This is a modern version of an apparently traditional sake dealers apron. I think it's gorgeous and I think it may end up being the next addition to my work wear. It's probably far too "special" for it's intended use but as a maker myself I think it might be OK to show a solidarity with the maker of the apron by actually wearing his work, as he intends. I certainly appreciate what he has made and hope that a little of his artistic touch rubs off on me. You can see more work like this, as well as other products, by following the link below.
I'm putting this link in a post because I don't want it to get overlooked and I think that you may really appreciate some of the work there. Here's the link; http://www.shokuninn.com/english/index.html
The sort of contemporary work that artists, like these, are producing in Japan today is often more exciting and vital than much of what one sees in the usual tourist outlets. I suppose the more traditional, or historically defined products, are what most visitors to Japan want to see, or take home as mementos but for me, I really enjoy meeting with this younger generation of makers and artists and the work they produce. They're generally very respectful of the traditions out of which they work but they bring a freshness and very immediate relevance to what they do.
When I'm able I like to support this sort of work and the things I've bought give me a great deal of pleasure whenever I use or wear them. It's often the subtle attention to detail or the sensitive use of material that reminds me to stop and appreciate the moment. I'm also reminded to try and bring this gentleness of spirit to my own work. Perhaps this "gentleness of spirit" is the most valuable thing these gracious creators offer our hurried and distracted world.