In these schizophrenic days of Portland winter (I just watched the weather go from misty rain to snow to sun, then back to very heavy rain in under 5 min.) it’s hard to know whether an umbrella is going to be a mandatory accessory for the day or just a cumbersome irritation. Most Portlanders seem to be vehemently opposed to this functional tool, dismissing it as an unnecessary and unfashionable trinket. Perhaps that’s because they haven’t seen my collection of Japanese umbrellas.
These beauties bear no resemblance to the black collapsible pieces of junk that flip inside out at the slightest breeze. No, no….these are strong, elegant and modern. Admittedly, I don’t own all the umbrellas in that photo, but perhaps only 8 or 9 of them. I’m not sure what it is about them that tickles my fancy so. Somehow they fit into the same category as fine lingerie, thigh-high stockings and incredible heels; all things I can’t resist. Though they didn’t invent the device, the Japanese have mastered the art of umbrella-making, and every man, woman and child in Tokyo owns at least a few. Check any family closet and you’re sure to find the ubiquitus dome-shaped clear plastic one, a parasol for sunny days, several happy colorful ones to bring some cheer to a cloudy day, and maybe a black one for the boring man of the house.
We currently have only two umbrellas for sale in the store – A classic navy blue one with contrasting ivory piping and a leather handle (second from the left in the photo above) and the same style in ivory/burgundy. I would love to start importing these gorgeous umbrellas from Japan, but I have yet to ascertain the demand for them – am I the only one? Is this a peculiar obsession? Call me crazy, but I just feel that we ought to get some joy from the interminable rain, and my green and white polka-dotted WPC never fails to brings a smile to my face. Drop me a line if you feel the same!