Lonely infant stage

  • 2006.10.05 Thursday
  • 20:56
Lonely infant stage

16 years after our shop opened, I was born.

So let me move on to my experiences and about what I have thought about our Kimono shop until last year, from a Kimono shop daughter’s point of view.

Looking back at my childhood, our shop was in the best of condition and managed so well. Indeed, my parents were so busy. They opened the shop from 10AM to 9PM every single day. Therefore I wasn’t able to spend much time with them.

When I went to a friend’s house, I envied them for the fact that their mothers were at home (In Japan it is common after getting married or having a baby, for women to quit their jobs and become housewives).

I always felt lonely and thought, “Why was I born into a Kimono shop owner’s family?”

3saikahori (aroud 3 ages in front of old shop)

Preferring office work to Kimono shop

Kimonos are worn mainly by older people. It seemed so uncool to me!

I hated to say what my parents were doing.

In fact, Japanese tend to have a longing for Western cultures. When I said my parents ran a Kimono shop, no friend paid any attention. On the other hand, when others said their father was an office worker, we said, ”that’s cool!”

For me, the Kimono shop was the reason for my loneliness and uncoolness. However there was one good point -- we had no lack for money. Feeling guilty for not being able to be with me, my parents bought me almost everything I ever wanted. Yes! I was spoiled!

However, the wealthy period was short. We would see two dark shadows in a few years. One was the bubble economy bursting and the other was father’s death.

Escape from rural hometown

  • 2006.10.05 Thursday
  • 20:49
Escape from rural hometown

After getting married, they started a new life in Tokyo.

Keiko was so happy because she hated her hometown and dreamed of living in the city.

First of all, Sakae was working for a company and Keiko was a housewife.

However, they had an ambition to have their own shop.

Empress Michiko decided what the shop should be doing.

At the same time, the current Emperor got married with Michiko.

Ms Michiko was the first empress who was not from an imperial family.
She was entirely beautiful, friendly and intelligent.

Indeed she became popular among Japanese. The fist time she was
introduced to Japanese by photo, she was wearing a Kimono.
(This photo of Michiko was unvelled on November 22th, 1958.)

My mother was fascinated by her and Ms Michiko had become the women of
Keiko's dream. Finally they decided what kind of shop they were
starting. It was, of course, a Kimono shop.

The kimono shop, which is named Sakaeya ( the name is from my father's
name) was born on September 20th, 1959.

At this time, Keiko was 24 years old and Sakae was 31.

Prewar generation parents

  • 2006.10.05 Thursday
  • 20:47
My childhood

I was bored being in a Kimono shop owner’s family.

It was one hot day in Summer.

At that time, my father Sakae was 47 years old and my mother Keiko was 41, they already had two boys, one was 17 and the other was 13.

They were too shy to say they had a child again to my brothers.

So giving birth to me had been a secret.

The fist time my older bothers saw me they wondered if we had a new monkey as a pet. They already had a monkey and I looked like it according to them. (Please make sure to know that having a monkey in Japan is uncommon!!)aki (The monkey, Aki. Do I look like him?)

Prewar generation parents

Both Sakae and Keiko were born in Shikoku, a southern island in Japan, before WW2.

After WW2, Sakae moved to Tokyo to get a job. Afterwards, he met one woman who was not my mother and they had decided to get married.

In Japan, the custom is still working where grooms and brides ask their parents for their consent to marriage. Getting married is not a personal matter but a family one.

Therefore he went back to his house to get his father’s permission.

At that time, the US encouraged Japanese to go to church for postwar turmoil.

When he was in his hometown, he went to the church, Keiko was introduced to him by her friend who was the priest. She fell in love quickly.

The priest didn’t know why Sakae returned to his hometown. Oh God!

How Keiko got Sakae

The reason why my parents got married was because of Japan’s traditional family system.

As I said above, marriage has to be allowed by their parents.

Sakae’s father used to be a sergeant and was very strict and conservative.

Even through Sakae was not the oldest son (for patriarchal reasons, the oldest son’s wife is important), his father could not understand women who were living in the city and working.

On the other hand, my mother’s family runs the biggest liquor store in the town.

The daughter from such a famous family was welcomed!
( Our shop in around when I was bored)


Is this my life?

  • 2006.09.30 Saturday
  • 14:31

day1Nice to meet you! Thank you for visiting this site. I am Kahori OCHI,someone who is trying to become a Kimono shop owner for the second-generation.

You might wonder why I got such an honor to write a Blog on this website, although I am not famous. You know others are an announcer and an model. Today let me focus on this reason. ( I moved this blog to this site. It was used to be on one publisher site)

Now I am helping at my mother's Kimono shop, though I had been working at a company. As a usual Japanese, I worked at the same company for six years after graduating college. (employment for life is still common in Japan)

In those days, I lacked for nothing, but, when I became twenty-nine years old, I came to have the question"Is this my life?" Escalating this question, I had found something in
Norway. These aspects caused a chemical reaction that eventually I had given my job up and decided to go to Norway for studying.

Of course this experience completely changed my life.

How my life was changed was not only my occupation but also my thoughts and attitude towards life.

I have never regretted the choice of quiting my job and going to Norway for a moment. I think I can live more naturally than before. At least, I stopped wondering: "Is this my life?"

Recently I have started writing how I can get this thought on the private Blog http://2daime.kimono-sakaeya.com/
Knowing my experience, some strangers give me messages. They also have the same question and they are in sympathy with me. I have noticed there are many Japanese(not only Japanese but also non Japanese ;) that had the same struggle with life.

As it happens, one friend of mine who is working for Alc asked me to write my experiences on this site. (This blog was on Alc site) Immediately I thought, "Why not? It is my pleasure to cheer somebody up by writing my experience. My entire wish is that knowing my experience through this Blog, you find out
what you want to do by yourself.

That's me last year, someone who couldn't find what they wanted to do.I'm not a fortuneteller so I can't say what will happen to you tomorrow. I'm not a religious leader or anything, so i can't say anything is for sure. However, I can say something through my experience.

I want to use all the powers of the Blog. Let's communicate! Feel free to write what you think about my opinions on the comments or track back.

Lastly, I would like to say thank you to my friend S! I feel honored to have such a special opportunity. Moreover, this is more important!
Thank you S for giving me this title " Go abroad with Kimono by Kahori OCHI who is pretty!? Kimono Shop second generation owner "

So it's time to open our shop. I have to say good-bye for now.


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