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Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.179   22 Jan 2007

Dear Customers & Friends

Hello from Japan! This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.179.
From autumn of the last year, we began to rent our web system ( web shop system, which make possible to sell items to abroad). We have improved our system for these five years and now it is very easy to use and has multifunction specialized in selling things abroad. It did not exist such kind of system which could be rent or available at low price. We always feel that there are many items which people in other countries want to buy from Japan, but there are not enough ways to access and buy them from abroad. We are trying hard to offer to the needs, but we cannot cover them all. If there are any people who want to sell Japanese items abroad, and if they use our system and know-how, they may be able to serve to such customers. If shop owners are honest and has good service mind, we can introduce them to our customers, and we will be able to increase item variety to our customers. However, owners must be good sellers, and we must guarantee their service.
We had two ways to rent our system
(1) Rent to many owners with very low price.
(2) Rent to limited owners, and share ICHIROYA's policy and important customers.
We decide to rent as (2), and make the rental conditions strict. Owners must to be a special occupation, must has enough English skills and professional knowledge of items, and must study at ICHIROYA for two weeks - they must become a member of ICHIROYA GROUP!

A few days ago, Takeishi san's ebay listing began. Last November, he came to our office from Kyusyu( Dazaifu), and has studied for two weeks. He and I are same age(!), and has long experience of import/export business. He speaks good English (way better than me!), and his wife loves Ocha ( Way of tea) for long time. He decided to open 'Ocha' shop with our system, and are preparing the web shop named 'Japanese Tea Mart RIKYU'. He didn't know well about internet system, and during two weeks' study, learning web system was little bit difficult for him. However, he worked very hard, and now he masters how to write html, how to upload them and so on. He is very sweet and delightful person, and he made our office member smile often during his study weeks. And he has similar point to me. He says he often battled with his boss before- it was because he was interested in customers' merit more than the boss's one! He must be an excellent shop owner of ICHIROYA. His shop will not open t
ill March, but before opening the shop, he is selling various items on ebay. We checked his items, and we feel he selected his items very carefully. Please visit his ebay item page, and bid if you have find your favorite items in them.

Please visit here!

Takeishi san says he is still worrying whether items will sell well. He says he is always too worrying but I understand his uneasiness. We are also wariness about many things - Do we offer moderate items to our customers? Do our offer good service? Do our items reach customers in safe? Do we have enough items also this year? And so on. However, if we do our best with thinking customers first, we believe we can continue our business.

Takeishi san remind us the days when we began our business.
Three months had gone after I left department store. We had some business plans, but we couldn't begin anything because of natural difficulties - for examples, high rent, short of capital and suppliers. Two daughters and Yuka said nothing, but they had to be very worried about our future. That three months with having nothing to do was very tough term for me. My department card was took up by the department store I had worked for, because I was without occupation. When I went to the town, I had to feel bad to pay small money to buy tickets( 'I never got any money, but saving are only going out!), and especially I feared to come across my former coworkers in trains and streets. At last I was resolved to sell something even on the roads, and I went to temple market in Tennoji with Yuka. I thought I might be able to find some items, which could be sold even if we didn't have a store.
In that day, we came across the real kimono and antique textiles - and came across our new LIFE! I had worked a department store for 19 years, so I thought I knew something about kimono, but at that time, I was astonished to see vintage kurotomesode, which was sold on the road. Its yuzen hand work is marvelous to us! In addition, price was incredibly low! Before the day, we had a discussion about the possibility of 'selling kimono abroad with internet shop', but at that time we thought people abroad mightnot be interested in wearing kimono, and that kind of internet shop would have never sold well. Then we abandoned the plan easily.
At the temple market, we saw many foreigners Yuka stopped and asked one of them how did she felt about kimono. She said 'Kimono is fabulous! Excellent superior They can be worn as bathrobe!'.
'Bathrobe?! Use Kimono as BATHROBE?!'
Yuka insisted 'Lets sell kimono to foreigners! There is nothing except this!'
Of course, I agreed. We went to the bank near the station, and withdrew 100,000 yen(approx 800USD), and Yuka selected and bought carefully about 20 kimonos. During we selected, we saw a foreigner were buying lots of kimonos. We asked the shop owner, and she answered he was a vintage kimono buyer from United States. At that time we convinced vintage kimono had be sold to abroad!
I carried the kimono to my mother's house, and asked about each kimono. She was a professional kimono sewer for a long time, and has rich knowledge about kimono. She told me everything she knew, but when I said goodbye, she said ' If you really do kimono business, you had better sell better items.' I understood what she said, but I believed we should listen to everything from customers.
I wanted to get beautiful pictures of them. I brought those kimonos to a temple near our house, and hung it on the pine tree of the garden or put it on the wooden corridor, and took pictures. Winds swung the kimono and interrupted taking pictures. Taking picture at a temple took very long time, but we could got good pictures. We listed them on ebay, and watched the display with breathless interest. Luckily, they were won at very good prices!
I really felt relieved, 'For a while, we can earn money with kimono!' Our ICHIROYA's business venture began like this five years ago.

Thank you very much to reading to the ends. Tomorrow we will list rare nobori bata, kimono,hina dolls and others. If you are animal lovers, please check the new listing on the day after tomorrow our antique website
Hisami's special selection of items with animals will be listed!
We are very happy if you could find your favorite among them. We wish you a tanoshii(joyous)new week.

Ichiro & Yuka Wada
Kimono Flea Market "ICHIROYA"

address: Asia-shoji Bldg.301
1841-1 Nishi 1 chome
Wakamatsu cho
Tondabayashi city
Osaka 584-0025 JAPAN
TEL&FAX ****( international number ) - 81-721-23-5446