Author(s): 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 by the artist 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 (as was its sequel, "How to Wrap Five More Eggs") at a time when interest in the Japanese aesthetic was new and readers were newly charmed and delighted by the notion of packaging as art. But it is perhaps even more relevant now, in our age of iPods, bubble wrap, and ziplock bags. We've gone even further toward losing the connection to nature and the humanity that is expressed in the Japanese art of packaging and that makes the images in this book so wonderful. 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."
"This work's striking full-page photos effectively portray the integration of classic Japanese aesthetics into daily life in Japan. "How to Wrap Five Eggs" is worth purchasing for the pictures alone."--The Sennin Foundation Center for Japanese Cultural Arts