Delights of Japanese design
I have recently returned from a family holiday from Japan and as you can imagine the holiday was full of lots of design discoveries. I have described 5 of my favourite Japanese design delights below:
1. Japanese tea bowl
It is lovely to see a handmade ceramic tradition still going so strong in a modern world. I took my toddler to a tea ceremony and she loved the grainy texture in the bowl. Each bowl is unique and imperfections are prized. The bowls are treaded as precious. The bamboo whisk and spoon is also handmade and kept in immaculate condition. The tea is whisked brusquely until green and foaming, it has a strong grassy flavour which is also high in caffeine.
2. Bento boxes
I am a big fan of organised eating and I even take pleasure in compartmentalised airplane meals. Bento boxes are a big winner for a little taste of everything and pairing them with a Sapporo beer on the bullet trains was gold. Bento box designs are wide and varied would have loved a ceramic version.
3. Starbucks origami coffee filter
While Starbucks is not Japanese, the origami filter is definitely inspired by the Japanese craft. This filter is easy to assemble and sits on top of your mug. Unlike other larger filters which involve a similar pour over process this one is smaller so the flow rate is controlled to create the best possible flavour. I would like it to be reusable but it was great for travel especially in a country where matcha is more common.
Totoro, Ponyo, Kiki etc. Hayao Miyazaki my 2 year old daughter was smitten with these movies even in Japanese, 2 months later she is still talking about it. In true Japanese style these characters were emblazoned on a variety of products. The animations are stunning and whimsical.