I Heart (Love) Japan.
Eiko, the seamstress and owner of the place across from the main gate of the Air Base, explained what it really said.
"Ichiban is Japanese for Number One. The best," she said.
Then I saw it wasn't even a red heart. Duh.
I had just bought two suits and wanted to slim the trousers a bit.
A more tailored look.
I still had a few suits in the closet from when I retired in 2004.
They looked swell.
But didn't fit. Not even close.
My 8 years of relaxing - and not needing to wear a suit - had caught me by surprise.
I suppose it IS possible they shrank just hanging there year after year.
But, I also believe in the Easter Bunny.
And that the Tooth Fairy wears purple tights.
Obviously the USAF was a major factor in her business.
But not altered by a tailor.
These camouflage outfits probably just had stripes sewn on.
While Eiko was writing out a receipt, she said that next month she was going home.
"Oh, how long has it been since you've been back to Japan?" I asked.
"I go for a week every year," she responded.
"But, NOT to Japan," she added. "I from Okinawa."
As I hurried out I said I bet Okinawa is ichiban.
I came back for my suits on Tuesday.