Abstract

Focusing particularly in packages that used either bamboo sheathes or bamboo leaves as wrappings, the purpose of this research is to investigate the actual condition of traditional package design in Japan, taking contemporary Japanese sweets wrapped in natural materials as the study’s subject. Both of the mentioned above can be folded in various ways and possess optimal properties as wrapping materials. Supported by literature materials, the method consisted of a field survey, sample collection and data analysis. The field survey was focused on the southernmost Kyushu Island’s Fukuoka Prefecture and some of the samples were collected in the main Honshu Island. Along with the sample collection, an interview with the sweets’ producers took place whenever possible. The samples’ dimensions, as well as pictures of the packages being opened were taken for further analyses of the employed wrapping techniques. A sketch of each sample’s wrapping steps was drawn. The wrapping patterns were then compared to each other and the common attributes analyzed. We have observed variations of packaging patterns according mainly to the sweets' types and not necessarily on their geographical origins. Furthermore, we detected a shift in the purpose of the packaging from the primary function of protecting its contents towards a more decorative one. It was noticed that the use of natural materials is no longer based on their physical properties, but as a trendy means of recollecting and symbolizing old customary traditions.

Keywords:

package design, wrapping, natural materials, traditional

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Nov 17th, 12:00 AM

A Study on Japanese Traditional Sweets Wrapped in Natural Materials: The Relationship Between Japanese Contemporary Package Design and the Japanese Wrapping Culture.

Focusing particularly in packages that used either bamboo sheathes or bamboo leaves as wrappings, the purpose of this research is to investigate the actual condition of traditional package design in Japan, taking contemporary Japanese sweets wrapped in natural materials as the study’s subject. Both of the mentioned above can be folded in various ways and possess optimal properties as wrapping materials. Supported by literature materials, the method consisted of a field survey, sample collection and data analysis. The field survey was focused on the southernmost Kyushu Island’s Fukuoka Prefecture and some of the samples were collected in the main Honshu Island. Along with the sample collection, an interview with the sweets’ producers took place whenever possible. The samples’ dimensions, as well as pictures of the packages being opened were taken for further analyses of the employed wrapping techniques. A sketch of each sample’s wrapping steps was drawn. The wrapping patterns were then compared to each other and the common attributes analyzed. We have observed variations of packaging patterns according mainly to the sweets' types and not necessarily on their geographical origins. Furthermore, we detected a shift in the purpose of the packaging from the primary function of protecting its contents towards a more decorative one. It was noticed that the use of natural materials is no longer based on their physical properties, but as a trendy means of recollecting and symbolizing old customary traditions.

 

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