The Japanese Bag That Will Save Us All


Again, both Ping Magazine and the Japanese design community in general, have impressed the heck out of us. This recent feature is about the “Furoshiki,” which is essentially a large, square cloth that’s folded and arranged into a sack, and is used to carry groceries. Sort of like those cloth ones they sell at Whole Foods or Wild Oats, except they look much bigger and you won’t suffer the polarizing stigma of carrying one down the center isle of the House of Representatives. Well, plastic bag waste is such a problem in Japan, as it is everywhere else, so the Creation Gallery G8 in Ginza, Tokyo, decided to have an exhibit showing off swanky Furoshikis by terrific designers, in hopes of creating some movement away from the awful plastic and into these fantastic, reusable pieces of art. And Ping was there to cover it. Here’s a little:

Furoshiki have been a part of the Japanese lifestyle for a long time, but – except for a few exeptions – got neglected in the past decades. I remember grannies well, who would bring presents wrapped in crane or cherry blossom patterned Furoshiki! And the excitement of the furoshiki bundle slowly being unwrapped! Excellent!

I never realized the universal use of this cloth before, but this exhibition has become a wonderful opportunity to make me aware of its greatness.