About 100



I awake in the morning and …

I was surrounded by this murmur of English.
It was all new to me.

That's right. I spent my first night in San Francisco on a sofa in the hotel lobby.

I let out a deep sigh, wiped my eyes, and rose up.

The San Francisco morning was slightly chilly.
The rain had stopped and the sky that stretched wide through the window was gleaming.

I finally had a good look around the lobby.
It was such an eclectic mix of furniture that it didn't look like a hotel lobby and more like someone's living room. The old piano was being used as a table.

The clock showed 7 o'clock. Soon, I realized that this crowd of people was gathering around this small box sitting on the table.

Men, women, young, and old, all in pajamas as if they had just woken up, were each taking something out of this box and quickly leaving the site. Most of them had no shoes on.

With a puzzled look, I gazed over to the crowd. Then, a lady with short black hair walked over to me, pointed to the box, and said something to me.

She spoke so fast that I couldn't understand. I nodded to demonstrate that I was listening. Soon, the lady, looking slightly annoyed, brought one brown clump of crumpled paper from the box and handed it to me.

"B r e a k f a s t D o n u t s," she said, enunciating the words.

"You get two donuts that get delivered to the lobby at 7 each morning. That's what they serve for breakfast at this hotel. If you're late, you don't get any." She gazed at me as though to check that I understood what she was saying.

"Thank you," I said.

The big fluffy donut was covered in ample sugar-glaze.
"Donuts again," I thought to myself.

One bite and there was no avoiding the glaze sticking around my mouth.
"Yummy," I muttered. "Not bad, right?," she said.

Soon, the heavy hotel owner slowly advanced towards me and started to explain the whole story about how I got to the hotel to the people around, getting a few laughs along the way. But no one paid any attention to me. Once he finished his show, the owner called me over to start the check-in process.

He said, “It's $20 a night” and asked how long I will stay. "2 weeks," I replied. He wrote the total sum on the paper to which I paid in full in cash. Then he smiled, "Welcome."

With such relief, I was able to break out a smile.

Not even a day had passed since I landed in San Francisco and already I felt like I had been on the road for a very long time.

I picked up a pen to write a postcard to my parents.


To wear every day

An ankle-height sports sock with an exceptional fit you’ll want to wear every day. It snugly supports the arch, the heels, and the ankles, with a breathable mesh material on the top of the foot. The plush pile material cushions the soles.


The bit of color around the ankle. The amazing fit that keeps the socks from shifting. Just the right thickness. A reinforced toe. Threads infused with odor-fighting properties to last long after your first wash.


The White Sock

The room was small and there was a shared shower room. A radio but no TV, no phone. But from the large window in this room on the 5th floor, the view of San Francisco was simply breathtaking.

Thankfully, I was able to do my laundry in the laundry room in the basement of the hotel.

One afternoon, I headed over to the laundry room and found a young girl beautifully stretching her leg, almost like a ballet pose, while carrying a load in one arm.

“Hi,” I said. Surprised, and with a faint voice, she replied, “Oh, hello.”

I headed over to an empty machine, put my load and the detergent in and closed the lid. When I had trouble finding the switch, she kindly pointed and said, “The switch is here.” Her neck was covered in small beads of sweat.

“Thank you… um, are you a ballerina?” I barely managed to ask in English. She said, “I go to a ballet school nearby.” She began to take out her finished load of laundry, wrapped it in a big bath towel and left the room.

Filled with that distinct sweet smell of laundry detergents, this laundry room had a strangely calming effect. I stayed there, reading a book, until my wash was all dried. (On the Road by Jack Keuroac)

Once the dryer finished, I did as she did and wrapped the clothes in the bath towel and went back to my room. Small things like this I would learn by copying. It was fun to learn to do things in a new foreign style.

Jazz music came on when I turned on the radio in the room. I spread out the fresh load of clothes and saw a marshmallow-white sock which definitely did not belong to me.

The sock was made of cotton. Its soft and tender presence was simply adorable and so foreign that I could gaze at it for a while.

It probably belongs to one of the guests at this hotel. If I leave it on shelf in the laundry room, someone will probably come back for it. I immediately headed down to the basement.

To my surprise, the girl from the ballet school was opening the machine lids, looking for something.

“Is this your sock? It was mixed with my load.” “Oh, yes, that’s mine. I thought I’d lost it,” she replied with a slightly embarrassed smile.

I handed the sock to her. “Thanks, see you,” she said and left the laundry room.

Out of nowhere, my heart began to beat intensely and I felt rattled.

It was that feeling I felt with my first love.


The secret is in the soles

The problem with very short socks is that they’re invisible under shoes but tended to come off easily.


This is why we decided to add special tension in the sock’s woven material. This fine tension gives a snug fit for people with small feet and just the right stretch for those with bigger feet.
The stretch in the ankles is improved for a better hold, and it doesn’t slip off easily, thanks to the rubber dots on the heels.

When I turned the sock over, I was so surprised to see how beautifully aligned the stitches were. Something you don’t see every day. It’s frustratingly perfect, so I wear it every day.

Yataro Matsuura
About LifeWear Story 100

What is “LifeWear story 100?”

there exist these lines of clothes
which has remained for many years,
yet never dated.
Out of the line-ups,
they are the unsung presence,
sitting quietly behind in TV ads.

Yet, they are the culmination
of the years of passion and devotion,
where UNIQLO sought to pursue
more comfort,
more durability, and
more quality.

They give shape and gravitas
to what and who UNIQLO is,
and what UNIQLO continues
to nurture with great care.

To go beyond yesterday,
to reach higher tomorrow.

When you take it in your hands,
when you try it on,
it softly speaks to you,
almost like a friend.

What is a rich quality
How is such a quality day spent?
What does happiness mean to you…

And you will find yourself
surprised to discover that such
piece of clothing has existed.

What is the UNIQLO principle?
Why do we call clothing LifeWear?
What kind of clothes constitute

Here, we go deep into
the root of LifeWear,
to know
and to tell.
And I hope to write
stories that revolve
around LifeWear and myself.

LifeWear story 100 will be
a story about a journey with me and LifeWear.

Yataro Matsuura

Yataro Matsuura
Yataro Matsuura

Essayist, editor. Born 1965 in Tokyo.
For nine years from 2005, under the leadership of the founder, Shizuko Ohashi, he was the chief editor for the magazine, “Kurashi no Techo.” Since, he launched an online media site, “Kurashi no Kihon.” Currently, sits as a director for Oishii Kenko Ltd. Recognized for his eye for style and experience in presenting ideas for quality lifestyle. Regularly writes in his columns in newspapers and magazines. Has penned numerous best-sellers including “Kyo mo Teinei ni” and “Shigoto no Kihon Kurashi no Kihon 100.” Hosts a radio program on NHK Radio 1, “Karen Style.”