When thinking of the best way to give a gift to those you care about, there are many styles to choose from! In Japan, the art of gift wrapping has developed an especially deep culture. Using traditional furoshiki wrapping cloth is recommended as a way to reuse the same material many times. There are various ways to wrap things depending on their shape and size, or their intended use. This article will give you a look into the deep world of furoshiki gift wrapping culture.
What is Furoshiki?
There are many kinds of furoshiki gift wrapping, and you can freely change the style to meet your needs based on what is being wrapped and the purpose. When using furoshiki, it is important to not only consider how to pack the item, but how it helps you to carry it. But where exactly did the name ‘furoshiki’ come from? It is said that it is a term from Japan’s Muromachi period (1336 – 1573). When people would go to public baths, they would wrap their clothing in cloth featuring their family symbol so that it would not be taken by another guest by mistake.
Furoshiki Wrapping Styles
As we mentioned before, furoshiki gift wrapping is a convenient skill that comes in many styles and forms. Here is an introduction to some of the most frequently used types of furoshiki wrapping!
Basic Wrapping Method
The most basic furoshiki wrapping style is known as ‘mamusubi’ in Japanese. It is similar to the rope typing methods known as the ‘reef knot’ or ‘square knot’ in English. Compared to other wrapping methods it is not that difficult. You simply place the item to be wrapped up in the center of the cloth and wrap around it, and finally tie both ends of the cloth. Watch the video below for easy to follow instructions!
Flower Knot Method
Since this kind of knot, known as ‘hana-musubi’ in Japanese, can be easily tied and untied many times, it is used for gifts during more general celebratory events, such as a thank-you gift, for meetings, and for commemorations. It is used with the intention to repeatedly use it again as much as needed. The video below is a good visual guide to hana-musubi (Japanese only)
Double Bottle Wrapping Method
Furoshiki can make your cloth easily wrap around even items of unusual size as bottles! The word ‘bin-tsutsumi’ refers to the Japanese method of wrapping bottles of the same size as a bottle of wine. You can use this basic wrapping method to even pack together two bottles if you feel the need! See the video below for more info.
A New Present Wrapping Hack!
Have you gotten more interested in the wide and convenient world of furoshiki gift wrapping? If you wish to give gifts with a new style, this method will definitely not disappoint!
Great Stores for Furoshiki
For newly interested furoshiki fans, Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping and Mercari are highly recommended by us for furoshiki goods! Check out what is available via the following links.
Japanese Gifts Special Feature
If this article has piqued your interest in the Japanese culture of gift-giving, or what kind of gifts are usually given in Japan, we recommend that you give Buyee’s Japanese Gifts Special Feature article a look to get more great ideas!