Thank you for taking your time to come here to talk with me, Sir.
You must have been a famous dyer of the time, even though we have no clue for the kimono has no labels, no dyer's stamp, rakkan or anything.
(Well, I do not know why I am here for but I hope it is not a boring thing.)
You know, those rakkan, dyer's stamps are rather from a newer age, rakkan are originally for paintings and calligraphic works. Of course, rakkan on kimono takes important role to prove authenticity sometimes, but we know, not all rakkan are meaningful.
(Yes, in my time, individual craftsman didn't think rakkan were necessary, besides, I am not the `show-off' type of a person).
Ok, the main reason I am talking to you is to let you know how thankful we are for the work you did, I mean making this particular kimono.
This kimono is absolutely gorgeous, I wish I knew the appropriate words to express the beauty of the kimono.
(Of course, this is gorouges, how much time and work did you think we spent to make this kimono! Is this the reason you asked me to come all the way?)
I named the kimono, `Hana no Kyoen' (Feast of Flowers), when, we ....
(When you what? Speak out!)
When we reprint and remade the kimono.
(I do not understand. The kimono was designed, dyed and applied embroideries and finally tailored by a customer's order. It is our team-work.)
Yes, of course, and ordered by a woman from a rich family, we assume.
(I cannot tell, it is confidentiality, besides, Japanese men are not talkative. Talking much is not a virtue. We craftsmen did our best to complete the work, that's all.)
Yes I noticed, kimono designs are like a piece of paintings, I mean art. When kimono are spread wide, each of them look like a piece of paintings, or an impressive tapestry. Sometimes I noticed, some craftsmen were not aware of kimono being worn, you, oh, I do not mean YOU, but sometimes the beautiful part of the design are covered by obi.
( Are you critisizing me?)
No, never, I just said what I felt sometimes......
(I do not know what you are talking about. We were so proud of our work, we never slacked off. We poured all our energy to what we do. No matter how much time and effort it took. I heard it is quite different from the way in your time, I heard efficiency is the virtue for you.)
Oh, you talk a lot! I am surprised.
(It is getting strange, why am I getting so heated? Oh, it is your fault, you were going to say something. Say what you need to say!)
OK, we made a copy of your work, in short.
(No, you could not. How long did you think I worked to be qualified fully as a craftsman.)
Let me explain. When Ichiro, he is my husband and the president of our kimono webstore, ICHIROYA, anyway, he thought the kimono was exceptional at his first look. He brought back this kimono from an auction, and we were all bit by the beauty of this kimono. The word `beauty' may not be giving justice to the kimono. It was so full of life.
(So your Ichiro sold the kimono putting a huge price, I assume.)
No, we did not sell the kimono. We reproduced new kimono with exactly the same design.
(It is getting weird, just explain to me.)
We scanned all the part of the design, and reproduced on paper and then transferred by heat, thermal transfer is what we call.
The machine we used is called `sublimation transfer printer'.
It was not as easy as we talk. The colors are so tricky, it took a long time and many testing to get closer to the original colors to the details. Tailoring was also difficult, matching the patterns at seamlines depending on different size...and so on. Our staff Yuko, Aisha and Yumi worked hard making the deta again and again.
(Umm, and you sold whatever you made as if they are your original? Did't you think it is an act of `shameless thief'?)
In Japan, copyright of the original creater expires 70 years after the creater's death.
We consulted a lawyer also.
(So you stole the design, no matter what you think. I cannot sue you but I can still appear as a spirit to torment you for life!)
I know. Without your work, there was no reproduction. I wanted to tell you about what has happened.
We made kimono with your design, and also some other design and showed them to our customers as `made to ordr' kimono.
We received many order from last year, and this year, we included this Hana no Kyoen kimono, which is your design again as summer kimono line up together with other vintage kimono design.
Again, this Hana no Kyoen kimono became most popular. Some customers even ordered in other color besides the original color one they had.
(Wait, wait, you made the kimono in other colors too? )
Actually we made obi, obiage, and haneri collar also.
(No way, it was a perfect design kimono, one and only, I cannot remember but I might have made a few of the same design kimono , but definitely not by printing. but dyed by my own hand.)
I wanted to tell you, how much this kimono design has been loved. People loved the design.
The kimono was from long time ago, before WWII but it is so fresh and so alive.
Young kimono wearers love this particular design and enjoy putting them on as kimono,
obi and accessories.
Yesterday, I was alone in our office, I spread the kimono to look at once again.
Not the one we printed, but the one you dyed. The flowers were full of life, the colors were so vivid and subtle. The blooming flowers were delightful as if they were singing and swinging. I could know why people were so fascinated by this kimono.
(Is it true many girls love my work?)
Yes, it is true. I have made the short video. I dedicate the video to you to show our gratitude and respect. Also you can check our Instagram to see how many people are wearing kimono, obi and other things with your design with joy.
(I still don't know what you are talking about, but I guess my kimono made many people happy, is that the thing? After so many years? And my design keeps living even the original kimono gets old and becomes not wearable any more?)
Yes, exactly. I do not know your name but everyone knows the design is from this vintage kimono and they love the design and wear them happily.
Yes, you definitely made many people happy.
(Well, I should be going. I am not sure exactly what you were doing, but I accept your gratitude.)
Domo arigatogozaimasu. I always wanted to convey this appreciation and hope you could convey this to other craftsmen also for us.
(What a nerve! Oh, I heard Ichiro and you are closing the store. Good bye and good luck.)
Rainy season has officially started in our area, and it has been raining off and on all week. About this time of year, after water was drawn into nearby rice patties, insects, geckos, frogs... come back to my garden..... realy a scary sight. But, it is a party time for my beagle Marin. Marin likes chasing geckos, finding little jumping insects and frogs all night. Sometimes, I find her all muddy and dirty in rain.....sigh.... Hope you enjoy some photos of lazy and crazy Marin.
Konnichiwa Minasan! Ogenki desuka? This is Yoko writing again this week. Thank you sooooo much for your responses to my short survey from last week's newsletter. It was so much fun reading what our customers miss about Japan and their interests! Omoshiro katta desu!
Many customer said 'one day is not enough!'. Hahaha sumimasen, maybe if you had one week? was it enough? A customer from Canada said 'It was so nice to just think about all the lovely things to see and do in Japan when these dreadful Covid restrictions are all over - and it quite cheered my day to do the survey.' The responses really cheered my day too!! Honto ni arigato gozaimashita.
Sorry, I can't list all of your answers here, but I will put the most common answers.
1) places I want to visit
-Shrines/temples -Kyoto -Nara park -Asakusa -Kanazawa -Museums
2) food I want to eat
-Taiyaki/Daifuku/Odango/Dorayaki ( Ok! you guys LOVE ANKO! I got it! ) -Wasabi -Okonomi yaki (ookini!) -Mochi
4) If you can reach Japan through Ichiroya, what would you ask for?
-Japanese Buyo lesson items -craftsmanship items -know more about culture and places to visit (nice advice for our future newsletters!)
Arigato gozaimasu for all the answers!!!
I see that many customers have interests in historical things about Japan like old architectures and traditional arts of Japan. Some even had their own favorite Ryokan!! Arigato gozaimasu for finding many great things about Japan.
I also noticed that traditional foods like Sushi and Tempura are already available in many countries, but not many desserts!!!??? very interesting!
I realized that you know a lot about Japan, but I know a little about our customers. It was such a great opportunity to get to know more about you!!! Arigato gozaimashita for your time and wonderful communication!
Mina san! Ogenki desuka? This is Yoko writing this week's newsletter. Ohisahi buri desu. I hope everyone is safe and keeping away from the Coronavirus! Go away! I am thankful for mine and my children's good health, thankful for my job and being able to keep in touch with our customers! Minasan, ganbari masho!
The views of Osaka and Kyoto have turned 100% different now. Flights have been cancelled and there is almost no tourists coming to the cities of Kansai.
I know many of our customers have come to Japan before and know a lot (maybe more than I know!) about Japan. Perhaps maybe you had a plan to visit Japan this Spring to view Sakura or this summer to stroll at Fushimi Inari.. Zannen desu...
Imagine Minasan, now that all the flights are cancelled, but if you have a way to come to Japan for one day, what would you buy or do in Japan? where would you go?
I am soooo curious! to know what do people most crave about Japan!!!??? I am grateful if you would take a minute or two to reply the below short survey!!
1) places I want to visit 2) food I want to eat 3) things I want to buy 4) if you can reach Japan through Ichiroya, what would you ask for??
We will let you know what is the most beloved and missed things about Japan in my next newsletter!!! Otano shimini!!
You may already know, we have our another website `kimonotte' to sell new product based on vintage design (some are from other source). We see so many kimono and obi everyday but still we are amazed by unique and breathtaking design of old and vintage kimono and obi. They are sometimes even more novelity and look fresh after many years! Of course their graces are what we feel most of the time but so much variety of design are never boring.
However, we notice, the designs we like and the customers from abroad like are different.
Here, Japanese customers love Taisho romantic, kawaii (cute) design but you may not feel the same. What type of design do you like? Traditional and auspicious design like pine trees, kiku(chrysanthemums) or cranes? We are really curious!
If you could let us know what kind of Japanese design you like, and if you like to use them in your home, (may be you like the design as one of the home decoration thing in your house?)we will be so happy to hear that.
We have this printing machine to make product like obi, kimono, stole or accessories.
Well, most of the things are kimono-relating things but if you like these design around you with any product, we may be able to offer you:-)
Here are some examples.
We have a lot more! You can see them in our kimonotte website.
If you find the design you like at Ichiroya website, we like to hear that too.
I like to talk about our good friend Akemi san from Nagasaki in this newsletter.
Nagasaki is one of the prefecture in Kyusyu island in Japan. Nagasaki has a unique history (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagasaki) . The city of Nagasaki has a lot of historical sight seeing places yet it is a local city and there was no vintage kimono shops.
Akemi san (Akemi Tagawa) has been a collector of vintage kimono and has been our customer over 10 years. Before we met, she was collecting vintage kimono by visiting actual antique stores. In 2017, she had her first exhibition of her collection in Dejima in Nagasaki. This shows she has this ability to take action ( she is a petite woman but full of energy!)
I wrote about her exhibition in our past newsletter:
In her newsletter, she wrote her dream of showing her collection became true, but it was just a beginning. The exhibition was held in spring and then she opened her own vintage kimono shop at the end of the same year!
She is planning to hold another exhibition next year, and says she is appreciating this emergency moment for the preparation of the exhibition.
Whenever I talk with her, I am overwhelmed by her passion toward vintage kimono.
At her facebook page, she was sharing her mother's photo. Her mother has passed away
in March after being ill for 15 years.
She was clening out her belongings and found the photo of her mother wearing this kinsha silk kimono. She is always enchanged by decorative, romantic design kimono but somehow she liked this kimono from her mother but did not know her mother was wearing this kimono actually until she found the photo. The kimono is now her treasure with her mother's memory.
This pandemic of the CoronaVirus is causing a lot of damage to everyone, and this long time sheltered life is giving us unspeakable fear, of course about the desease itself but also the damage of economy. She said `kimono never get rotten' in her cheerful voice.
I have been hearing people speaking negative words in gloomy tone recently ( I think I myself was starting to forget smile) but her voice made me smile.
She does not have webstore, her actual store is in Nagasaki.