkaido and flew to Honshu to pass winter. But during Meiji period(1868-1912), they dramatically decreased because of swamp missing and overhunting, and at the beginning of this century Japanese crane was thought to died off. But careful protection during long time increase the number little by little. The situation of Japanese Crane is similar to Kasuri or Japanese cotton. The crane which S san and J san saw may be Common Crane or White-naped Crane(grayish one) or Hooded Crane(black one) from Kyushu district. If they saw a Tancho, it must be exceptionally rare scene and a fortune! By the way do you think what Japanese textile is most beautiful?If you ask some Japanese what is the most beautiful fabric in Japan in history, some must tell a folk story as below.
In olden times, a young poor man lived alone in a village. One winter day on the way home he heard a stage sound in the deep snow. He wondered what it was from, and beyond a field he found a crane was crying. An arrow struck her. He wanted help her, and took off an arrow. The crane flew to the sky. One snowy night someone knocked his door. He was astonished to find a beautiful young lady was there. She said that she strayed and asked to put her up for the night. He let her stay at his home. Next day she asked to put her up again, and he did so.
And they married. They were poor but lived happily. But at a very tough winter they ate all their food and used all their money, and could not live any more.
One day she said she would weave a textile. He put a weaving loom in the inner room. She said to him, ' Never see inner room while I am weaving'. She wove for three days and nights beyond the door. The forth night she stepped out from the room in absolute exhaustion, and handed a incredibly beautiful woven textile to him. It was a fabulous shinny textile, which no one have seen before. He brought it to the town, and tried to sell. It was sold at very high price.
They lived on that money, but the winter was long and tough, and later money and food went out again. She determined to weave again. She wove for three days and nights again, and step out with a more beautiful textile. But she looked more worn out. He went to the town and sold it at higher price.
Village folk asked him how she could weave such beautiful textiles without material. The man became to want to get more money and wanted to know how she wove. He asked her wife one more fabric. She thought they didn't need more money, but accepted reluctantly.
'Never peep in the room', she said, and began to weave. But he couldn't control himself, and opened the door slightly and peep the room.He astonished and raised his voice. A crane was weaving with her own feathers.He came to know how the textile was woven. The crane noticed him and morphed into wife's figure.
She said that she was the crane he helped, and became his wife to repaid him for his kindness. But she couldn't do more, because he broke the promise and became to know her real identity. He regretted to break the promise for money. She morphed into a crane, and flew away.
Thank you very much for reading to the end! Today we have listed nobori bata, katazome cotton, tsutsugaki, furisode, kimono and fabrics. We are very happy if you could check them.
Have a nice spring 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 JAPANTEL&FAX ****( international number ) - 81-721-23-5446


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