About 100



Soaked in the Rain

I’m still in San Francisco, still in the Tenderloin.

If you ask me my favorite place in the city, it has to be the Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill in northeast San Francisco.

My dream as a child was to be a firefighter.
Where I was born and grew up, there was a small fire station with two fire engines near my house, and I would often be dazzled by the firefighters that worked there.

From the top of the chalky white Coit Tower, which is shaped like a fire hose nozzle, you can see across San Francisco. When I heard that this was built in honor of the brave firefighters who worked tirelessly in the 1906 earthquake, I remember being shaken to the core.

What I later found out was that this episode may not be true, and in fact it was built with the bequest of a philanthropist, Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who wanted to do her part for the city she loved.

I just loved the ocean, the city, and particularly the afternoon landscape of San Francisco as seen from the top of Coit Tower. Seeing this vast and beautiful scenery helped me to forget all the bad things and worries about what to expect.

One afternoon, as I was taking my usual course of going up on Coit Tower and then walking through Telegraph Hill (also one of my favorite areas), just moseying along, the clouds suddenly began to loom over the skies and it began to rain.

Luckily, I found a laundromat that I went into get out of the rain. It was a poem by Richard Brautigan where I discovered that they call these places laundromats (in Japan, it’s called a coin laundry).

Soaked in the Rain image

It was an empty laundromat with red tile floors.
There was a potted plant set in the corner where two small white butterflies were resting.

I took a seat on a Windsor-style chair, thinking the laundromat Brautigan mentioned in the poem must have been around this area.
With the sound of the rain in the background, I began to doze off.

A woman’s voice abruptly woke me up.
She was about to close the laundromat for the day and she was egging me to get out of the store. The rain, it was coming down harder than ever.

It was the end of summer but it was too cold to be walking around at night with just a shirt. Man, I wished that I was carrying a sweater. I kept on walking in the rain.

“What am I doing?” I thought. “What do I want to do from now on? What was I looking to find in San Francisco?”

As the cold rain invading every inch of my clothes, I was shaking like mad, all the time thinking and worrying.

I looked up at the windows of the houses and saw a faint but warm glow of the lights from inside. This was another beautiful residential area of the city.

“What time is it?” I asked a passerby.
It was already past 9.


The breathable natural material

Extra fine merino is the finest premium wool in the world.The extra-fine fibers create an exquisite texture that gently snugs the skin. It has excellent breathability as well as heat-retaining and moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold.


The natural material works with the temperature of a human body as though it’s breathing on its own. This is a fine crease-resistant, odor-fighting material that you can wash in your own washing machine. It is the symbol of LifeWear.


The Twinkling Stars

As I continued along on Green Street in Telegraph Hill, in the rain, I heard music coming from this door to a jazz club.

I decided to stop and heard the guitar playing a jazz melody.
I pulled the door open and went in.

There were only a handful of customers in the club. An old man was sitting on this wooden chair in the corner playing. It looked like an old Gibson with a tired bass sound, which was so warm and comforting to my soaking ears.

Then “Autumn Leaves” came on.

During the performance, the man took a sip from his wine glass saying, “This is my pay for tonight.”

And he muttered, “So how do you proceed with your lives?
Do you follow? Or rebel?
Which is your choice?”
Then he continued his tranquil performance.

I was completely taken by this, the melody that stopped me in my tracks.
It wasn’t so much the technique.
It was because he wasn’t playing to a score but was playing out his own life.

Gently, quietly, vigorously, liberally, and generously. As if each expression of his life was, for me, an encounter with the various aspects of his life.
It was as though his guitar was speaking to me, telling me something.

So I sat there, just letting myself go with the melody, searching for the answer to his question.

“Do you follow? Or rebel?”

“For my final set, this is “Misty,” which I dedicate to the guitarist whom I have a deep respect for, Tal Farlow.”

His rendition of “Misty” was the perfect music to eternalize this amazing moment.

The Twinkling Stars image

There is a moment in everyone’s life that stops them in their tracks. It’s all about how one responds to that moment.
How you open up yourself to that very special moment? How do you embrace this unexpected gift in life?

He finished his performance and with what looked like relief, he sipped from the wine glass and said,

“Folks, the chills are setting in, so keep yourself warm, and good night.”

He carefully placed his guitar back into the case, raised his hand, and bowed to the three guests, including myself.

As I stepped out of the club, the rain had stopped and in the night skies were the twinkling stars.

∗Tal Farlow – American jazz guitarist from the 1950s


To remain a standard

The wool is a living thing and prone to variance in its raw state. To achieve the best quality, we created countless samples of spinning and knitting to assure the best look, feel, and fit of the material ― the ultimate balance.


The ribbed sections which are adjusted at the millimeter level every year have different knitting tensions, particularly in the sleeves and at the edges so it connects to the torso for a stress-free fit. It is a true standard for your everyday fashion that you can take when you travel, all seasons of the year.

This year, get new colors
and enjoy mixing and matching.
Casual but chic,
for a bit of a new you.

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.”