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Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.840

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Konnichiwa, this is Yoko from Ichiroya.  Minasan, Ogenki desuka?
I am calling out your names this week!! Can you hear me!!!!!!?????

We received so many responses on Yuka's newsletter from last week.
We feel very connected with our readers now more than ever. domo arigatou gozaimashita.
I know many readers are experiencing difficulties with very limited access to outside, and many of you might have concerns for the future. Please do not feel alone as I think we are all in this together.

The yellow flowers above is called 'Ryukinka' (marsh marigold) blooming in my garden.
I found one blooming quietly in my garden several years ago, but now they contain good part of my garden!!
I hope the rainbow and the yellow Ryukinka brighten your day!
Minasan issho ni Ganbari masho!

Minasan, I need to give you an update on international mailing situation by the Japan Post.
Sumimasen, we apologize for the inconvenience, but the Japan Post has announced suspension of ALL SAL packages
as of April 01 due to airline travel restrictions and cancellations on account of the spread of the Coronavirus.
We apologize for any inconvenience in this matter.
EMS to some countries are also suspended, but we will do our best to come up with the best alternative shipping method.
Please keep the orders coming! Please contact us with any questions.

Please also expect delays on all package, many are taking much longer than usual shipping time.
Thank you so much for your kind understanding and patience in this matter.

OK, back to my newsletter topic!
This time, I would like to write about 'Travel of Cotton'.
This topic was given by Ichiro a long long time ago in a mail!!!
Some of you might remember a long piece of post card with a short message from one of our employees?
If you remember getting one, then your age now is about 10 years older!!! hahaha so am I.

*Travel of Cotton* ....Travel of Kurume Kasuri....

Around 1920, cotton(I) was born in the cotton field of the USA.
I was loaded on a ship.
I landed in Yokohama.
I was sent to Kurume, Fukuoka, from Yokohama.

Around 1930, I became a bolt of Kurume Kasuri. (ta-dah)
I was sent to a Kimono retailor in Osaka, and a student bought me and I became a Kimono!
My owner died in WWII... I stayed a long time in Tansu...(zzz)

Around 2000, the child of the owner sold me to a used Kimono dealer, and Ichiro bought me!
I was listed on Ichiroya webshop.(yatta!)

Around 2005, you buy me! where should I go!

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Here are some of our Kurume Kasuri fabrics we have in stock. I wonder where these Kasuri would go now?
Woud you welcome them to your family?

http://www.ichiroya.com/sp/list.php?spid=S5e86d2539588b

Here is what the post card looked like! now you remember?
I think Ichiro's hand drawing of the story and picture is so unique! don't you think?

I hope you enjoyed my newsletter.
Please be safe and stay healthy everyone!!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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https://www.instagram.com/kimonotteichiroya/

 

Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.839

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Staying home for the weekend, feeling uneasy and scared, I was sorting out my kimono dresser. 

I found these in the bottom of the drawer, two furoshiki (wrapping cloth) with dyed name and a little fukusa(gift cover), I had them since I got married.

The dark blue big furoshiki has my maiden name in Kanji, they read `sugino'. Sugi is Japanese cedar and `no' is field. It is not too common name but there are many Japanese who has these kanji in their names. I think I have used this furoshiki a couple of times, carrying my kimono.

The pink little furoshiki has my name Yuka in kanji. Yu means origin, source or reason.

Ka means good, or things placed in order nicely. Yu is from my mother's name and about ka, my father who named me said his first love had this kanji. (It might be true but he was just trying to be funny). I think he liked this particular kanji.

The little red fukusa has a family crest (crossed feathers of arrrow) from my mother's side.

You may think Kamon, family crest means a lot for Japanese but actually, many people do not know what their kamon is. There are so few occasions to use kamon now. People who wear kimono for the way of tea, or attending very formal ceremonies such as award ceremony, you need your own kamon on your kimono but it seems having kimono or fancy table wear with kamon is not really common thing any more. We have a short meeting each morning at Ichiroya, and our staff take turns to present something in turn.

We asked each staff to talk about their kamon, some staff had to ask their parents or relatives for they did not know until then, but it is quite natural thing now.

 

 

When I turned over the red fukusa, there was my name yuka in hiragana.

 

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It made me stunned. I was not aware the fukusa had my name on the other side.

I might have known when this was given to me when I got married, my parents had prepared it for me, but I just did not care to use or appreciate it. I forgot about it.

Both of them passed away and I cannot tell them how thankful to them and how much I loved them, they cared about me but I just did not notice. 

 

 

What is the word which makes you most happy?

I remember hearing this before somewhere. People were guessing and many people were saying, `thank you' or `love you' are the word they like to hear and make them most happy. But this doctor ( I cannot remember who it was) says no. The word which makes you most happy is your name. Hearing your own name makes you most happy.

When I found my name dyed on this little fukusa, I wished to hear my parents calling my name.

 

We are all in such a hard time we have never expected. I really wish to call your name from here to cheer you up. My calling your name may not work, so imagine your loved one calling your name and cheering you up. Everyone at Ichiroya think of you and send our best wishes from Japan.

 

We cannot see how to beat this virus yet but we will see this will end, and will have our normal life back.

Minasan, dozo ogenkide!

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Dear newsletter readers, 
 
This is Mitsue writing this week.
The climate in Japan is warmer than usual, and spring flowers are blooming much earlier this year.
'Sakura'(cherry blossom) will gradually bloom from this weekend, but today I would like to share about 'Ume' (plum blossom).
I went to the Domyoji Tenman-gu to see 'Ume' (plum blossom) last month. Tenman-gu (or Tenjin) is a Shinto shrine which enshrines Sugawara no Michizane (845-903). There are about 14,000 Tenman-gu in Japan. The famous ones are the Dazaifu (Fukuoka), Kitano (Kyoto) and Yushima (Tokyo). The domyoji Tenman-gu is is located in Fujiidera city in Osaka, and it is very near from Ichiroya.
Sugawara no Michizane had stayed in Domyoji for a while when he was 40 years old, because his aunt had lived there. There is also a Noh stage in Domyoji tenman-gu.
 

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Sugawara no Michizane was a scholar, poet, and politician of the Heian period(794-1192). He was regarded as an excellent poet, particularly in Kanshi poetry, and is today revered in Shinto as the divinity of learning. 
He loved 'Ume' (plum blossom) so much, so plum trees are planted in most of the Tenman-gu.
It is very famous that he wrote a poem when he was demoted to Dazaifu from Kyoto.
 
"My Ume tree, could you please send your scent on the east wind?
Don't forget to bloom in spring even if I'm not here."
 
We can feel how he loved 'Ume' (plum blossom) from this poem. This is also a famous story that a cow carried his dead body, but stopped and never walk again by all means. So Sugawara no Michizane was berried in Anraku-ji temple near Dazaifu. Cow is regarded as a divine messenger, and  enshrined in most of the Tenman-gu. All cows there are sitting down bending their knees. 
 

Here are some photos of Kitano tenman-gu where I visited last summer. The green 'Ume' (plum) fruits were so refreshing. People were dipping water Omikuji (oracle) which came out the fortunetelling words. Wow, interesting!!
 

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This time I will shows you special pieces with 'Ume' (plum blossom) pattern.  
As for the Obiage, we have other colors, so please check our HP.
 
 
Thank you for reading until the end. Have a good weekend!

Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.837

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Zicarlo van Aalderen | Flickr

Konnichiwa, Ichiroya news letter readers!
How are you doing?
I hope everyone is having wonderful weekend.
This time Iori is writing.
 
It is getting warmer these days.
The other day, the flower forecast for 'sakura'(cherry blossom) is announced.
Since 'sakura' appears in many Japanese old books, pictures and of course in kimono design, Japanese love 'sakura'(cherry blossom) so much!
Everyone is waiting for 'sakura'(cherry blossom) is blooming in this season!
Those pastel pink flowers make us feel happy, cheerful and peaceful.
Some people give this name 'Sakura' to baby girls with the prayers.
 
As you may know, 'sakura'(cherry blossom) is seen all over Japan.
It starts to bloom from the warm area, Okinawa and Kyushu district, and slowly up to Tohoku and Hokkaido area.
Here in Osaka, the flower forecast says it starts to bloom on the 20th March and will be full bloomed on the 28th this year.
Since the weather has been getting warm for the past few years, 'sakura'(cherry blossom) also starts to bloom earlier and earlier.
 
My son will have the entrance ceremony on the 6th April, so I hope the blooming goes on till then!
 
(here is my past newsletter ---about my children's Shichi-Go-San festival last year. The boy wearing the kimono with dragon and a hakama, is my son who is going to enter elementary school)

Maybe we need to go taking pictures of him and full bloomed 'sakura'(cherry blossom) by then.
 
Today, I will introduce some items with 'sakura'(cherry blossom) motif.
 
Japanese also like to go seeing 'sakura'(cherry blossom), gathering and having a party under the 'sakura'(cherry blossom) trees.
We call it 'Hanami'.
We also have some items with the 'Hanami' in old times.
 
You can seen how much Japanese love 'Sakura' from old times.
Hope everyone will be able to make a good start this year! 
 
Thank you for reading!
See you in next time.
Domo arigatogozaimasu! 

 

Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.836

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Konnichiwa, Ichiroya news letter readers!
This is Ayumi writing this week.
How is your weekend? Hope you are having nice one!
 
March has begun! 
The sun is getting shiny and warmer around Ichiroya.
In this season, I consider when to put my daughter's 'Ohinasama'(Kimono dolls of the Girl's festival on 3/3) away.
Surprisingly, we have an old proverb; it is said that the daughter's marriage is delayed if you leave the dolls for a long time after the Girl's festival day.
It is quite a hard work for me because the dolls are so many and I have to take care of them carefully.
Hmm....I will ask my husband to do it on this weekend!
 
 
My husband works as an engineer. He sometimes helps my housework.
Some of you may think Japanese men are workaholic.
It is true!
Honestly, he has time to meet our daughter only weekends even though we live together, because he usually leaves our house at AM6:30 and returns around PM10:00.
He sometimes goes to work on his holiday for the night shift task in middle of the week even he works all the weekdays!
 

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However, due to the recent situation, his lifestyle has changed a little from the end of February.
His company asked him to try home teleworking on every Wednesday and stagger office hours later everyday, because he always takes a quite crowded train for one and half hour on his way to work.
The beginning, He was at a loss as to what to do his morning time at home, but later, he started to do housework such as cooking and making  'Bento'(packed lunch like above photo) for family and plays Lego blocks with our active daughter.
 

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After finishing his teleworking last Wednesday, he  took the little lady for a walk to see our neighbor's charming cats and dogs.
On the way home, they brought some dandelions, horsetails and veronica persicas back. She showed them to me so happily. 
Spring is here!
 
I really hope he finishes the workaholic life and continues this life style as long as he can!
 
 
Why don't you check some graceful spring items from Ichiroya!
http://www.ichiroya.com/sp/list.php?spid=S5e605ae7c8ba0
 
 
Thank you for reading until end. See you next time!

Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.835

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Dear newsletter readers, 
 
This is Mari writing this week.
Last time I wrote, I said happy new year to you. Now, it is already March!
Can you believe it? Time really flies!
 
March 3rd is "Hinamatsuri", girl's festival to celebrate the growth of girls in Japan. 
We display special dolls called "Hiinaningyo". 
The most luxurious set has 7 steps, 15 dolls. There are Emperor and Empress on the top step, 
3 woman servants on the second step, 5 musicians on the third step , 2 ministers on the fourth step, and 3 man servants on the fifth step.
The sixth and seventh steps have wedding tools such as a chest of drawers, mirror stand, sewing box and so on.
The top picture shows the traditional full set of "Hinaningyo".
 
There are also 5 steps sets which don't have the lower two steps of wedding tools, and 
3 steps sets which have only top three steps. The most simple one is just a pair of dolls, 
an emperor and an empress. Since the luxurious sets require a room to display, simple 
sets are more popular in these days. However, it is still Japanese tradition to display "Hinaningyou" in 
February and March.
 
My grand parents bought a pair of "Hinaningyo" for me when I was born. Back then, my parents 
were young and didn't have enough space to display a full 7 steps set of dolls at home, so 
the simple pair of dolls was good enough for me.
As a child, I enjoyed display and watch them around this time of year. 
 

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Later, my two younger sisters joined our family. Then, my parents bought a pair of dolls to 
each one of them because they thought it is fair to give us our own "Hinaningyo".
In that way, there are total three sets of dolls in our house.
 

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(I broke my leg right before the picture was taken. So, I'm wearing a cast...
My sisters still tease me when we see this picture.)
 

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Last year, my baby sister gave a birth to a girl. She is my first niece.
My sister displayed her dolls at their place to celebrate her daughter's 
first "Hinamatsuri". The dolls will be inherited by my niece. My sister told me that 
she will dress her baby in the red kimono which we wore when we were babies. (The one 
I'm wearing in the above picture.) We are glad that our mother has been keeping our 
kimono and dolls in good condition. Since I don't have a daughter, my dolls are still in 
my parents' house. Writing this newsletter made me feel like I want to display them at my place 
even though I don't have a daughter. I will celebrate my "Hinamatsuri" again from next year on!
 
In traditional way, girls wear kimono, and have a party with their girl friends.
Girls Kimono are here!
http://www.ichiroya.com/sp/list.php?spid=S5e55eabdbe26a
 
If you have daughters, nieces or grand daughters, why don't you dress them and take pictures!
They must be really cute in Kimono!
 
Thank you for reading until end. See you next time!
 

Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.834

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Dear Ichiroya News Letter readers,
 
Konnichiwa!
How are you doing? I hope you are having a great weekend.
Midori is writing this week.
I am a new member of Ichiroya. I write English descriptions of Kimono.
Since this is my first entry, I would like to introduce myself a little bit.
My last name is Koo. I am Japanese and have a HongKongese American husband and a 5-year-old daughter.
We lived in Okinawa (the southernmost prefecture of Japan) for the first 4 years of marriage, 
and then moved to New York and lived there for the past 4 years, and now we are back in my hometown.
Our daughter loves to go to her preschool. She already made a lot of friends and even a handsome boyfriend! lol
I am happy that she is fitting well in to new surroundings. 
I will also try to get used to the new environment just like her, and make every effort to become well acquainted with my new job as fast as I can.
 
By the way, Today, February 23rd is Japanese Emperor Naruhito's 60th birthday.
The emperor's birthday is a national holiday in Japan which is the first one of Reiwa era.
On this day, the main gate of the Imperial Palace is open for the public and the emperor greets people,
The emperor receives the blessings of the people, and the people waving the national flags to express the celebration as shown in the top picture.
Unfortunately, since the Coronavirus is going around the world, they will not open the gate this year.
I really hope the situation will calm down as soon as possible.
 
Speaking of the 60th birthday, turning 60 is special for Japanese people.
We call the 60th birthday as "Kanreki" which literally means, full circle of the calendar.
There is a saying "Life Begins At Sixty."
People consider that the new life begins at 60.
I've heard people in other countries also celebrate their 60th birthday by throwing a party.
Is there any traditional or special things you do in your country?
In Japan, the person who turns 60 wear a red padded sleeveless kimono jacket called "Chanchanko" and hold a family reunion.
I wonder if the emperor wears a Chanchanko on his 60th birthday party...?
We have a traditional "Chanchanko" at Ichiroya! It comes with traditional red hood and fan.

www.ichiroya.com

 
As it is used for Chanchanko, the red color is often used for auspicious occasions in Japan.
It denotes strength, passion, self sacrifice and blood.
Why don't you celebrate the birthday of your loved one by giving red colored Kimono or Obi this year?
It would be a special birthday present! Here are some of them.
 
 
That's all for today. I hope you enjoyed my first News Letter from Ichiroya.
Thank you for reading and see you next time!
 
Midori