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.
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.