Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Arare Gift Box

Arare Gift Box

One of my Christmas presents this year was this great looking arare (rice cracker) gift box.

I have a high appreciation for the way the Japanese package things. Wander around a Japanese market sometime and the products really seem to pop off the shelves. Color schemes are thoughtfully considered, graphics are tastefully employed, and in the fresh seafood department, fish fillets seem to be caught in mid swim in their Styrofoam trays. They have a way of enhancing the inherent natural beauty of simple objects. Presentation and attention to detail transforms ordinary into extraordinary bringing to mind words like craftsmanship and artisan.

Calligraphy Detail

This arare box is a perfect example of the art of Japanese packaging. Even though I can't read Japanese, the calligraphy on the cover immediately caught my eye. I've studied Wagami Japanese paper making back in school and part of the course involved sumi-e calligraphy painting on paper we actually made ourselves out of mulberry bark. The graphics remind me of some of my attempts which only decades of practice would bring anywhere near this level. My instructor informed us that once we learn the history and process of making paper, we will never take for granted a single sheet of Charmin again. I have to say, I still take it for granted. At least I don't have to make all my own paper. Now that could pose a problem.

Individual Packages

You can see how thoughtful consideration was put into the individual wrappers. The labeling seems to be consciously coordinated somehow and complements the unique contents of each package. The packages themselves are all propped forward creating a nice presentation.

These rice crackers not only looked pretty, they were tasty, fresh and crunchy. Each package contained it's own desiccant pack to keep the contents fresh so you could take your time to admire the packaging before eating it; so you can eat with your eyes first before tasting it with your mouth.

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