Thursday, June 5, 2014

Launch flowers in Japan

Catching up on a few overdue posts - When you launch a new business in Japan, if you're lucky you'll receive flowers to display at your premises to celebrate the opening.

These are usually from business partners and other parties related to the set-up of your shop, such as real estate agents, and they come with a card on a stick saying something like 開店祝い / kaiten iwai / congratulations on your new shop, and also including the name of the business who sent the gift such as XYZ不動産 / XYZ Real Estate Co. Aside from indicating to passers-by that a new business has opened in the space, these are also advertisements for the related companies, who might hope to get a little additional exposure.

You've probably seen a variety of large and small displays outside new businesses in Japan, from ostentatious flowers on tall stands outside the shop, to small displays of dried or 'preserved flowers' that don't require any upkeep.

A traditional offering would be orchids 胡蝶蘭 / kochouran. These are presented potted, in soil, to represent the wish for the new business to set down firm roots at the premises and flourish much like the plant.

It's a lovely, and quite practical tradition, and I was thrilled to receive a number of celebration flowers and balloons upon the opening of the business - all the more exciting as I hadn't expected that anyone would send them to my little shop. Thanks everyone!

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