Sunday, December 28, 2014

#251- Good-bye 2014, and Hello 2015




Today was my last day of “Oosoji” (in Japanese, in English “Spring Cleaning” or “Major Cleanup”) for a new year.


I am a clean freak and I love cleaning, so I don’t need to do special cleaning for my home (because I always keep clean my home! ha ha…), but we (Japanese people) always have a special cleaning time around the end of the year.

 
Anyway, I did a special cleaning for my home for a new year, it was a Zen Cleaning (I counted my belongings in my home & my car, and I appreciated them and wiped them).

 
2660 belongings are in my home & my car (Simple is best, I don't want to have many belongings in my home & my life!).


I feel so fresh!


Now I can say thank you to 2014 & good-bye to 2014, and now I would like to say hello to 2015.


I can’t wait to have more fun in 2015.
 
Yes, Good-bye 2014, and Hello 2015 :)


By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles Dec 28, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto 


Monday, December 8, 2014

#250- Hello! Hello Kitty!!



Do you know how old Hello Kitty is?


She is 40 years old.




As you know, Hello Kitty is not a cat, she is a girl… I mean she is a 40 year-old-girl.




I wrote a column about her on Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion business newspaper) website. So, I would like to share it with you. Please read below (my translation into English from Japanese).


 

***

 

Published on December , 2014 (in Japan)

By Yoko Fujimoto
Writer in Los Angeles


 

Title of the column: Celebration for Hello Kitty in L.A.!


 
Hello Kitty” is a representative character of Sanrio Company, Ltd. and “she” is an icon of Japanese pop culture in U.S.A. as well.
 
This year is the 40th anniversary of “Hello Kitty”, and Sanrio and the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, downtown Los Angeles (L.A.) (http://www.janm.org ) celebrate it by the special exhibition “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty”. The exhibition opened on October 11th.
 
600 items of the first product in 1975 (coin case), rare & unique products and collaboration goods with companies & designers etc. , and 40 items of artworks of Hello Kitty motif by artists.
 
Mr. Koji Steven Sakai who is a vice president of programs at Japanese American National Museum explained, “Japanese American had a hard time for a long time, because of the racism. We are introducing the history of Japanese American at our museum, but Hello Kitty gave us the light. Since 1970s, American people see us (Japanese American and Japan) good images through Hello Kitty. That’s why this exhibition has a big meaning for our museum”.
 
An annual visitor of this museum is 10,000 people, but the first month of this exhibition had 30,000 visitors. This tells how popular Hello Kitty is. Not only women visitors, they have men visitors with children. There are wide range of visitors (age and race).
 
Some Asian American women said, Why Hello Kitty doesnt have a mouth? Do men think that quiet women are attractive? and they see the image of a maledominated society. Most of American understands that Hello Kitty has a mysterious charm, because she doesn’t have a mouth. She can being with us anytime when we feel happy or sad. It’s a simple cute character”.
 
Many visitors impressed by the Lady Gaga’s Hello Kitty dress which made of Hello Kitty’s stuffed dolls. This exhibition is until April 26, 2015.
 
Photo1:
Kitty-chan who is wearing the kimono like a kokeshi doll at the entrance welcomes us
 
Photo2:
Pencils, pencil box, backpack, water bottle, gum etc. We can enjoy each product through many showcases
 
Photo3:
Coin purse, this is the first product of Hello Kitty in 1975
 
Photo4:
Toaster, Rice cooker etc. most of the daily goods are making into a product of Hello Kitty
 
Photo5:
Grown-ups are also able to enjoy cute lifestyle with a Hello Kitty champagne glass
 
Photo6:
Tie to suit, these are for men’s fan of Kitty-chan
 
Photo7:
Roller skate and surfboard, these are good for California lifestyle with Kitty-chan
 
Photo8:
“Many visitors are wearing Hello Kitty’s T-shirts, shoes, jewelries etc”, Mr. Koji Steven Sakai who is a vice president of programs at Japanese American National Museum said


Photo9:
Local Hello Kitty doll of California and Hollywood


Photo10:
Corroboration goods with L.A. apparel brands “Paul Frank” and “Vans”, anniversary figure of L.A. baseball team “Los Angeles Dodgers” etc., there are many rare products
 
Photo11:
From left, artworks of Mr. Michael Courville (accomplished prop master for films, television shows, theater groups, and Sanrio’s Puroland theme park in Japan.), Mr. Paul Frank (The owner & designer of L.A. apparel brand “Paul Frank”) and Kozyndan (American husband-and-Japanese wife team of Kozue and Dan Kitchens)
 
Photo12:
This summer, the statement “Hello Kitty is not a cat, she is a girl” is in the news. This artwork is by the Swedish artist Julia Sh who lives in Los Angeles
 
Photo13:
It looks like a delicious cake art by Osamu Watanabe who is known for elaborate paintings, sculptures, and installations that mimic sweet foods such as cakes decorated with candies and fruits
 
Photo14:
This sculpture is by Simone Legno who is the creative director and co-founder of L.A. apparel brand “tokidoki”. It has full impact
 
Photo15:
Kawaii fashion of Japan is leading by Kitty-chan
 
Photo16:
Many visitors say “wow!” in front of this Lady Gaga’s dress which made of Hello Kitty’s stuffed dolls



***
The other day, my mother who lives in Tokyo, Japan said to me over the phone, “What? Kitty-chan doesn’t have a mouth???  I thought she has it”.
 
Even though my mother bought me so many goods of Hello Kitty since 1975, she didn’t realize that Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth.
  

I realized that “I didn’t think about the Hello Kitty’s mouth is important or not?”


Now, I really think about the meaning of the mouth…and I think…the meaning of the mouth doesn’t matter, we can feel happy without words (we don’t need a mouth!).
 
After I wrote this column on Senken-Shimbun, I counted how many goods of Hello Kitty do I have at my home in L.A. (most of goods are from my mother).

1- Key holder (it’s old, so I don’t use it anymore, but I can’t throw away…it’s my mother’s gift)


2- Hand towel (from my mother. I am using this as a mat for an iPhone)


3- Pouch with a schedule note book (from my mother. she sent me this in 2002 from Tokyo, I don’t use it anymore)



4- Letters and envelopes (from my mother)


5- Pouch (from my mother. I am using it right now, my wallet & handkerchief & tissue paper & business card case are in it)


6- Some tissue papers (from my mother)



7- Handkerchief (from my mother)


8- Nightgown (I bought it at Bloomingdale's in L.A.)


I didn’t realize that I still have 8 goods of Hello Kitty at home in L.A. (I am sure that my mother & I have more goods in my mother’s house in Tokyo, Japan.) Hello! Hello Kitty!


How about you? Have you counted goods of Hello Kitty at your home?


I hope you enjoyed the Hello Kitty’s small story and you have a big smile like her philosophy “small gift, big smile”.



By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles Dec , 2014
Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto 



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

#249- Shake It Off ???



When I listened to the song “Shake It Off” (by Taylor Swift) at first time, I said, “Yes, I do too. I Shake It Off !

 

#1- I Shake It Off (at the certain fashion show) :

 
When I was at the certain fashion show the other day for Senken-Shimbun (a major Japanese fashion business newspaper, similar to WWD and California Apparel News) website column, I was shocked by the situation …

 
At first, there was no seat at the show for media (I usually get the front row seat as a journalist) … but … I Shake It Off … I found the nice spot for taking photos (behind the seats & from the corner, I thought I could take photos of whole thing & show … audience, model, grass, trees etc.), and I was chatting with some guys who were also standing behind the seats.

 
And then … the show director came up to me, and he asked me to sit in the front row, because there were lacking audience (he wanted us to fill the seats to look nice their audience seats) … what now???

 
I thought … it was very unprofessional & rude behavior … He seemed like he only cared about “VIP” … He didn’t care about media (or Japanese media?) … but … I Shake It Off

 
Yes, I remember that I had a similar experience at the other fashion show (very famous show) long time ago (in 2004? I don’t remember) … they did it the same thing like this show. They were very unorganized for media & audience. They just cared about “VIP” … Yes, they couldn’t make it … they had to close down the show in L.A. (They still have shows in N.Y., Tokyo etc. …)

 
Anyway, my point is … if people don’t care about people … these business people can’t make good business.

 

#2- I Shake It Off (at my apartment) :

 
I think … I can work as an apartment manager, I mean I could be a perfect apartment manager, because I can see many things at once (yes, there are many problems at my apartment building) …

 
Lately, I stopped reporting about these problems to the apartment management office … because they (my apartment company office) don’t care & appreciate my reports. I just felt like … I gave up … I Shake It Off

 
My purpose of report was for everyone … I mean … to be safe to live here (for tenants) & save expense etc. (for apartment company / and of course, avoid of raise our rent) … but … I guess they don’t see my point.

 

But … But … But …

 
The other day, I saw one couple (Korean young couple) in the swimming pool area with two dogs (they shouldn’t bring dogs in the swimming pool area / the notice is on our apartment lease etc.), I couldn't ignore this … so I took some photos of them by my iPhone from my room (my room is in front of the swimming pool).

 
Why?  I am afraid of dogs (I don’t want to see their dogs without leashes around elevator area or parking area) and I don’t want to see the messy & dirty grass (hurt grass by dogs) … I needed to report about them to the apartment office.

 
When I was taking some photos of them, the couple started asking me “why are you taking photos of us?”

 
Me: You guys shouldn’t be in this swimming pool area with dogs. I am afraid of dogs, so please use leashes.

 
Korean woman: There is no sign about it (dogs shouldn't be here), so we can walk around here (pool & grass etc.) with dogs. We don't need to use a leash in the dog park, so same here.

 
Me: This swimming pool area is not a dog park. And you know what, if you make damage of grass etc., we as tenants have to pay for it and our rent will go up again. Please consider these things. The apartment manager told me the other day, dog’s pee hurt grass.

 
Korean man: Dogs pee is good for grass.

 
Me: You guys need to read a lease or notice paper of this apartment.

 
Korean woman: I have been living in this apartment for two years, but I have never read any notice about pets.

 
Me: Why don’t you talk to a manager then.

 

Ok … I Shake It Off … they need to talk to a manager, not to me …

 
Ok … I wrote an email to an apartment manager about this. And I said in my email, “they don't have a common sense, so please make a sign (about dogs etc.) at the swimming pool entrance as soon as possible (if you can, please make a temporary sign / handwriting sign etc.) Here are 8 photos of two dogs & a Korean couple. Please see attachments.”

 

Ah … until today (past two days), there is no reply to my email …

 
Ok … I Shake It Off … I will keep my mouth shut, and keep writing … I need to make more money and then, I really can Shake It Off like Taylor Swift :)

 
By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles November 11, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#248- Repurpose? (@SENKEN-SHIMBUN /daily newspaper for fashion business)

When I heard of the word “repurpose” from Mr. Phillip Dane … I was not sure what does it means…



Mr. Phillip Dane is a president of L.A. Event Co. (http://laeventco.com/). I met him at the L.A. Flea Market at Dodger Stadium in July 2010. The event was held by him.


                                                                                     

Last month, he opened the new style market. The key word is “repurpose”.




So…I wrote about it in my column on Senken Shimbun (major Japanese fashion business newspaper) website.




I would like to share it with you. Please read below (my translation into English from Japanese of them).


 
Title of the column: “Repurpose?” from L.A.


 
***


Updated on Oct 7, 2014 (in Japan)


By Yoko Fujimoto


Writer in Los Angeles


 


Title of the column: “Repurpose?” from L.A.




 
Recently, in the United States, “made in U.S.A. products” has been reviewed in all business area because of the impact of recession (promote employment in the United States) etc, and there are also many “handmade goods” for the purpose of thrifty.


Every Sunday, each area in L.A. such as Hollywood, Studio City held large-scale farmer’s markets, and handmade accessories or crafts has been selling along with flowers, vegetables and fruits.


Meanwhile, last month, the new style market with the theme of “craft and handmade” (every Sunday) was opened in downtown L.A. The venue is at first floor of the building such as the castle, which was built in 1924. This market’s name is “Odd Market” (http://laeventco.com/odd-market).


Clothing, accessories, miscellaneous goods, furniture, paintings, sweets etc, all of products are handmade along with “clothing, food and housing”.

 
There are 7 of food trucks (hamburgers, tacos, Korean BBQ etc) which they are trendy thing in L.A. outside of this market, and DJ and musicians are playing music at this market. We can enjoy shopping and dining with music all day in this space.

 
There are many attractive goods such as T-shirts with the theme of South California & outdoor sports “NO & YO” (www.noandyo.com), Japanese customers also love the Obi-belt of women’s & men’s “Miguel Torres” (www.migueltorresdesigns.com), Lamps repurposed by engine and pipe of trucks “Luke Hobbs Design” (www.LukeHobbsDesign.com), Handmade furniture which also sold in Japan “Against The Grain” (www.AgainstTheGrainWood.com).

 
The owner of this market is Mr. Phillip Dane who is the founder of the Melrose flea market at the Fairfax high school which is well known for Japanese tourists. He revealed the secret key word for success in L.A. “Repurpose is really fresh”.

 
Photo 1:
“Odd Market” is at Casa Vertigo (1828 Oak Street, Los Angeles)

 
Photo 2:
There are 60 venders at Odd Market

 
Photo 3:
“Both of us quit our jobs (layers) for our dream which is making T-shirts” said Ms. Isabella Noyola (left) and her husband Mr. Yanni Noyola (right)

 
Photo 4:
Obi-belt is a signature product of “Miguel Torres”. 14 years for women’s and 1 month for men’s (just debut)

 
Photo 5:
Owner & designer of “Against The Grain” Mr. Sal Tamayo and his signature furniture

 
Photo6:
The owner of “Odd Market” and the president of L.A. Event Co. (
http://laeventco.com), Mr. Phillip Dane held many events such as “L.A. Flea Market at Dodger Stadium” and “China town summer nights” etc.

 
Photo 7:
Kids T-shirts “Mexican style character”. JDN73 (
www.JDN73.com) is getting popular with these kids T-shirts, so the owner & designer Mr. Jorge Daniel Nunez started making T-shirts for women & men

 
Photo 8:
Concept is made in L.A. and urban comfort “dino apparel” (
www.dinoapparel.com). Owner & designer Ms. Suzanne Rijneveld and her popular products. These days yoga pants are popular than jeans in U.S.A.

 
Photo 9:
Harmonograph draw the pattern for T-shirts “J. Sayuri”  (
www.jsayurikimbell.com). Ms. J. Sayuri Kimbell and her space

 
Photo 10:
Full of ethnic. Accessories made of stones, glass and bones from Africa, Morocco etc. “stones, glass & bones” (
www.stonesglassbones.com)

 
Photo 11:
Accessories made of cap for spray can or recycle leather “Touch of Soulful Creations”

 
Photo 12:
The theme of the paintings is human and technology “Human Tree Robot” (
www.HumanTreeRobot.com). The artist Mr. Mark Brunner. He also sells magnets of his paintings for a refrigerator

                                                        
Photo 13:
Cake pops and cup cakes “surprise surprise bake shop” (
www.surprisesurprisebakeshop.com). Cake is in the bottle, so unique!

 
Photo 14:
Handmade chocolates and cookies “Velvet Rope Bake Shop” (
www.VelvetRopeBakeShop.com). The hand writing tags gives us the handmade feel

 
***

I hope you enjoyed window shopping on my blog… and if you are in L.A., visit “Odd Market”.

 
Oh…By the way, I’ve got a scoop from Phillip, “Odd Market Casa Vertigo monthly instead of weekly. It will be held on the 3rd Sunday of the month. And I am moving it to Thursday Nights starting Nov 6th in Studio City at Sportsmen's Lodge on Ventura and Coldwater.”

 
Life is fun, right?
Let’s enjoy together!

 
By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles Oct 7, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto
 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

#247- BEAUTY is in L.A. (@SENKEN-SHIMBUN /daily newspaper for fashion business)

These days I have been thinking about BEAUTY a lot.


My mom (who lives in Tokyo, Japan / She spent time in L.A. this summer) said, “There is a beautiful large blue sky in L.A.!!! Ocean and mountains are so beautiful. There are so many beautiful flowers and trees in L.A.!”

Yes, there are so many beautiful things in L.A.

And there are also many beautiful people in L.A.

About BEAUTY… I wrote two columns on Senken Shimbun (major Japanese fashion business newspaper) website on July 28th and Sept 9th.

I would like to share them with you. Please read below (my translation into English from Japanese of them).


Title of the column: “The behind the scene of Beauty?” from L.A. (July 28th, 2014)

Title of the column: “The model of Beauty?” from L.A. (Sept 9th, 2014)



***

Updated on July 28th, 2014 (in Japan)
By Yoko Fujimoto
Writer in Los Angeles

Title of the column: “The behind the scene of Beauty?” from L.A.


 

“Fashion + Hair + Makeup = Balance of Beauty”, so I attended the trade show for hair & makeup artists “PHAMExpo(https://www.phamexpo.com)”.

Mr. Michael O’Rourke who is a celebrity hair stylist and an owner of ROCK YOUR HAIR (http://www.rockyourhair.com) said, “Cut is the most important thing for clothing and hair”, and he emphasized that “80s fashion is back, so the big hair style will be hot.”

“80s thick eyebrows are in style. Everyone looks younger with these eyebrows” said Ms. April Love who is an owner of April Love Pro Makeup Academy (http://aprillovepromakeupacademy.com).

Mr. Stephen Dimmick who is an instructor of April Love Pro Makeup Academy and a celebrity makeup artist (http://stephendimmick.com) predicated “the key to makeup is face structure and light”. “Do curl your eyelashes, you will be a beautiful girl”, he gave us a makeup secret, and he also gave us a hard advice that “if you don’t have a beautiful mind, you are not able to look beautiful. Even though you have a makeup skill you are not able to look beautiful.”

“Important things are beautiful skin and beautiful cheek color” said Mr. Jacob Adam Aguirre who is a makeup artist (http://www.jacobadamaguirre.com).


Ms. Claudia Soare who is a president of the world famous eyebrow salon ANASTASIA Beverly Hills (http://www.anastasia.net) said, “Balance of beautiful face starts from eyebrows. Colorful makeup is the key to change our image and mood. The secret of originality is the color.”

Ms. Pamela Hackeman who is a co-owner of BEHIND THE SEEN - BTS - Organic Face & Body Care (http://www.behind-the-seen.net) said, “Most important thing of behind the scene of beauty is skin care. If you have a beautiful skin, you feel confident”.

The balance of beauty is like clothing, we need to have creativity and originality.

Photo 1: At PHAMExpo. Proud of 50 years of career, Mr. Michael O’Rourke who is a celebrity hair stylist & an owner of ROCK YOUR HAIR and his hair model

Photo 2: At PHAMExpo. Mr. Stephen Dimmick who works for VOGUE & fashion shows and his makeup model

Photo 3: At PHAMExpo. Ms. Claudia Soare who is a president of the world famous eyebrow salon ANASTASIA Beverly Hills. She has beautiful eyebrows and beautiful purple hair.



***
Updated on Sept 9th, 2014 (in Japan)
By Yoko Fujimoto
Writer in Los Angeles

Title of the column: “The model of Beauty?” from L.A.


All year round L.A. surrounded by bright blue sky, bright blue ocean, bright green trees and colorful flowers. Maybe good climate and richness of nature heal people’s mind. We notice that there are many beautiful people who have beautiful mind in L.A.

“Taking advantage of beauty, and established a beauty, keep the beauty, enjoy the beauty, create the beauty, and wears a beauty. The life of the beautiful people is beautiful for everything”. We see many people who are doing these things in L.A.

Ms. Samantha Lockwood who was born in Beverly Hills (the town symbolizes the celebrity of L.A.) and grew up in Malibu (the town can enjoy the elegant life style of L.A.), she is an actress (www.SamanthaLockwood.com ), an instructor of Bikram Yoga and an owner & designer of an accessories brandFleurings (www.Fleurings.com )”.

“Thanks to my parents I was exposed to acting and yoga all of my life. I am an actress because of my father (veteran actor Gary Lockwood) and my mother (Denise DuBarry who is a former acctress). I am also an instructor of Bikram Yoga because of my parents. They studied yoga with Mr. Bikram Choudhury in 80s. My mother believed that it was important for her children to understand that being smart and educating yourself is not a complete education for happiness and self-fulfillment through life. She really believes that taking care of yourself and your body is important,” Ms. Lockwood said.

Ms. Lockwood’s beauty secret is “To be beautiful think beautiful thoughts.”

Eat organic food, Keep healthy body with Bikram Yoga, Training your mind with meditation, and entertain people with acting, create accessories with fresh flowers and provide beautiful products to people.  Ms. Lockwood’s motto is “Enjoy the experience. Appreciate where you are on a journey”.

The model of beauty is about the life style that “touches beautiful things every day”.

Photo 1: Ms. Samantha Lockwood (©Samantha Lockwood)

Photo 2: Yoga pose of Ms. Samantha Lockwood (©Samantha Lockwood)

Photo 3: Yoga pose in the water of Ms. Samantha Lockwood (©Samantha Lockwood)

Photo 4: Neckless of Fleurings (©Samantha Lockwood)

Photo 5: Ms. Samantha Lockwood is wearing earrings of Fleurings (©Samantha Lockwood)



***
I hope you felt something BEAUTY in my columns :)

Have a beautiful day!



By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles Sept 9, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto 

Friday, September 5, 2014

#246- My summer vacation in L.A. was…

Time goes by fast…summer is over…

My mom and my younger brother (they live in Tokyo, Japan) were in L.A. this summer.

I had such a nice summer vacation (59 days!) with them.



My plans for my mom and brother were… TREAT them like a 5 star hotel, SHOW them everything in L.A. and DO what special thing each day.



What we did…



TOOK 1465 photos (includes iPhone 436 photos) together.



WENT to a lot of places…

Hollywood Hills

Hollywood

Santa Monica

Malibu

West Hollywood

Beverly Hills

Downtown L.A. (Little Tokyo)

Century City

Culver City

Marina del Ray

Venice Beach

Westwood

Los Feliz / Silver Lake

Atwater Village (farmers market)

Glendale

Burbank

Pasadena

Palos Verdes

Studio City (farmers market)

Santa Clarita

Newport Beach

Costa Mesa

Laguna Beach

Ontario

Ventura

Camarillo

Ojai

Temecula



ENJOYED with some special events…

Nisei Week Japanese Festival / Tanabata Festival

dineL.A. Restaurant Week



SAW beautiful things at…

Griffith Park

The Getty Center & The Getty Villa



ATE a lot of food…

Lobster, Filet mignon, Hamburger, Sushi, Ice cream…


HAD a lot of my special coffee at home…

My mom said every morning, “I am look forward to having your delicious coffee every morning”.

My mom also said, “I love your cooking! They are better than restaurant food”.

Yes, we shopped at Gelson’s a lot. We ate fresh food every day and having fun together every day.



We really had a perfect summer vacation.

How was your summer?

I hope you had a nice summer too :)



P.S. I miss my mom & brother… my mom left a beautiful thank you note on my dining table and my brother left a surprise gift in my kitchen cabinet (Los Angeles mag cup!). I am really lucky that I have a nice family.

 

By Yoko Fujimoto

Los Angeles Sept 5, 2014

Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto