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‘How To Wrap Five Eggs: Traditional Japanese Packaging’

Hideyuki Oka


In Japan, the wrapping of a package is truly an art, as this classic study of the craft of Japanese packaging so beautifully shows. The traditional Japanese packaging materials, as depicted here in the more than two hundred black-and-white photographs, are supremely simple—mostly bamboo, rice straw, hemp twine, paper, or leaves. But these ordinary natural materials are transformed into containers, boxes, baskets, and wrappers that are practical, imaginative, surprising, and sometimes breathtakingly beautiful.

This book was hugely popular on its first publication in 1967 at a time when interest in the Japanese aesthetic was new. But now, in our age of bubble wrap and ziplock bags, it has perhaps become even more relevant. As the author says: “Traditional Japanese packaging is nothing less than a manifestation of the Japanese love of spiritual things, a love that we, and people everywhere in this modern world, must make haste to reclaim unless it is to vanish forever.”

Shambhala, 2008, 224 pages, 25,5 x 18 cm, black and white, softcover, English

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