New font incorporates English pronunciations into Japanese katakana


A U.K. company named Johnson Banks has come with an ingenious way to include English pronunciation in Japanese katakana characters. The company has dubbed this new font cleverly as “Phonetikana,” where each katakana character featured a few English letters to help English speakers say the word properly.

The company started incorporating the new font in simple words like “banana” and “tomato” but also showed what longer phrases such as the “sound of something spinning” would look like. The first simple example that company showed is the katakana characters for Uniqlo versus the new Phonetikana.

It’s a really brilliant idea, and I’m sure it will be incredibly helpful for so many people who are trying to learn Japanese.

The name Michael


Uniqlo in Phonetikana

Niko Niko=smile

 ˜Doki Doki =the sound of my heart beating

Kuru Kuru=˜sound of something spinning

Cheese=Group Photo


Toppu banana=top banana

Biggu Appuru=big apple

Uniqlo to offer four-day work week to working mothers

UQ 2

RocketNews 24:

It’s hard being a working mom, juggling the important yet difficult goals of providing both the financial and emotional support children need. But while having to look for a new job because of incompatible work and family demands is never pleasant, it’s still a more viable option than finding new kids, as clothing retailer Uniqlo knows all too well.

The company has been having trouble retaining female employees with children, with many citing the need for more flexibility in their work schedule as their reason for leaving the company. In response, Uniqlo has announced that this autumn it will be offering full-time employees the option of a four-day work week.

From its humble beginnings as a low-key provider of plain yet affordable clothing, Uniqlo has become one Japan’s highest-profile companies. It’s developed its own sense of style, and has been actively expanding to other countries.

As the company grows, though, it’s also reexamining how it does business, and its human resources department has come up with a plan to help make Uniqlo a more accommodating place for its female employees to work. In order to help its working mothers structure their lives in a way that helps them care for their children, the company will introduce a system in which full-time employees can opt for a four-day workweek instead of a five-day one.

Employees on the four-day system won’t see their total work hours change, as they’ll work 10-hour shifts instead of the eight-hour stretches of the five-day schedule. Their base pay will also remain unchanged.

But even if the total hours worked are the same, having a third day off every week means one less day of arranging for daycare service for children, as well as shuttling them to and from the facility. It’s also one less day of commuting, which would be a major time savings for people working in urban Japan, where a one-way trip to work of 60 minutes or more isn’t at all unusual.

The four-day schedule will be offered to a total of 10,000 store employees, or roughly one fifth of Uniqlo’s total workforce. While the system is primarily aimed at female employees, apparently some men will also be given the choice between the four and five-day format.

Uniqlo plans to introduce the four-day workweek option this October.

Uniqlo teams up with Muslim fashion designer Hana Tajima for modest fashion line

Daily Mail (UK):

Japanese retail company Uniqlo has teamed up with Muslim fashion designer, Hana Tajima, to create a modest ‘lifewear’ collection for women.

The collection includes long, flowing skirts, tapered ankle-length pants and traditional wear like kebaya and hijabs, with the company saying the collection ‘fuses contemporary design and comfortable fabrics with traditional values.’

Designed by popular British fashion blogger Tajima, the range carefully blends modern prints and colours with modest cuts to cater to all women who embrace a modest style.

Uniqlo x Tajima: Uniqlo's new collection with Hana Tajima offers fashionable yet modest clothing 

Inspired: Fashion designer Hana Tajima converted to Islam at 17 and has always been passionate about finding ways to keep traditional and conservative clothing and accessories flattering on the body 

The popular fashion blogger, who converted to Islam at 17, announced the collaboration on her personal blog, saying it felt wonderful to let her mind run and ‘unearth’ her ideas.

Now you get to see it in its whole form and it’s all for you,’ Tajima wrote.

Uniqlo (Japan) 2015 Fall/Winter Lookbook

‘Star Wars’ x Uniqlo UT (Japan) 2015 Spring/Summer Collection

STORE by NIGO® set to open in Harajuku’s Laforet

Coming soon from NIGO is the polymath’s latest retail endeavor. Simply dubbed STORE by NIGO, the brand new space is set to open by the end of April at Harajuku’s Laforet department store and follow’s NIGO’s latest work with the likes of UNITED ARROWS, adidas Originals, Tetsu Nishiyama, and UNIQLO.

For those interested, job openings for the new endeavor can be found over at


Shochiku x UNIQLO UT 2015 Spring/Summer Kabuki Collection

Uniqlo has unveiled an upcoming collaboration with iconic Japanese film and theater company Shochiku Co. Ltd, under the stewardship of creative director NIGO. A line of men’s and women’s clothing will reflect Kabuki traditions and the vibrant colors of Japanese theater culture and costumes, all skewed through the lens of pop culture in NIGO’s inimitable style.

The collection is set to launch in Paris, New York and Tokyo at the end of the month, as highlighted in this enigmatic teaser video released today.

Lemaire x UNIQLO (Japan) collection to release for Fall/Winter 2015 season

Christophe LemaireHermès’ past creative director, has been tapped for a collaboration with Japanese retailer Uniqlo. Lemaire and Uniqlo will launch a men’s and women’s clothing line, expected for this fall in stores and online. The focus of the collection will be “creative, comfortable, everyday garments,” translating to luxurious lounge wear tinged with Lemaire’s pared-down aesthetic.

The partnership marks a great match, as Lemaire’s approach to design meshes well with Uniqlo’s brand ethos, with the retailer constantly pushing out covetable collaborations. This also marks a time for growth for Lemaire who, along with his design partner Sarah Linh-Tran, has just launched e-commerce operations for the Lemaire brand.

Uniqlo’s “Best of +J” Collection (in collaboration with Jil Sander) to return for Spring 2015

After reviving its popular Jil Sander collaboration last fall, Uniqlo is gearing up to launch a Spring/Summer installment of its “Best of +J” collection. The collection will again reissue some of the most popular items from the five-season design collaboration, which ended in 2011 much to the chargin of fashion fans on a budget. Sander left her namesake brand for the second time in October 2013, so the +J pieces represent some of the only new Sander-designed items out there right now.

Details are scarce at this point, but Uniqlo has said that the collection will include shirts, jackets, pants, and dresses, and will release in 15 countries and regions on March 9.


Uniqlo vows reforms as NGO Human Right Now deplores factory conditions in China

uniqloJapan Times:

A Hong Kong-based nongovernmental organization that discovered poor working environments at two Chinese factories who supply goods to Uniqlo said Friday it plans to continue investigating more Chinese factories that partner with the casual clothing giant.

The Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (Sacom) shared its findings, including low wages, excessive overtime work and unsafe labor conditions, earlier this week.

Responding to the Sacom’s report, Fast Retailing Co., which runs Uniqlo, announced on Thursday steps it plans to take to improve working conditions at the plants, admitting some of the points in the report were true.

This is just the beginning of the campaign. We see a lot of promises from Uniqlo’s statement . But it won’t just stop us at this stage,” said Alexandra Chan, a Sacom project officer, at a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo.

She said Sacom and Tokyo-based NGO Human Rights Now will meet a Uniqlo executive next week to discuss the issue.

Sacom has been looking into labor situations at Chinese suppliers that serve big international firms like Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. It sent undercover investigators to a factory run by Pacific Textiles Ltd. and one owned by Dongguan Tomwell Garment Co. Both are leading players in the industry who employ thousands of workers, Chan said.

If they do something like that, what about other smaller-scale factories. They do not have adequate resources compared to these factories,” she said.

The poor working conditions described at the factories include one at Pacific that lacks air-conditioning, causing many of the men there to go topless when it gets hot, which is unsafe.

It also said the factory has a poor sewage system that leaves wastewater all over the floor, including chemicals used to dye fabrics, which could pose a health risk to employees.

Long working hours are an issue as well, since Pacific Textile employees work 308 hours and Dongguan Tomwell workers 286 hours per month, considerably higher than the China’s standard of 174 hours.

Fast Retailing promised to make reforms within a month.

Fast Retailing has urged the factories to take swift action on the issues identified in the Sacom report, and we will cooperate fully with them to ensure that improvements are made. Together with third parties, including auditors and NGOs, we will check progress within one month,” said Yukihiro Nitta, Fast Retailing Group Executive Officer responsible for corporate social responsibility.

Fast Retailing’s instructions include increasing the number of holidays, making improvements to the working environment, including air quality and temperature checks, and rethinking the use of fines and other penalties used to punish employees. It also promised to carry out more unannounced checks on the factories.

While Chan said she appreciates Fast Retailing’s decision to take action, she still has some concerns.

For instance, while Fast Retailing says it instructed Dongguan to urge its workers to form a labor union, hold elections and its first meeting by March, Chan said it will be tough to establish a truly functioning labor union so quickly, adding there needs to be more time to provide proper education and training.