Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.643





From this April, new NHK serial TV drama has started. This time the story is about  Shizuko Ohashi, who devoted her life to publish a unique magazine for women called `Kurashi no techo' (Kurashi literally means `life' and techo is `pocketbook'.)

The top photo is the cover of the first issue of Kurashi no techo.

Shizuko was born in 1920 in Tokyo as an oldest of three daughters. Her father died when she was 10 years old. Her father had a deep affection to his family and he cared his family and treasured the time with family more than anything. He told Shizuko to help her mother and take care of her younger sisters as his will, Shizuko promised to do her best to make her family happy. After graduating from school, she started working in a newspaper company.

She always wanted to publish a magazine to make all women happy-by meeting Yasuji Hanamori who was a designer and a chief editor(also  writer), she started publishing Kurashi no techo.

The magazine was very unique- the magazine has done away with advertizement. They have concentrated on food, clothing and housing of ordinary life. 

Both Shizuko and Yasuji experienced the miserable life without anything after war. Shizuko thought the magazine could bring women a small happiness and joy of the ordinary life. By her father's influence, she had a strong belief that everyday life was the most important and valuable thing. Yasuji also had a strong wish for peaceful life because of his regret of being participated in war propaganda.

In 1948, they have published Kurashi no techo. The magazine had small hint and idea to enrich everyday life, for example hint of making small furniture, dresses and cooking and so on. Gradually economy recovered, and then they have shown report of products test. They did not have particular `sponsors', so they could show real companys' names and test results. 

Standing on the firm belief and philosophy, their magazine was special and was always on ordinary people's side. In 1978, Yasuji died but Shizuko continued publishing and worked from 9:00-5:30 one year before she died as 93 years old.

I remember the magazine was at my home when I was small. It was not too brightly showy or gorgeous but it was charming. I remember thinking this magazine was something different. They had political issue also and had very practical things in life also. Recently they had articles about different surnames of couples.  They were the first ones to write an article about gay rights. Yasuji Hanamori was given Ramon Magsaysay Award for contributing to improve women's right and their happiness. 

The new drama is based on Shizoko's life and we are SO HONORED -- the person in charge for the costume of the drama contacted us and chose kimono from our shop for the drama! (Also the costume supervisor is Kazuko Kurosawa, a daughter of Akira Kurosawa, a legeng movie director) 

Here is the page of the TV drama based on Shizuko's life:


We are so thrilled and so honored. We wish the drama could be seen in your country too!(in some countries, we hear NHK drama can be seen). The kimono you see in the drama might be from Ichiroya:-)