Academic journal article Transnational Literature

Good Luck in the New Year

Academic journal article Transnational Literature

Good Luck in the New Year

Article excerpt

I killed three fruit flies that were buzzing around the mikan oranges on the counter this morning, and in the garden there were slugs after yesterday's rain, so it is not looking much like Christmas here.

I was with Sachiko doing some shopping; she was looking for some tights for Mina. I have been warned in the past about staring too intently at the posters in the women's lingerie section, so I wandered over to men's underwear.

It is the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese zodiac, and the monkey's lucky colour is red.

There was a display of bright red underwear: long johns, briefs and T-shirts. The wearer was promised good luck, and so on a whim I picked up a bright red cotton T-shirt.

This T-shirt is a work of craft. I would say 'art,' but that word is overused. The T-shirt was made in Japan by a company called Gunze, one of those companies that started by making silk kimonos in the mid-nineteenth century and now makes fibres for everything from socks to aerospace components. …

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