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Muji and me (but not you, if you live in Israel)

December 7, 2010

Muji, a slightly more upscale Japanese version of Ikea, has declared their intent to cancel plans to open an Israeli branch of the store in 2011. The news first caught my eye at Kyodo, but when searching for an article in English I only found rather extreme pro-Palestinian websites filled with an awful lot of unpleasant language that I didn’t feel the need to link here. You can probably imagine what they had to say about the matter.

According to the Kyodo article, Ryohin Keikaku, better known as Muji, has taken the extreme criticism from the pro-Palestinian movement and their threats to boycott the company to heart and announced that for 「経済的な理由」(keizai-teki na riyuu, “economic reasons”) — which I assume is an allusion to the potential boycott — it will not follow through on plans to open a store in Israel.

Muji origami Lego toy So this Muji fan, who was excited enough about products like this fantastic origami-meets-Lego toy to consider going all the way back to Japan to get one, is being punished by people who have in all likelihood never been to Israel. If they had, they would realize punishing Israeli consumers in order to express their opposition to the government is not very effective. (In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s the reason people hate Israel so much given what’s going on in Gaza.) Hypocrisy meets stupidity meets really, really sad Katie who just wanted to play with origami Legos even though she happens to be living in Israel. Where she can’t even vote. *

* Note: This post was written well after midnight with distinct, distant, but nonetheless deafening peals of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” finding their way into my house from a (likely disturbed) neighbor. I’m not sure if this affected the tone, although it’s possible.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2010 1:30 pm

    Love Muji, and miss it very much. I didn’t even they were considering opening a store here at home. Probably would be awfully expensive though.
    As for pro-Palestinian propaganda, i have many things to say about the Israeli incompetence and those who consider Palestinian to be these poor angelic innocent folk. All the things i want to say about the subject is decorated with very rude vocabulary, so I’ll keep it to myself for now.
    Muji to Israel!

    • December 7, 2010 10:13 pm

      I agree, it would probably be too overpriced to enjoy properly even if it does make it here some day. Did you live near a Muji store at one time? It’s the best.

      • December 7, 2010 11:00 pm

        There was one in Singapore where we used to live, and the one I visit when I’m in London. There are also the Uniqlo shops that I first encountered in London. Bring them to Israel too!

  2. Claire permalink
    December 7, 2010 3:57 pm

    Aw, sad. Maybe one day we will go somewhere with a Muji right next to a taco bell. that would be happy. I think it would be pretty expensive here, that seems about standard. I stopped by H and M last week between Misrad Hapanim appointments and was very sad discover that everything was soooo expensive.

    • December 7, 2010 10:18 pm

      Taco Bell failed in Japan, so that’s out. I bet there’s a Taco Bell close enough to one of the four (I believe) Muji stores in New York City to be interesting.

  3. December 8, 2010 10:28 am

    I heard about Muji somewhere too and was at first more surprised than disappointed. Muji does not seem like a company that would be influenced by political views or opinions or would be so vocal about it.

    Ah, taco bell. I love them (in a guilty pleasure kind of way) but I can understand that they failed in Japan.

    The Celine thing made me laugh… don’t worry, I don’t think she affected your tone (although I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to keep it together like you did!) 🙂

    • December 8, 2010 10:25 pm

      You’d think Muji would strive to be as neutral as their products, right? And now that I think of it, there’s a Taco Bell in Yokosuka, but you have to get access to the military base and pay in dollars to enjoy it. It’s like an alternate universe in there.

      Gruti’s twin sister was idling on the street when I left for work this morning and I thought of you! Some day I’ll manage to take a picture of her so you can see she’s alive and well.

      • December 9, 2010 2:23 pm

        that’s sweet about Gruti’s twin sister 🙂
        it’s nice to know she’s out there, because we will be parting ways with Gruti soon.

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