Friday, February 29, 2008


I've been wearing haramaki for over 30 winters now - though for some reason not this year, could be my intensive winter regimen of chocorobics, or maybe it's that non-global non-warming, who can say...

Anyway, for all those decades the only people who wore haramaki outside their clothing (even in summertime!) were the generally tasteless big-bellied men of yesteryear who hung around pachinko parlors and for whom the external beige haramaki was a macho statement, especially with a pack of cigarettes tucked inside and a folded fan sticking out. Haramaki under the clothing was generally only for grandmas and grandpas and those who worked outdoors in winter, or people like me who lived in relatively unheated places.

Nevertheless each of those winters I dug out the old beige or gray (sometimes a daring pale
blue) haramaki, looked like my grandfather's undershirt, I wondered why, WHY (like the anko bean paste in the local souvenir bun-- don't they ever put anything else in the bun?) didn't the haramaki makers make stylishly varied haramaki?

Took a few decades, but finally a light bulb went off over someone else's head, someone in a position to do something about the black hole of haramaki style, and PingMag has a nicely detailed article about it.... these will go like hotcakes, or better yet, buns with not chalky bean paste inside, but semi-sweet chocolate crème, maybe. Or even raspberry jam, or...

We need more light bulbs around here.

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