Japan bra carries messages of encouragement after disaster

Wed May 11, 2011 1:07am EDT
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TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - A Japanese lingerie maker Wednesday unveiled a bra that carries messages of encouragement from overseas as the country struggles to recover from a devastating quake and tsunami that struck exactly two months ago.

The white, bustier-style garment and matching skirt by Triumph are covered with messages from 36 different countries received in the aftermath of the disaster, each accompanied by a tiny flag of the nation that sent it.

Messages ranged from simple good wishes, such as "Japan, with you 100%" from France, to expressions of admiration for Japan's strength and dignity. Others were poignant.

"Those who have already left us let us know life is so fragile, and those who are alive let us know life is so strong," said one from China.

The company, known for its concept designs, said it came up with the bra after receiving messages of support from branch companies around the world, along with relief supplies. The bra is not for sale.

"I read each message myself, and I realized that everyone around the world is sending their support," said 20-year-old Hikaru Kawai, who modeled the outfit. "So I decided that I needed to do my best as well."

Nearly 26,000 people were killed or are unaccounted for after the disaster, which triggered the world's biggest nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986 -- and which a few messages couldn't resist alluding to.

"Our thoughts are with you! Future without nuclear power, for our children!" read a message from Greece.

Previous efforts from the company have included a solar-powered bra and a "Welcome to Japan" bra, which featured greetings in three different languages.

(Reporting by Chris Meyers; Writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Alex Richardson)

<p>A model clad in lingerie maker Triumph International's "Support Japan Bra", featuring handwritten messages from around the world, poses during an unveiling in Tokyo May 11, 2011. Words of encouragement from 54 individuals in 36 countries and regions are printed along with corresponding flags on the bra corset and skirt, to encourage and bring hope to the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami and lift the spirits of the Japanese people, according to Triumph International. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao</p>