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.
This is her shop:
She started to show her collection at Facebook page, I am sure you can enjoy her collection items. https://www.facebook.com/%E3%82%A2%E3%83%B3%E3%83%86%E3%82%A3%E3%83%BC%E3%82%AF%E3%81%8D%E3%82%82%E3%81%AE-%E3%81%B9%E3%81%A3%E3%81%B4%E3%82%93-2047867892156956/
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!
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?
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!
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.
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!