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Tsutsumu – The Art of Japanese Packaging

Tsutsumu – The Art of Japanese Packaging

包: Hou, Tsutsumi
(package, packing, Wrap something inside) Japanese traditional packaging In the mountain village of Yoshino, an old craftworker is manipulating a single Fujizuru (vine of Wisteria) with spirit. Now it is difficult to get such a sturdy Fujizuru. Like a serpent with a mission of God, a single fujizuru sticks to the surface of Shiraki (non-vernished wood) and firmly ties it up. This fujizuru was collected 20 years ago and had been matured in a dark corner of warehouse. Sleeping in the past 20 years is not just a sleep. The fujizuru meat and fiber breathed in a moderate natural moisture and gained supple toughness. They put a whole heart in wrapping. The wrapped contents aged over time. When delivered and unwrapped, Yasuke-sushi has become the best taste by aging. But this fujizuru can only get out under sunlight for a very short time. After a while, it will be cut off for opening. At first, the word in Japanese “Kami (God, spirit)” was a word meaning a superior person. God of rice comes down from the mountain. Villagers invite the god of rice and fight in sumo with God. It is for stepping on the ground and putting the strong power of abundance in the ground. He fights earnestly in sumo with the invisible God of rice. God of rice is strong.
Even if he is thrown over and over, he will continue fighting. Keeping fighting is the same as keeping praying with the whole in mind and body Eventually, the god of rice make big smile. The beginning of “Hineri” (wrapping things (In most cases coins) with paper by twisting) is the manifestation of people’s simple heart. A small wish is put in wrapped things and it is given to Gods and spirits. Natural conservation is large, soft and envelops people’s mind. Each one of nature wraps up delicious seasonal foods made by people. A color brought up by nature. A form created by nature. And a wrapped heart. Nature embodies to people’s wisdom and skills. People make the best use of nature’s dispensation and life. There, a handmade tradition of “tsutsumu (wrapping)” was born. Wrapping fresh eggs. Like to grow five children lovingly. Carrying fresh eggs far. like to let each five children leave on a journey. This is called ”Tamago-tsuto”. A window is naturally formed between the straws. It is knit tightly with a simple love for wrapped things. Even if it is shaking at the waist of a woodcutter that went deep into the mountain, it will not break. In the 3 rd century BC, ethnic groups making rice landed on the coast of Japan. From that time on, living culture using straw that is easy to obtain, strong and supple has started. It is an old past. But who would have started the way of wrapping of this “Makiburi”? (Wrapped yellowtail) The Sea of Japan is a treasure trove of fish and can take various kinds of fish. Among them, yellowtail is the king. After immersing “Kanburi” (yellowtail in winter) in salt water for 10 days, dry in a dark place with a strong sea breeze and wind it with straw rope. The head and tail are wrapped tightly, while the middle is wrapped loosely. Then, the ventilation improves. Unpack the rope by the amount you eat and roll the rest again. I also brought this to a far mountain. If you say in the present word, it is preserved food. This shape is beautiful no matter when I look at it. Who came up with this way of making “Makiburi”? People in this country did not regard severe nature as enemy. They get into nature, blend into nature, and assemble ingenuity from nature itself. They did not go against nature, nurturing the sum of living and people, with the teachings of nature. A straw life culture created from people’s natural surroundings that people quickly notice. Furthermore, the living culture using wood overlaps. Moreover, the life culture of “take” and “sasa” (stem and Leaf of bamboo) overlap beautifully. straw, wood, stem of bamboo, leaf of bamboo, paper and clay. As the flow of each life culture raised the rich creative power of people as the basis of the act of “wrapping”. Take (Bamboo, especially stem of bamboo) Its dry feeling and the straight appearance made bamboo an attractive plant from ancient times for people in this humid country. Crafts using bamboo section. Craft using elasticity of bamboo Takekago (bamboo basket), takezaru (Bamboo sieve) The creativity of the Japanese produced more supple and simple things using bamboo. From one bamboo, you can collect as many as 36 bamboo skins. It is said that the bamboo skins will fall in order as they are done one by one on a fine summer morning. Sliced beef, white-miso and red-miso, candy broken with a mallet It is a strong and affordable wrapping paper produced by nature. A ”木” or ”樹” (ki: tree) has the same sound with ”気” (Ki) which is used in words of ”気持ち” (kimochi: feeling, intention, mood) and ”気力” (kiryoku: vigor, spirit, power, energy). From ancient times, people have hoped to incorporate the strength of trees’ vitality to myself. Cleanliness, purity of unpainted wood A fresh scent of wood skin Beautiful pattern of wood grain. (夏目(natsume, summer pattern)=bright pattern, 冬目(fuyume, winter pattern)=dark pattern) Taking advantage of the original form of the material, make it a handmade wooden box. In Japanese, ”tasting” is called ”味を見る (see, watch, look the taste)”. The beauty of colors and shapes in the eyes. ”味(Aji, taste, savor) is not just for eating. The container that puts food is not just a container. Even after taking out the food, the fun, interest, beauty of the container itself was needed. The room of the Japanese mind made it so. In the casualness, a rustic taste Feeling the climate of the place where it was produced The joy and interest of not only food, but also the container are catched and exquisitely demonstrated.

100 comments on “Tsutsumu – The Art of Japanese Packaging

  1. This what I love about Japan; not the international tourism version, but the real Japan. My best memories of Japan are those times when I am far from the tourism centres, out in the countryside, learning and understanding Japanese people and their culture. I believe Japanese mono-culture is important to maintain for our human history; past present and future. Maybe I've enjoyed too much fine Japanese sake, but I would be happy to defend Japan if it ever felt threatened, probably more so then my own country.

  2. Buy an ink pen in Japan and they will wrap it, box it and wrap the box, then place in a heavy bag with two handles. At some point you lose touch with reality.

  3. Thanx for posting this. happy to see, in a land of consumerism, some ppl still respect a strong conviction in how to live and partake of what our planet offers. Not everyone can appreciate the beauty and gravity over this concept

  4. i want to live in japan where everything is a art..the art of packing, the art of waking up, the art of going to work, the art of sitting, the art of sleeping, the art of showering at some point, the art of napping, the art of living, the art of having a hobby thats not work….

  5. Using auto-generated Japanese subtitles auto-translated to English for the last third is hilarious.

    For example at, very end:

    There is a twist
    That is
    Do you live?
    Be older


  6. Western civilisation has lost so much by cutting off its own roots, and we stand to lose much more by cutting off others'.

  7. Yum! Room temperature fish guts that are going to be rotten by the time Mr. Myagi gets done weaving my goddamn bamboo take out bag. Back in day they spent hours on a single artisinal doggy bag, and nowadays they won't even put a piece of tape over Larry David's soup lid. On the other hand, if you opened a place that did this in Brooklyn you'd probably have hipsters lined up around the block for this shit.

  8. This is more satisfying to watch than those videos of people cutting soaps and dudes playing with kinetic sands.

  9. Horrible waste of time. Just put the stuffs in plastic bags, hey have different colors if you wanna be all fancy.

  10. The artful use of the only materials you have to work with, beautiful. This is a choice in everything in life, do I give up because I am poor, or do not have what I want, or do I create beauty with what I have? To create beauty, harmony, respect, dignity, compassion, or to distroy with apathy, hate, small mindedness? Seems unconnected to some, but all is connected. Thanks for this.

  11. γ‚ˆγθ¦‹γ€γ‘γŸγ­γ€€γ“γ‚“γͺγ«θ‰―γ„θ¨˜ιŒ²γƒ•γ‚£γƒ«γƒ 

  12. White man say mine is stronger than yours white man say mine last longer white man say oops I did too much there's no room for anything else LOL there I have said that

  13. It is so beautiful to see how the work, and nature, are so deeply honoured, not just things, goods. This is very beautiful and inspiring to see. Thankyou.

  14. beautiful to watch these masters of their craft – and yet so sad, how commercialism has brought humanity to a point where we don't want to learn these wonderful skills anymore, which were acquired over generations in hundreds if not thousands of years. which were so beautiful, ecological and satisfying – and took so much time to learn and to execute for seemingly so little "reward".
    Today, we don't have time for anything, can"t concentrate on one task alone for more than 10 min (i bet half the people watching this video even fast forwarded half of it) and consume senseless amounts of ugly packaging which we use only for a few seconds and then discard it. ironically, our modern packaging WILL last for hundreds of years, just AFTER it was used. what crazy world.

  15. Kind of wasteful of time on some of these things, some also seem to use a much more material than modern packaging.

  16. Such an honour to be able to watch this documentation, and learn a thing or two from this film. But it will be much better if we can read the subtitle from min.22 till the end, don't you think so? πŸ™πŸ‘πŸ€“

  17. I'd like to give a shout out to whoever did the translation. The quality of translation is very high and clearly took a lot of work. You can't translate Japanese to English just like that on the fly.

  18. I call using solid wood boxes for food items eco-friendly…….. That would consume way more trees than paper packaging…..

  19. A series of overly-complicated methods of doing the same thing other cultures do just as well in a fraction of the time. Most cultures take the same path as water, the one with least resistance. Japan does the opposite for no solid reason outside of philsophy. Art for arts sake at the expense of efficiency. Japan are the best at taking a decade longer then anyone else to do the same thing.

  20. OMG, I swear I can just watch that box wrapping lady non stop for a whole month!!!! Truly mesmerizing AMSR OVERLOAD!!!!

  21. This is the pure flow of human potential … The extreme genius that awakens in those who refuse to give up. Japan has demonstrated this throughout history.

  22. The way that nature is adapted into the packaging of Japanese products is so beautiful its like the breath of life is fresh and beautiful and growing.Thank you for sharing your culture.Charles E.Huggins Jr.

  23. The way that nature is adapted into the packaging of Japanese products is so beautiful its like the breath of life is fresh and beautiful and growing.Thank you for sharing your culture.Charles E.Huggins Jr.

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