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The Japanese custom of gift giving is deeply entrenched in their culture.
At the core, gift giving is an opportunity to show gratitude and respect to the receiver. The gifts given vary according to the season, situation, person and occasion.
When presenting a gift in Japan, it is customary to say “tsumaranai mono desu”.
Literally translated it means “it’s something boring, but please accept it”. However, the sentiment of this statement is...
“Our relationship is more important than this trivial item, take this gift as a token of our friendship”.
The merit of the gift is not monetary but rather in the affection and thought behind it. The presentation of the gift is also highly prized because the effort and thought put into the wrapping of the gift is also considered a reflection of the giftor’s attentiveness.
The careful pursuit to select a suitable, purposeful gift as well as the time taken to prepare and present the gift is where the value of the gift is inherited.
One gift wrapping technique used by the Japanese is Furoshiki.
Furoshiki is a long held tradition in Japan and dates back over 1, 200 years.
Furoshiki is an engineered specialised cloth that can be twisted and folded in a number of ways to wrap gifts and/or carry personal items.
The furoshiki fabrics that are created in the Japanese tradition are of the finest quality and they are neatly hemmed. Much time and cultural pride is taken in creating them. They can be used to wrap gifts, carry large items, be used as wall hangings, table cloths or even scarves.
Often there is much pressure placed on the need to ensure the final gift ‘impresses’ and this can cause great anxiety for the gift giver.
Now, think back to the emphasis of the Japanese social gift exchange and how it truly resonates in this current climate.
During COVID's social distancing, lockdowns, job losses the thoughtful token gift has become more important than ever.
Demonstrating consideration, affection and respect seems pivotal, especially when at times we are unable to physically present these gifts in person. In our contemporary throw away lifestyle furoshiki is an eco-friendly solution.
The furoshiki cloth can have multiple purposes by the receiver, it can be used to wrap other prized objects for storage and/or protection, it can be folded into a carry bag of some sort or it can become a table covering or wall hanging.
Therefore, when wrapping a gift using a furoshiki you are not only evoking Japanese history but helping the environment and providing the recipient with two gifts.
Furoshiki clothes are laboured with specialised fabrication knowledge, Japanese cultural icons, landscapes, figures, flora, fauna, complex and at times what seems simple symbols.
What seems to be a simple illustration often holds a powerful narrative.
Specific colours, flora and fauna are significant as they are considered auspicious.
For example red and white are considered good luck and turtles are considered to be omens of protection and wisdom.
Selecting furoshiki's with particular colour combinations and imagery becomes telling of the gift giver’s well wishes and knowledge of the receiver.
Thus, the Japanese furoshiki tradition becomes as significant as the westerner’s card giving practice.
Examples of various furoshiki designs can be found on our Furoshiki Collection page.
At Purematcha we sell a variety of contemporary, modern and traditional furoshiki designs to select from.
Notable, in the 104 Reversible Furoshiki range. These particular designs are graphic in their presentation but the stylised illustrations are very traditional.
These designs imply sentiments of joy, regeneration and longevity for the gift receiver.
One side of this cloth has a PURPLE apricot flowering pattern. The apricot’s flowers blossom quite early and provide a joyful sentiment.
The colour PURPLE creates a noble and luxurious atmosphere. On the other side there is a BLUE pine and bamboo pattern.
The pine and bamboo plants symbolise longevity as they can survive in the toughest conditions. The accompanying green colour adds the qualities of growth and healing to the overall design to the furoshiki.
Much like the previous reversible furoshiki, one side of this cloth apricot flowering pattern in RED.
The apricot’s flowers blossom quite early and provide a joyful sentiment. The colour RED creates a vigorous and passionate atmosphere.
On the other side there is a BLUE pine and bamboo pattern. The pine and bamboo plants symbolise longevity as they can survive in the toughest conditions.
The accompanying green colour adds the qualities of growth and healing to the overall design to the furoshiki.
One side of this cloth has a GREEN gourd fruit pattern. Due to the gourd’s robust nature and its multiple it symbolises happiness and success.
The colour GREEN provides a calm and restorative atmosphere. On the other side there is a BLUE snake/dragon scales pattern.
Scales of the snakes/dragons symbolise regeneration as these animals shed their skins when they grow. The accompanying green colour adds the qualities of renewal and self healing to the overall design to the furoshiki.
Large size 104cm x 104cm furoshiki is suitable for use for gift wrapping, carry bag, scarf, wall hanging or a tablecloth.
Dimensions - 104 x 104 cm
Made in Japan
Made of 100% cotton