December 6, 2011

Day Trip to Miyama (closed)















July 23 (Mon.)     9:00-18:00

Fee: 3,500yen
Held in Japanese
Capacity: 5 students

Application Deadline: July 2 (Mon.)

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A day trip to the village of Miyama to see indigo artist Hiroyuki Shindo's studio and "Little Indigo Museum."

Please see here for photos from 2010.

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To apply, please contact us using our inquiry form or by email (kts(at)kawashima-textile-school.jp), and we will send you the application form. Please fill it in and send it back to us by July 2 (Mon.).

Please let us know if you would like to stay at our dormitory during the course.

Please do not cancel. We may charge you a cancellation service fee.

Natural Dyeing "Colors of the Heian Period" (closed)


















Sept. 3 (Mon.) to Sept. 5 (Wed.) 10:00-16:00

Tuition Fee: 10,500yen
Materials fee: 6,300yen
Capacity: 4-8 students
Held in Japanese
Application Deadline: Aug. 17 (Fri.) 

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Make color samples using 6 natural dyes (safflower, gromwell root, sumac, Japanese green alder, bayberry) and mordants such as camillia ashes, straw ashes, ohaguro (teeth blackening) iron.

Day 1 Preparing the mordants, dyeing
Day 2 Dyeing
Day 3 Dyeing with indigo (fresh leaves, dead leaves, fermented leaves)


Masaru Hori
Worked on restoration of fabrics from Fujinoki Kofun (late 6th Century burial mound), and on fabrics etc. for The State Guesthouse in Akasaka at Kawashima Selkon Textiles. Teaches dyeing at Kawashima Textile School from 1996.

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To apply, please contact us using our inquiry form or by email (kts(at)kawashima-textile-school.jp), and we will send you the application form. Please fill it in and send it back to us by Aug. 17 (Fri.).

Please let us know if you would like to stay at our dormitory during the course.

Please do not cancel. We may charge you a cancellation service fee.

Moving Tapestry into a Third Dimension (closed)



Oct. 25 (Thu.) to Oct 27  (Sun.)          10:00-16:00

Tuition Fee: 26,250 yen
Materials Fee: included
Capacity: 5-12 students
Held in English

Application Deadline: Oct. 4 (Thu.)

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In this class you will have the chance to explore your creativity by giving traditional tapestry weaving a third dimension. We shall look at ‘warp pulling’, weaving irregular shapes and incorporating wires to create abstract wallpieces. Traditional tapestry weaving techniques like hatching and shading are a central part of this course to enhance the 3D effect of your work.

Day 1: orientation, designing a small piece, preparing a paper model, setting up the frame loom, warping up, beginning to weave
Day 2: weaving, discussing finishing methods
Day 3: weaving, finishing the work



Hillu Liebelt
Textile Artist who resides in London, born in Germany. Has held exhibitions in many countries such as England, Japan, Germany, and Poland. Solo touring exhibitions DELICATE MATTERS in 2008/09 (funded by English Arts Council) at 'HISHIO - Centre for Cultural Exchange' in Katsuyama / Okayama Prefecture and the UK, solo touring exhibition STILL MOMENTS will start at Art Life Mitsuhashi and Gallery Yuragi from Oct. 16-28.2012  and will be shown in two museums in the UK in 2013.

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To apply, please contact us using our inquiry form or by email (kts(at)kawashima-textile-school.jp), and we will send you the application form. Please fill it in and send it back to us by Oct. 4 (Thu.).

Please let us know if you would like to stay at our dormitory during the course.
Check-in: Oct. 24 (Wed.)

Please do not cancel. We may charge you a cancellation service fee.

December 1, 2011

Ivonne Sigler part 2

(part 1 here)

Kawashima Textile School, an amazing one-kind school.

In June, I visited the Kawashima Industry Museum. I was marveled with the quality and the persistence to achieve perfection on textiles.

Three months ago I had come to Japan and I already had had an approach to Japanese traditional crafts, but seeing a place in the industrial process which had maintained high quality standards was impressive!

Indeed, Japanese people have genes for liking textile's excellence.
In this visit, I discovered that Kawashima Company has a Textile School. My wish to attend to this school came true with the support of Kyoto Institute of Technology.

Between August to September, I had the opportunity to attend the Chuya Ori Workshop with Keiko Yoshida Sensei; the Natural Dye Workshop with Masaru Hori Sensei; and finally, the Nassen Gasuri Workshop with Kozue Yamamoto Sensei.


In the Chuya Ori Workshop I learnt the importance of small details. For example, tying a proper knot is an action that usually goes unnoticed, but is very important. Keiko Yoshida helped me a lot to introduce me to the school and teachers with her fluent English.


With Hori-Sensei, I discovered the beautiful natural dyeing colors that the Japanese people have produced for centuries. Hori-Sensei's dyeing technique with two rods or metal 'hashi" was new for me.

As a Spanish speaker this was the most difficult class, because of its many vocabularies in Japanese. But Hori-Sensei and my team encouraged me in doing the exercises and supported me with the translation of concepts in English.


Yamamoto Sensei's Workshop was interesting. It was my first time I dyed on the loom with the stencil technique. This course taught me the importance of concentration and to know your own rhythm for working.

In these three workshops, the teachers and students showed me a part of Japanese culture: the significance of small details, the importance teamwork, to be patience and perseverant to achieve your own goals.

Kawashima Textile School is different from others. It doesn’t matter how old are you or what your profession is, only if you are really interested in learning about textiles.

Not only the workshops are high quality programs, all the teachers and people that I met in KTS were high qualified. I’m so grateful with their advise, otherwise I couldn’t have approached other textile artists, artisans and designers to complete my JICA's research.

Thank you so much to KTS for everything! I hope the School continues supporting textile lovers!

Ivonne Sigler part 1


Hi, my name is Ivonne Sigler. I’m a young textile designer in Mexico.
At the beginning of this year, I traveled to Japan because I made a training course in “Modern Design and Traditional Culture & Craftsmanship” held by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

This eight-month’s training course consisted in two parts. The first period was formed of master course’s classes in Kyoto Institute of Technology; related on Japanese traditional culture and aesthetics.

For example, I attended lectures given by Mr. Kitayama the gardener of Kodaiji's Temple; by Mr. Keimei a famous Buddha Sculptor; and by Mr. Morito an Architectural decorator. I also visited Watabun Company (brocades from Nishijin), Zuikogama Company (Ceramics), Shoeidou Company (Incense), and others. This was my first deep approach to Japanese traditional culture trough their artists and artisans.

The second part of the program began on September. It consisted in making my personal project. Because I am a textile designer I decided to research about traditional weaving and dyeing techniques, as well as interviewing textile and fashion designers: to learn how they apply the traditional techniques in the contemporary clothes or interior design.

My research consisted of eight interviews, eight weaving and dyeing workshops, stays in other cities, like: Tokyo, Okinawa and Nagoya; and visits to remarkable temples or buildings, museum’s exhibitions and design stores.

The design process that I learnt in Japan was unexpected. The Japanese Design is so close to philosophy and also to humans. I could notice a strong relationship with human’s fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason and language.
As designers we are focus on the aesthetic or the functional of the product for follow the market constants demands. But when we rediscover the past techniques and we stay in contact with the artisan's work, we remind the importance of pursuing bring a better service to humankind using wisely the natural resources and knowledge.

The designer’s main goal should be to build a bridge between these artisans and the common people. Always reminding that before products are the human beings.

Above all, we have to preserve things that remind us of our humanity.

June 27, 2011

closing dates: Indigo and Shifu


The application closing dates for the Handwoven Indigo Dyed Scarf Workshop and Shifu Workshop are June 28 and July 4. Please send us an inquiry if you are interested.

April 8, 2011

closing date: Paper Yarn Making


The application closing date for the Paper Yarn Making Workshop is coming up next Tuesday, April 12. If you are interested, please send us an inquiry.

Graduate Exhibition Photos


We just started our new school year on April 1. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom right now!

Please visit our gallery on the Japanese website to see photos from the graduate exhibition held in March. You can view the photos as a slideshow here.

March 14, 2011

Sendai Earthquake

We have been receiving warm e-mails concerning the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Friday, March 11. There has been no damage in Kyoto, but we are all shocked by the news. Many of us have relatives and friends in the northeast area, and we are all praying for the best in this terrible situation.

We thank you all for your kindness and support, and our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

February 17, 2011

Graduate Exhibition


This year's Graduate Exhibition will be held from March 3-6 at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. Along with the first to fourth year and technical study course students' work, we will be exhibiting pieces by our international students and alumnae.

Kawashima Textile School Graduate Exhibition
2010.3.2 (Wed.) -9 (Sun.)
9:00 - 17:00
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (Kyoto-shi Bijutsukan)
Admission Free

February 8, 2011

Maeve Mulcahy

Watching the leaves fall
Six weeks at Kawashima Textile School


In the west, we see Japan as a beautiful mystery, a culture that embraces tradition and technology with such ease and precision. I was very inspired by the beauty of everyday life in Kyoto, the ritual of drinking tea, taking a bath and eating a bowl of rice, watching a monk sweeping leaves and elders tending to their gardens.

I came to Kawashima Textile School to learn the basic theory and methods of Kasuri weaving, and thanks to all the time and support I received from the teaching staff, I was able to experiment with the kasuri technique and create a large work which showed my understanding. I enjoyed using native natural dyes, and binding the yarn to create the patterns that I envisaged. I found working with the Japanese raw materials such as Ramie, Hemp, and bast fibers really inspiring, and I hope to experiment with them more in the future.

Autumn was such a beautiful time to be in Kyoto, watching the leaves turn crimson red and the night skies clear. It was nice to see the students wearing bright coloured felt and wooly hats to school as the days turned more cool. I was so happy to be able to see exhibitions of Japanese Textile artists in the city, and really got a sense that there is a thriving Textile community alive in Kyoto. At Kawashima, I was able to watch other students create beautiful Kimono cloth and see some really innovative ways of creating textiles, I was touched by the other students warmth and friendly nature, they made me feel right at home.

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Maeve studied in the  Foundation and Applied Kasuri Course of Fall 2010.

February 7, 2011

Chuya Ori Workshop (closed)


Aug. 29(Mon.) to Aug. 31(Wed.) 10:00-16:00

Tuition Fee: 25,200yen
Materials Fee: 5,250yen
Capacity: 6-10 students
Held in Japanese and English

Application Deadline: July 25 (Mon.)

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Chuya Ori is a traditional Japanese weaving technique sometimes also known as a reversible weave. The name comes from Chu which means daytime in Japanese and Ya which means evening and Ori indicating weaving. Thus it suggests a “Day & Night” image when you observe the opposite colors on the front and back of the cloth produced. When the warp is set with alternating colored thread and it is dense, then you can achieve a different color on the back and front surfaces. When you change treadling, the color of the cloth is reversed on the front and back. It is possible to also weave a reversible checker board pattern with a combination of the color scheme and arrangement of the warp. In this workshop we will weave some reversible place mats using silk and ramie with this technique. At first glance it appears to be complicated, but actually it is a technically easy weaving pattern.

Day 1 Designing, warping, preparing the loom
Day 2 Preparing the loom, weaving
Day 3 Weaving, finishing

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Keiko Yoshida
In 1985 Keiko Yoshida completed the Advanced Textile Research Course at Seian Women's College in Kyoto Japan. After working for a period of time at HINAYA Inc., a traditional weaving company in Kyoto, she became a studio weaving artist. While researching paper weaving she learned how to make washi paper yarn from Ms. Takiyo Hattori and Ms. Hiroko Karuno. Currently she is producing handwoven textiles and is an Adjunct Instructor at Nagoya University of Arts and Kyoto University of Art and Design.

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To apply, please contact us using our inquiry form or by email (kts(at)kawashima-textile-school.jp), and we will send you the application form. Please fill it in and send it back to us by July 25 (Mon.).

Please let us know if you would like to stay at our dormitory during the course.

Please do not cancel. We may charge you a cancellation service fee.

February 1, 2011

Anastasia Macdonald














Weaving in Japan was a learning feat which I would have been sorry to have not undertaken. The technical knowledge alone is something that will vastly improve my weaving, dyeing, and design planning. Not to even touch on the tools and equipment which make even the most difficult task easier, and more precise.

Kasuri weaving was a labor-intensive technique which results in an endless amount of pattern creation. Learning this skill one-on-one with a knowledgeable teacher is an experience not to be passed up. There are nuances to this craft which would have been frustrating to learn from a book; so having the teacher present to guide one through was invaluable. I feel this technique is one which I can use in my own work and is easily adaptable to one's own style.

Staying in the dorms, eating home-style Japanese cooking, and getting along with fellow students has been a fun and funny experience for me. I will miss the hot bath of the onsen, the cafeteria ladies' delicious food, and all of the yummy treats my fellow students shared with me. I never felt that my lack of understanding the Japanese language was a detriment to my experience here; actually, at times it was something to be gotten much hilarity from!

at the Kawashima Textile Museum














As for the world outside Kawashima, oh, what fun!

There is so much textural history in Kyoto, from the beautiful shifuku of the tea ceremony, to the incredible kumihimo which adorns the kimono, it would seem that there are textiles in every part of the Japanese life. Traditional textiles are not the only type to be found here, the modern textiles of such designers as Mina Perhonen and Sou-Sou neither disappoint nor are lacking in panache.

One of the things I noticed as I was shopping was the creative displays and incredible attention paid to the packaging; things which have been an inspiration to me, from a business point of view.

Not to be forgotten, the food was delicious! Hot giant bowls of ramen, bittersweet cones of matcha soft serve, mochi wrapped anko, revolving sushi, and the many tasty treats to be found in the basements of Takashimaya and Daimaru. Oishii! I only wish that I could fit it all in my suitcase.


Places I found of interest:

Shijo-dori area:
mina perhonen
basement level of takashimaya; pan (bread)
6th floor of Takashimaya; wooden bento, shifuku
basement level of Daimaru; tea sweets, honey
basement level of Fujii-Daimaru; organic produce
Nomura-Tailor, floors 1-3; many varieties of fabric, pinbacks, sewing notions
lisn; modern natural japanese incense

Teramachi-dori:
Itoh Kumihimoten; just gorgeous silk kumihimo
sou-sou; really awesome tabi shoes
Gallery Kei; amazing unique textiles form japan's past, ramie, banana fiber, shifu
Ippodo; matcha tea, ocha tea, tea tasting and brewing demonstration
Kamiji Kakimoto; washi store

Kyoto Station:
Malebranche; delicious matcha and white chocolate cookies, matcha icecream

kitayama station:
La Droguerie; buttons, ribbon, liberty tana lawn, sequins
Kamigamo; 4th sunday of the month

Shijo-dori to Oike-dori, between Karasuma-dori and Kawaramachi-dori:
lin-net; linen fabric, linen clothes, linen bias tape, linen thread
avril; like habu textiles? you'll love avril.
Kyoto Design House
Ippudo; yummy fresh ramen, i ate here three times
konnamonjya (in Nishiki Market); tofu doughnuts

shrines/ temples/nature:
Saihoji (also known as Kokedera (moss temple))
Uji
Fushimi Inari Taisha


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Anastasia studied in the Beginners Course and Foundation Kasuri Course of Fall 2010.
To read more about her studies and adventures in Japan, visit her blog, birds in chandeliers.

January 27, 2011

Lecture: Katsuji Wakisaka

Textile designer Katsuji Wakisaka came to KTS and talked about his work at Marimekko, Jack Larsen, Wacoal Interior Fabric, and sou sou (present). Mr. Wakisaka was the first Japanese designer to work at Marimekko, and is famous for his fabric design "Bo Boo."

Bo Boo (1975)






Mr. Wakisaka explaining how the printing technique and dye is different now compared to the 60's and 70's, and how a repeated pattern is made.

January 13, 2011

Workshops 2011

Happy New Year!

This year the following workshops will be open to international students:



May 3-4
Paper Yarn Making Workshop
Keiko Yoshida


July 19-22
Handwoven Indigo Dyed Scarf Workshop Kazuyo Yamakoshi


July 25-28
Shifu Workshop
Keiko Yoshida


Aug. 29-31
Chuya Ori Workshop (*added Feb. 7)
Keiko Yoshida


Sep. 2-3
Natural Dyeing Workshop "Colors of the Heian Period"
Masaru Hori


Please click on the images for more information.
We look forward to meeting you at KTS!

Paper Yarn Making Workshop (closed)


May 3(Tue.) to May 4(Wed.) 10:00-16:00

Tuition Fee: 15,750yen
Materials Fee: 5,250yen
Capacity: 6-10 students
Held in Japanese and English

Application Deadline: Apr. 12 (Tue.)

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You can make paper yarn from Japanese “Washi” paper. (Note; Please read the summary of the Shifu Workshop for more detailed information about this workshop.)  Not only can “Washi” paper yarn be woven, but it can be dyed, knitted, crocheted and braided.

Day 1 Cutting and rolling the washi
Day 2 Spinning

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Keiko Yoshida
In 1985 Keiko Yoshida completed the Advanced Textile Research Course at Seian Women's College in Kyoto Japan. After working for a period of time at HINAYA Inc., a traditional weaving company in Kyoto, she became a studio weaving artist. While researching paper weaving she learned how to make washi paper yarn from Ms. Takiyo Hattori and Ms. Hiroko Karuno. Currently she is producing handwoven textiles and is an Adjunct Instructor at Nagoya University of Arts and Kyoto University of Art and Design.

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To apply, please contact us using our inquiry form or by email (kts(at)kawashima-textile-school.jp), and we will send you the application form. Please fill it in and send it back to us by Apr. 12(Tue.).

Please let us know if you would like to stay at our dormitory during the course.

Check-in: May 2(Mon.)

Please do not cancel. We may charge you a cancellation service fee.

Handwoven Indigo Dyed Scarf Workshop (closed)


July 19(Tue.) to July 21(Thu.) 10:00-16:00
July 22(Fri.) 9:00-18:00

Tuition Fee: 33,000yen
Materials fee and bus trip fee included
Capacity: 5-10 students
Held in Japanese
*This workshop is intended for experienced weavers.

Application deadline: June 28(Tue.)

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Dye a handwoven silk scarf with freshly picked leaves from the school's garden. On the last day we will go on a day trip to Miyama to see indigo artist Mr. Hiroyuki Shindo's studio and Little Indigo Museum.

Day 1 Preparation
Day 2 Weaving
Day 3 Weaving, Dyeing
Day 4 Day trip to Miyama


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Kazuyo Yamakoshi
Completed the Life Art course in Oita Prefectural College of Arts and Culture in 1989. After studying textiles, she has worked at FONS(Chihaya Nakagawa) and Kuuru Koubou, and now has her own studio in Kyoto.

Special Judges Award, "Object of Light Exhibition"(1992)
Grand Prize, "Itami International Craft Exhibition"(2006)
Currently teaches at Kawashima Textile School and Itami Craft Center.

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To apply, please contact us using our inquiry form or by email (kts(at)kawashima-textile-school.jp), and we will send you the application form. Please fill it in and send it back to us by June 28(Tue.).

Please let us know if you would like to stay at our dormitory during the course.

Please do not cancel. We may charge you a cancellation service fee.

Shifu Workshop (closed)


July 25(Mon.) to July 28(Thu.) 10:00-16:00

Tuition Fee: 29,400yen
Materials Fee: 5,250yen
Capacity: 6-10 students
Held in Japanese and English
*This workshop is intended for experienced weavers (of at least one year).

Application Deadline: July 4(Mon.)

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In some parts of the world people call Japanese paper "Rice Paper" but actually there is no trace of rice or rice straw in Japanese "Washi". You probably have heard of "Washi" and know that it is the traditionally produced paper made from bast fiber in combination with the unique techniques that have been developed in Japan since the beginning of the 7th century but have you ever heard of "Shifu?"

Shifu is a woven cloth produced using paper yarn made from "Washi". In our workshop we will weave a table-runner using ramie (a plant of the nettle family native to tropical Asia, Boehmeria nivea, family Urticaceae.) as the warp and "Washi" paper yarn as the weft. The process of making the paper yarn from "Washi" will be the primary focus of this workshop. We will precut the "Washi" paper into thin strips, roll it into a kind of thick uniform bundle and then tear every other cut to create a single long strip. Finally we will spin this into a single long line somewhat smaller than yarn but larger than thread. Does this pique your interest?

Day 1 Lecture, cutting and rolling the washi, spinning
Day 2 Designing the shifu, warping, preparing the loom
Day 3 Weaving
Day 4 Weaving, finishing, critique

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Keiko Yoshida
In 1985 Keiko Yoshida completed the Advanced Textile Research Course at Seian Women's College in Kyoto Japan. After working for a period of time at HINAYA Inc., a traditional weaving company in Kyoto, she became a studio weaving artist. While researching paper weaving she learned how to make washi paper yarn from Ms. Takiyo Hattori and Ms. Hiroko Karuno. Currently she is producing handwoven textiles and is an Adjunct Instructor at Nagoya University of Arts and Kyoto University of Art and Design.

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To apply, please contact us using our inquiry form or by email (kts(at)kawashima-textile-school.jp), and we will send you the application form. Please fill it in and send it back to us by July 4(Mon.)

Please let us know if you would like to stay at our dormitory during the course.

Please do not cancel. We may charge you a cancellation service fee.

Natural Dyeing Workshop "Colors of the Heian Period" (closed)

Sept. 2(Fri.) to Sept. 3(Sat.) 10:00-16:00

Tuition Fee: 10,500yen
Materials fee: 4,200
Capacity: 2-5 students
Held in Japanese
Application Deadline: July 25(Mon.)

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Make color samples using 6 natural dyes (madder, sappanwood, safflower, lithospermum erythrorhizon, sumac, fermented indigo + amur corktree) and mordants such as camillia ashes, straw ashes, ohaguro(teeth blackening) iron.
After dyeing the samples, choose a color and dye a scarf of your own.

Day 1 Gathering plants and preparing the mordants
Day 2 Dyeing samples (silk cloth and thread) and a silk scarf

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Masaru Hori
Worked on restoration of fabrics from Fujinoki Kofun (late 6th Century burial mound), and on fabrics etc. for The State Guesthouse in Akasaka at Kawashima Selkon Textiles. Teaches dyeing at Kawashima Textile School from 1996.

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To apply, please contact us using our inquiry form or by email (kts(at)kawashima-textile-school.jp), and we will send you the application form. Please fill it in and send it back to us by July 25(Mon.).

Please let us know if you would like to stay at our dormitory during the course.
Check-in: Sep.1 (Thu.)

Please do not cancel. We may charge you a cancellation service fee.