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Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.180   29 Jan 2007

Dear Customers & Friends

Hello from Japan! This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.180.
It is supposed to be the coldest time of the year now, but as hear from most other
countries, we have warmer winter than usual. We hope the global heating
will not be the more serious problem in future.

By the way, here in Japan, we are having a big political problem. A few days ago, it became apparent that two hotels in Kyoto of APA Group don't meet the required legal standard of earthquake-resistance strength. APA Group is one of the fastest-growing firm, and they have approx 60 hotels and 30 condominiums all over Japan. President of APA is a woman with dressed brightly (she always appears on the TV and advertizement with a large hat and heavy makeup ). At the interview, she apologized and wept with smudge her heavy mascara. After that news, ALL TV, news paper and magazines keep their mouths shut perfectly. Those two APA hotels in Kyoto stopped to accept visitors, and people who only get their information from TV news are forgetting about that news.
However, in the internet, people know the case doesn't end yet. If I write story precisely, story become very long. The kernel of a story is that this earthquake-resistance camouflage was done intentionally by the iron triangle of politician-bureaucrat-enterprise.The president of APA showed tears infront of camera, but it is sure that she knew her hotels and condominiums were built at cheep price and didn't meet the required legal safety level. Recently any TV programs don't say anything, but most serious problem is he CEO of APA Group ( husband of the president) is the subprincipal of the official supporters' group of PRIME MINISER SHINZO ABE.' It is not secret. In times past, this connection is published in some magazines.
Ordinarily, people must think like this;
APA Group has many hotels and condominiums besides the two hotels in Kyoto. There must be other many risky hotels and condominiums. They must be checked right away, and we should confirm the safety of the visitors and residents. In addition, the government bureaucrat should be punished and if a politician received contribution from APA group, he also should be criticized.PRIME MINISTER ABE got black money instead of national safety.
However, media is shutting their mouths in great style. Antiadministration parties also say nothing, who always attack government with trivial issues. I am not a babe who think media have perfect freedom of opinion, but this time, press restraints is TOO OBVIOUS. I have never experienced for my life.
I think near future, residents of the condominiums will appeal strongly, and media and government will not be able to shut them down. Antiadministration parties seem to have something weak points about this problem, but Prime Minister Abe will have to resign near future.
Anyway, I was astonished and became very sad to see the media people cast their pride aside easily. If the story above is boresome to you, I am very sorry but I can't help stop writing about this problem.

Be that as it may, we are often asked to read characters on the antique items. Frankly said, reading old texts are very difficult for us( and most other Japanese as well). There are two kinds of difficulties - one reason is because the characters are BROKEN('kuzusu'). Japanese characters were from China in ancient days, and people used Chinese characters 'Kanji' to write Japanese. Kanji characters have many number of strokes, so people wrote them hurriedly. These Kanji characters became simple by squiggle, and later they became 'Hiragana'. Now there are 50 Hiragana characters, and we can write everything with them. However, in the middle term, not only one, but several Kanji characters were hastily-scribbled to one Hiragana, so there existed way many different shapes' Hiragana characters. Of course, ancient 'kuzushi' characters (squiggle) have some rules to read, but they are not so easy, and we need some trainings and learning to tell the them.
Another difficulty is knowing the meaning of characters. Ancient texts are written in Chinese style('kan-bun'), characters and words often have different meanings from now. Not only the each meanings, but also the orders and grammar are different. We had learned how to read ancient text 'ko-bun, kan-bun' at school till high school, but reading them is still very difficult for us.
Recently I often hoped to read them, but I couldn't, and a few weeks ago, I began learning how to read ancient 'kuzushi' characters. Reding ancient hand writing texts is similar to solving the puzzle and fun!
I believe I will be able to provide more information about old texts on the antique items. If I can do so, I would like to offer you more 'text kakejiku' , which have interesting meanings.

Thank you very much for reading to the end. Today we will list contemporary high-end uchikake, rare maru obi( one maru obi from Meiji period has musical notation motif!), fukuro obi, yukata cotton sample fabrics, 'shamisen'(Japanese guitar), interesting okimono(vivid horse!), hyotan and bolts.
We hope you can find your favorite among them.

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