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Packaging in Japan. A new reading tradition

Probably Japanese design is so popular nowadays because of its simplicity, elegance, originality of colors – all this is impossible without taking into account the traditions that permeate the daily life of each citizen. Japanese design packaging has its own deep history, quite different from the history of packaging in Europe, America and other developed countries. If the concept of packaging in Europe first meant a meaning of “close”, “sign”, “save”, then in Japan under the originally packaging was meant “wrap”, “wrapping”. Even the literal translation from Japanese into English sounds rather not package design and wrapping design.

Impossible, perhaps, to determine, when Japan began the process of “wrapping” . but he was linked, as in Europe, the necessity of the preservation and conservation of food. Unlike European countries with a relatively cold and harsh climate and, as a result, the meat diet, the first Japanese settlements emerged in places more conducive to gathering and fishing. There was no vital necessity to preserve meat for later, every time of the year pleased with their fresh products. Mild monsoon climate varies from temperate in the North to tropical in the southern Islands allowed less time to pay the supplies. So for a very long time the Japanese have remained vegetarians and raw foodists, without worrying about methods of cooking and preserving food. So, if the European package is created with the idea to keep its inner contents as long as possible, the Japanese packaging is only a temporary shell. This situation is very similar to the Buddhist attitude to the human body as only a temporary, but extremely important sheath-box.

In the middle ages, gradually formed the tradition of presenting gifts . and their packaging has come to play a big role, showing a friendly or respectful to bestow. In our time, the gift packing is almost more important than the gift. There is not only a lot of traditional ways of wrapping up in paper, but many of the rules of packing in different events.

After the Meiji revolution in 1868, before that closed to foreigners, Japan was under the strong influence of European culture, borrowed and adapted to local realities technological advances and fashion. The second attack on Japan is alien to her culture occurred after the Second World War – the country was greatly americanisraeli. However, probably due to a very long isolation, the Japanese still have excellent as from European and Asian countries way of thinking, allowing them not only to preserve their traditions, but also to create modern design in inimitable style.

But is not always possible to combine modernity and tradition . The majority of products Packed like in any other country. For example, perfume worldwide packaged by conventional standards, the same applies to alcohol products. Product packaging is an international food corporations in Japan are little different from those in Russia. Instead of the Cyrillic alphabet – the hieroglyphs and all.

However in Japan and many such products that use only traditional complex packaging . Basically it is Japanese sweets (especially the exquisite packaging of the sweets used in the tea ceremony), traditional alcoholic beverages like sake or Shochu, dishes and chopsticks (“Hashi”), belonging to various schools of Japanese calligraphy, ikebana, martial arts, etc. In the packaging of such products is used traditional materials: Japanese paper (“washi”), wood, bamboo, straw, silk. Often this package has a complex geometric shape. A special decoration packaging is Japanese calligraphy. Although, often, the characters coexist with the Latin alphabet, but special charm to create for Europeans, certainly not them, and the stroke of a brush.

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