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Goya design lands rivals in bitter argument

Date Posted: 2001-07-28

Two apparel firms in Okinawa are fighting over the design of popular summer shirts with a pattern depicting goya or bittermelon, a popular vegetable in Okinawan summer diet.

Sakugawa-ya first started selling their so called Kariyushi wear shirt with goya design. Then an “aloha shirt” retailer, Fujitaka Creation began selling shirts with similar design. Keiichi Sakugawa, the president of Sakugawa-ya, claims that it is hard to distinguish their products and the aloha shirt. He also says that the aloha shirts that are made in China, are cheap and low quality.

Toyokichi Takasato, the president of Fujitaka Creation says that they just decided to cash in on the popularity of goya and made their own design. He insists that they have the right to sell their aloha shirts that are proving to be very popular with the public.

Both parties agreed to argue their case in a public meeting, Thursday. Sakugawa opened the meeting claiming that he first came up with the design after reading about the popularity of Okinawan health foods. He said that the quality of the aloha shirts that are made in China, is low, and thus it is hard to compete with price. He claimed the low quality Chinese shirts give a bad image to Okinawan made Kariyushi wear. Angry Takasato replied that it is a matter of course for he shirts to resemble each other because the design depicts the same thing. He said his company makes the shirts in China because it is cheap but good quality. He also added that it is not strange that more than one manufacturer makes shirts with the popular goya design.

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