Saturday, September 22, 2012

Seasonality Motif Chart for Kimono

Just like Western clothing, where you wouldn't wear a tanktop in December in most places, or a Christmas-themed sweater in July, kimono follow certain seasonal patterns in construction and motifs. Here is one seasonal chart I've translated, notable for its inclusion of motifs for each month. Most I run across only list construction details or general seasonal designs.

If you're not familiar with Japanese culture, a few might seem odd (for example, carp banners are a traditional decoration for Children's Day, held in May) but as you look through the months, you can see that most of the motifs are a reflection of nature at that time in the year.

If you're interested in the Japanese name for a motif or have any questions, let me know! :)

Life in Japan: Getting a Sagawa Package Redelivered

At some point of your life in Japan, if you order things, you're probably going to have a package delivered by the Sagawa company. Officially "Transport Communication Sagawa", they will leave a slip in your mailbox if you're not home to receive your package. You must be home to sign for it.

The slip, in Japanese, tells you how to have it redelivered through an automated phone system. Here's a simple, easy breakdown of what to press and when for those of you who don't speak Japanese or hate trying to follow formal Japanese on the phone (like me ;) ):

1. Call the redelivery number. The one in large red is a free call for anyone with a house phone. Cell-phone users will need to call the smaller number beneath it, which will incur whatever your normal cell-phone contract charges for calls.

2. After the automated voice explains what you have to enter, you will hear a beep. Enter your phone number. (You don't need to hit # or anything afterward).

3. Wait for more talking, and after the beep, enter the four-digit store-branch code.

4. More talking, beep. Enter the package number (marked with a red arrow pointing at it on the slip).

4. More talking, beep. Enter the day you would like the package redelivered. For the same day, press 0. To get the package redelivered on the same day, you must schedule redelivery by 6pm that day. For the 5th of the month, enter 05. For the 25th, 25.

5. More talking, beep. Enter the time slot you'd like. 7 is any time that day, 1 is during the morning, and then the numbers designate 2 hour slots onward up until 9pm that night.

6. At this point the automated voice should repeat back to you what you chose and ask for confirmation. Beep! At this point, enter 1 (we're assuming you followed the steps correctly and/or understand enough Japanese to hear the numbers for the day and time). If you're not sure, press 2 to make changes to the day and time.