Bunshindo is Kawajiri Brush, which is located next to Kumano. Kawajiri has Koyomo brushes, too. Both Kumano and Kawajiri are located in the middle of Hiroshima prefecture.
By the way, Japan has 47 prefectures, the biggest of which is Tokyo. The second is Kanagawa that has Yokohama. Hiroshima Prefecture has only 2.8 million people, which ranks the 12th. So there are many local (small ) prefectures and small cities. Or you can say that Tokyo is too big for local people.
Bunshindo has Kolinsky hair that was bought 30 years ago. It has been kept well for long, which is good for brush.
In Japanese, 古 means ‘old,’ and is pronounced as ‘Ko.’ You may have realized that Koyomo is 古(Ko)羊毛(Yomo) (Yomo means old goat hair)
Now they use it as a brand name.
The Bunshindo web page ranks goat hair as follows: 古細微光鋒 (Ko Saibikoho)
古細光鋒 (Ko Saikoho)
古粗光鋒 (Ko Sokoho)
There are 2 more hair ranking higher than these hairs.
All have a kanji 古 (means old) so it is old hair that is softer and more expensive.
Istan Shinjuku is the No.1 department store in the women fashion. Maybe No.1 department store all round in Japan.
Hankyu Umeda has a good reputation but I haven’t been there. Umeda is in Osaka, and it takes almost 3 hours by super express.
I have read that Isetan and Hankyu had the best service. I wrote as the past tense, as some people say it is not true anymore. I can stil see a different between Isetan and others. Isetan employees seem to know products well. They also move and reply quickly.
There are always some exhibits at stairs like this:
I had an interesting chat with a shop manager of makeup company.
He is 188cm tall and good looking so he stands out at the makeup floor. He says his father is a Spanish with 2m tall, and that is how he becomes tall. His mother is Japanese.
What he is good at is that he sees me as someone who buys on behalf of others and doesn’t talk a lot about makeup, LOL.
Topics of yesterday was a dog.
He said, ‘he has three dogs.’ Bulldog, Irish Setter and Chihuahua. Very rarely I see an English bulldog in Japan so I asked how much he paid. He said ‘840,000 yen!’ (8000 USD)
I joked to him how good the company paid but still….
He says that he is single and that he doesn’t spend much money on anything else so it was not a difficult decision.
Those dogs with a different shape of mouth need special treatment – French bull, Pug, Bulldog, etc. So he needs to spend more time than on other dogs, but he looks happy)
Hakuhodo has a plastic cover on each brush now so that customers cannot try them now.
It seems that life in Tokyo goes back normal. I can see commuting trains are not as crowded as before. When I take a subway at 7pm, which is usually packed, there is a big space between people.
All the department stores are now open. I went to Isetan to buy Dolce & Gabbana. Though it was crowded, I saw a half as many people as usual.
Japanese ‘lockdown’ has not been as strict as those of some other countries. It still remains to be answered how Japan recovered, but I can tell wherever I go, people wear a mask. Almost 100%.
One thing I can say is that people usually wear a mask to prevent themselves from being infected by influenza in winter. People make it routine to wear a mask.
Some women wear a mask when they don’t do makeup.
You can say mask has been a Japanese culture before the corona virus , and now there are more and more fashionable ones.
I have received orders for SHAQUDA brush cleaner. I asked a client of mine why she liked, and here is her reply.
‘The cleaner is has a lovey fresh fragrance. I spray my brushes after use and wipe them on a micro fibre towel (actually I use the artis ones). It doesn’t get the foundation brushes as clean as a wash does of course but it’s enough to keep them in good condition in between washes. I particularly like it on my natural hair brushes I don’t think I’ve tried it on a synthetic brush. I am very happy with it.’
Please let me know if you have any questions.
If you used Hakuhodo soap or Koyudo cleaner, please let me know.
All department stores are closed in Japan for food sections.
People are encouraged to work home.
If the request to ‘stay home’ gets long, it might be discussed whether the school year should be changed or not. From (April – March) to (September – July), which will be the same as that of many countries.
Japan is very slow in changing the system, so I don’t think it will happen.
But many people are discussing a ‘after corona’ world.
Now USA join the list of the countries that EMS cannot be mailed to.
I can still send brushes to most of Asian countries.
Hakuhodo and makeup products, I hope, will be available from May 6, when department stores open again.
I will keep you posted.
Hakuhodo and Koyomo are on sale at a discount 0f 5% till May 6.
Rare products are requested from time to time by my clients, but due to a shortage of hair, they are not available.
Those hair include:
White Canadian squirrel
Kolinsky cheek or powder
I send requests to make brush makers, but it is slow….
A manufacturer needs a minimum order unit. e.g. 100 -300 brushes.
They want to get a bigger order.
I have been thinking of 2 alternatives:
One is crowdfunding.
It is funding but more like ‘pre-order.’
If there is a new idea or request for a product, I post to a crowdfunding site.
If I can get a funding sufficient to order in a bulk, I give an order to a brush maker.
If the amount is under the required amount, all money paid will be returned.
We can tell whether a product is popular or not.
The other way is a group order.
I recognize you often belong to a fude community that sends me a group order.
If the number of orders reaches the minimum units to produce brushes, I can order them. This is easier for me, if there are a sufficient number of clients.
Either way, I want to make it work. I need to be creative!
If you have an idea, please let me know!
Here are pictures of a drug store I visited yesterday.
(The picture is limited face powder of Elegance with Swarovski, which will be released in June)
It was raining so hard all day yesterday in Tokyo.
People in Tokyo have been requested to stay home, and the heavy rain made them stay home all day.
I usually walk in the neighbor but yesterday I stayed all day. I made a simple ramen.
There was a new lunch shop nearby, and the prices are reasonable.
Kyoto and Nagoya also closed shops and now I will need to order products from local cities. I ordered Jill Stuart from Gunma, far north of Tokyo.
Now I am an expert on where department stores are in Japan )
I ordered Hakuhodo from Sapporo, and Hiroshima will be an option too.
During this ‘stay home,’ I began to read English study books so I decided to write a blog about English study in Japanese. I hope some people will read them, but outputs are always good to remember what we learn!
(the picture is suqqu summer, please let me know if your interested)
I regularly talk to Dior.
Two weeks ago, my contact said that fewer people were shopping these.days.
Few days ago, she told me that the shop was very crowded. Consumers came back.
As far as I am concerned, I still go to department stores on a regular basis, and it seems that there are many visitors there.
Isetan had many Chinese before but these days I mostly see Japanese. Still crowded.
Though many people are worried, they go shopping.
This is the current situation in Japan.
I visited the Pokemon Center and Nintendo at the new Parco. First time, but yes looks busy.
I don’t know how long it takes this situation to be over. Japanese seem to be relaxed. Mass media is busy with making people worry as always, as they can get more viewers and readers.
I cannot tell what will happen in the future, but one big factor is the Olympic Games.
I think it will be postponed, till later this year or 2 years.
Once it is decided, more moves will be seen in Japan.
There is another thing I can see. Many companies encourage workers to work at home or avoid the rush hour.
This may be big.
Japanese are evaluated by their faith or loyalty to a company not by individual performances. They don’t say so, of course but still is.
There are so many changes introduced to workplaces, but how faithful is still important. If your performances can sh0w numbers e.g. sales, it is different, but many performances are evaluated by their superiors, and this vague ‘faithfulness’ is counted.
Now this coronavirus.
Remote work is encouraged and their performance will be evaluated by their output or what they produce. That will be a performance based evaluation.
The coronavirus might be a trigger for many people to change their workstyle.
I was informed thatJP Post cannot send a parcel to China from Japan, due to the decrease of fights between Japan and China. Now I cannot send products to China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau.
It seems that we can still send EMS to most countries.
The other days, I found that we cannot send EMS to Kazakhstan.
In this newsletter, I want to talk about how I send brushes and makeup to your country, and some issues I encountered.
I use EMS (Express Mail Service ) mainly. Very rarely I use registered mail.
The big difference is the amount of insurance covered by each method.
Registered mail insures 6000 yen at max, regardless of an amount put to the label.
EMS insures an amount written in the label and it is free coverage up to 20,000 yen.
If your purchase is 15000 yen and written on the label, it is fully insured by EMS for free premium, but registered mail insures only 6000 yen. If more than 20,000 yen, with an additional charge, e.g. 50 yen to the next threshold, basically all is covered when lost or damaged.
It has been good for several years except for some delays.
I have recently had several issues and want to write about them.
I had three parcels that were not delivered last month. It was very rare to have three cases at the same time.
Holland, France and Brazil.
Those parcels werenot delivered.
When not delivered, an investigation request is submitted to the JP Post by me.
I usually bring it to a big Post. The closest one is Shibuya.
Usually, actions are taken directly the investigation is submitted.
The parcel in Brazil was delivered to a client very quickly, but there have been longer processes for French and Dutch cases.
Eventually, I was informed that the French one waslost, and that the Dutch one was returned to Japan.
It was not the end of the story for the French case.
I was requested to send a letter to seek for the insurance – 6000 yen for registered mail, but later, the box arrived at my place!
There was a report that it was lost but it actually was returned.
For several years, I have been sending parcels overseas, so far no loss of a parcel. And this time ended with no loss.
I felt sorry to my clients that wait so long…
I wish all to be good, but these types of troubles or exceptions give me good knowledge.
When people enter a shop, the machine automatically says ‘Irasshaimase !’ so that shop employees can easily say this welcome word.
Moreover, shop employees don’t have to communicate with a client due to the partition. It is said to be hard to hire an employee for a restaurant but it is easier to hire an employee at Ichiran. Employees feel more comfortable.
Please take a look:
Maybe you can try ramen at Ichiran when you travel to Japan ?
Today is Christmas Eve, and shops and restaurants are the most crowded of all year.
I walked around a department store on Sunday.
I saw many men there. Usually, 90% of visitors to the makeup floor are women, but at this time of the year, men come with women.
I enjoyed observing them shopping.
Because I always had a hard time when I was waiting in line, I wanted to know how men behaved! People watching is very interesting!
I have products in mind when I am at shop.
I get an order and go and buy it there, So my visit could be done in less than one minute.
When I see customers waiting in line, I go to another shop to spend time. But when I have only one shop to visit, I will wait there.
That waiting time gives me ………… total agony.
I have nothing to do but to take a picture. It is done in less than one minute so I work on iPhone or pretend to do so…
So I was curious about how men wait.
Some men are sitting next to their partners. Some are waiting outside a makeup counter.
But what do shop employees think of the couple ?
I asked this question to two employees.
One shop person did not like it. They are just flirting and not buying. Yes, it is one way to look at….
The other person loves it. It is likely that men pay and that women buy it more often than usual. That employee tries to talk to a man to keep him involved. More conversations, more fun, and they will buy. Clever.
This reminds me of one joke ( or true).
Man is a bank ATM to get money from. A popular joke in Japan.