Brand name fever

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I've never been sure whether to believe the idea that Japanese are excessively fond of brand names. None of the Japanese women I know display flashy, expensive belongings that are outside their means. If they have them, they don't flaunt them. Since showing off is the main purpose of brand name goods, I think they don't have them.

On the other hand, there was a two-hour long line to get into the "super brand discount fair." Once inside, shoppers made a beeline for the booth that was selling expensive handbags. Here they are, crammed in ranks against a counter, looking at wallets under glass and the bags on display behind the counter. Even in discount stores, items as lowly as house slippers have "brand names" emblazoned on them--Lewis Vittal, Polo Pony, and other copycats.

I don't like perpetuating myths, but maybe brand name fever is truth.

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