Two things on Tuesday | Montpellier, France

First: we’re not even all the way through July, I haven’t gone on summer holidays yet and there are already fallen autumn leaves on the ground. What’s up with that?

Second: I love this necklace for many reasons – it reminds me of the wonderful Christmas market in Toulouse where I bought it from, it’s made of two-sided, square pieces of encased Japanese fabric with patters and pictures, each of which is never repeated more than once, it makes a nice, light rattling sound when I move and it matches absolutely everything I own – including, as I surprisingly discovered after I took these photos today, my red shoes. [Can you tell I’ve been reading a lot of style/fashion blogs lately? It’s been way too hot to do anything more productive or thoughtful, so let’s just go ahead and blame this observation on them. Ok? Great!]

What’s in a name | New York, USA

I saw this KATSU stencil when I was walking around SoHo with my friend Rino, who’s Japanese, which was very convenient, as – since I decided the word was surely Japanese, she could tell me what it meant. Even though (or maybe because) she said it has something to do with a pork dish, I promptly decided that Katsu will from now on be my Japanese name.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say on the matter:

Katsu may refer to:

  • Katsu (Zen): a type of shout used in Chán and Zen Buddhism, as well as in the martial arts
  • Katsu: a band from Central Pennsylvania
  • KATSU!: manga by Mitsuru Adachi
  • Tonkatsu: a Japanese pork dish
  • Katsudon: a bowl of rice with tonkatsu
  • Kappo: a resuscitation techniques also known as katsu

People named Katsu include:

  • KATSU (angela): Japanese musician, member of pop band angela
  • Katsu Kaishu (Awa Katsu) (1823-1899): Japanese statesman and naval officer
  • Shintaro Katsu (1931-1997): Japanese actor
  • Katsu Aki (born 1961): manga artist
  • Katsu (active ca. 1800-1810): Courtesan in Edo, Achieved the ranking Oiran, premier class prostitute. Katsu was a woman of letters and associated with the intellectual elite (bunjin) of her days

Isn’t that crazy? From my quick google search, it would also appear that Katsu is a somewhat well-know stencil/tag/street artist in New York.

Anyways, to go back to the original story, after spotting what I thought was this unique stencil and taking the above photo, in what must be a simplified case of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, we continued to walk around and I started noticing it literally everywhere: on sidewalks, walls of buildings, trash cans…. at that point, I had been in the city for a few days, so I’m sure I had simply glossed over dozens and dozens of these stencils until I saw that one and just could not stop seeing them.

If that story doesn’t blow your mind, here is another, also Baader-Meinhof-ish one in the loosest sense of the term: Rino and I ended up buying the same shoes (they are actually in the paper bag that’s also in the picture) and we agreed that – when she goes back to Japan and I go back to Bulgaria, we’ll each take a photo of our feet while wearing them on some typical Tokyo and, respectively, Sofia grounds and I’ll do a post about it here. Now that I uploaded the image, I realized that I also own (and currently wearing as I type) an identical pair of those black Havaianas flip-flops that Rino has on in the photo. Ok, they’re probably among the most common summer footwear there is (which is likely why it didn’t even register with me at the time), but still a nice little coincidence.

So, how about it, Rino? Send me your photo from Tokyo?