Some years ago, I saw the movie, `Kinky Boots'.
Niche market - is easy to find? Niche should be anywhere but you have to be the first to fined that niche...
We like to introduce one small company who makes clothings for Buddist priests and monks.
This is the company:
The company was originally selling dye materials. One time, a priest brought his old Rakusu, a kind of kesa (Buddist stole)to dye. He liked the redyed rakusu very much. He was looking for gift for the guests(priests) for his father's memorial day, and asked the company to make original rakusu. The priests who were give the rakusu liked the rakusu they made very much. Then the company started to respond their requests and created new products. They have their webshop and also a real shop in Hiroshima. People who are not priests or monks can buy their products also. They say the parishoners(supporters) say they feel close to the priests and monks with their products.
Buddist priests and monks are having a sense of crisis- it used to be most families had their temples. Local temples used to be the place for everyone, children played in temple yard, sometimes priests were teachers and taught calligraphy and other things. When people died, funerals were held at their temples. Temples and priests were very close to the community. People depended on priests and visited temples to talk about their worries.
Actually, most Japanese can be said as atheists. It used to be families lived in the same place even the genaration change and there have been a strong bond in community. Temples were a kind of heart and sould for many people but not any more.
There are many sects in Buddism but priests are working together to try to gather attention through the net:
They made cafe, and circle so people do not feel awkward to visit temples. They have seminar for people who want to be monks. They even have free web magazine and so on too.(of course they use twitter and Facebook).
People used to visit temples but now priests and monks are trying to reach people through the net.
When people have worries and want to visit temples or churches, what they do now is to search on the net to find the place, so priests, monks and ministers seem to have to work on the net. I feel a littel sorry for them-they devote their life for people and pray for people but also at the same time, they have to be good at computers....