Furoshiki Wrapping: Out of the closet and into your hands

Furoshiki are Japanese traditional wrapping cloths used since the Nara period when imperial treasures were wrapped in these to put in storage. The custom became popular and was carried into the people's everyday life; used in gift giving or trading goods, and to use in long journeys,and even for use in the baths.

The art of furoshik wrapping  in Japanese culture declined somehow over the period of industrialization,and the practice of using cloth to wrap goods or transport items was seen as cumbersome and people relied more on plastic and paper bags as Western influence and consumerism became pervasive in modern Japan, However, using plastic and paper in everyday life was eventually perceived as being wasteful, and did not reflect the Japanese traditional values of gift-giving and honoring ties between people. 

Furoshiki wrapping became popular once again; and awareness about the environment pushed the square cloth into the limelight. Aside from its use in formal ceremonies, the art of furoshiki found its way back into everyday life.

Here in the west, we continue to be fascinated by this traditional art of furoshiki wrapping as part of one's aesthetics in our daily lives. As we move towards diversity and multiculturalism, we can adapt to practices in other cultures that foster the mindfulness needed to cultivate a sense of being one global tribe.

As concerns for eco- sustainability are now on a global scale, we can become a part  of an eco-consciousness that realizes the impact we can harness and yet still live life more fully, contributing to the new paradigm that wastefulness does not need to be part of our lifestyle. Now, instead of just letting things slide, we can say no to single use plastic, to wasteful merchandising, consumerism and then, looking at our own footprint, take steps to move away from materalism and consumption on a scale that contributes to global warming and robs the an entire generation of their future. One furoshiki wrapping at a time, we, who have  been part of a wasteful society can now unlearn our practices and will now know how to harness this new mindset. Towards living life more fully, yet more responsibly.



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