Why Do Gift Wrapping in the Japanese Style?
Wrapping a Japanese themed gift in Japanese style completely elevates the elegance of the gift and makes it all that more special. The beautiful way in which the gift can be wrapped is an art form in its own right and will definitely impress the person you are giving the gift to.
Traditional Japanese style wrapping uses cloth called furoshiki and is both simple to do and environmentally friendly because the cloth can be reused. An added bonus is that if you are planning on sending a card along with the gift, you can simply tuck it into the folds of the fabric and surprise the receiver.
Japanese Gift Wrapping Instructions and Tips That Will Easily Give You a Beautiful Looking Gift
To do gift wrapping Japanese style is not all that difficult but these few tips will make the process positively easy.
Know About the Different Japanese Gift Wrapping Methods
There are a few different types of gift wrapping techniques in the Japanese style. These are: traditional Japanese style gift wrapping, the beautiful Japanese department store style paper wrapping and kimono style wrapping.
Traditional Japanese style gift wrapping is generally considered to be the easiest among the three while Japanese paper wrapping can be made as elaborate as the imagination of the wrapper allows. Kimono style wrapping is perfect for rectangular gifts like books and boxes.
Have Materials Ready on Hand
To wrap your gift in any of the different gift wrapping techniques in Japanese style, you will first need the materials ready and on hand.
- For Japanese department store style paper wrapping, you will need good quality wrapping paper, clear tape and decorative tape, scissors, mizuhiki ribbon and a gift tag.
- For the traditional method, you will need only Japanese gift wrapping fabric or furoshiki and nothing else.
- Kimono style wrapping will require the same materials as needed in the department store style of wrapping.
Practice in a Quiet Place
Modern Japanese style gift wrapping is very similar to origami as it follows a strict series of high precision folds. It is a little tricky the first time you try it but once you get the hang of it, it becomes very simple and automatic. You should first practice a few times with a dummy gift in a quiet place so that your final wrapping comes out perfectly.
How To Wrap Gifts Japanese Department Style
The Japanese department style gift wrapping is a remarkably fast, efficient and easy way to wrap gifts. Perfected by department store clerks in Japan, this style simplifies the process and avoids wastage of gift wrapping paper.
Wrapping Gifts Like A Japanese Department Store
- Spread out a suitable length of wrapping paper
- Place your gift in the bottom right corner of the paper at an angle so that it juts out a little.
- Next fold over the right side folding in the extra paper around the gift side so the paper lies flat
- Flip the item over and fold excess paper on the right side
- Now you will only have extra paper on the left side, mostly in form of paper flaps
- Fold over the gift tucking in the paper neatly over the top of the gift item.
- All you have to do now is to secure the remaining paper flap with a piece of tape
How to Wrap a Gift in the Kimono Style
Japanese gift wrapping in Kimono style produces extremely professional and good looking gifts and is perfect for rectangular shaped presents like books. Watch the video below or follow the Kimono Style Japanese gift wrapping instructions given here for your convenience:
Kimono Style Gift Wrapping
- Place the present on the paper, the top left corner of the present should be on the top left corner of the wrapping paper.
- Measure the perfect size of the wrapping paper by rolling the gift five times to the right. (Turn it on to its side, then back down on to its front), Mark the point.
- Move the present downwards, rolling 3 times as done in step 2, this will give you the exact measurements of the paper that needs to be cut! Simply cut the paper you have marked out.
- Put the present in the middle of the paper and pull the wrapping paper two thirds of the way over the box.
- Pinch the top edges of the paper while pulling down in the direction of the side of the box. Smoothen the sides as you go along. This should give you two triangles of paper on both sides of the gift.
- Now just have to wrap it like a Kimono, you should fold the triangle flaps over the body of the present. Be careful to do this one at a time and alternate sides.
- Use double sided tape to stick the last triangular flap down. Any excess paper can be folded underneath itself and made flush with a box edge.
- Seal it elegantly by folding the bottom edges in like an envelope. If you can, then get the final flap perfectly in the middle. You can cut it to achieve this.
- Decorate as desired by tying a ribbon around the gift, the ribbon can double up to hide unsatisfactory parts of the gift. And you're done!
Fabric Used in Japanese Gift Wrapping & What to Look for When Buying It
Furoshiki is a Japanese gift wrapping fabric made out of pure cotton which is woven. Furoshiki means Japanese bath spread, referring to the fact that it was traditionally used to bundle clothes at the sento or public baths but it was also used to carry gifts or other goods.
Furoshiki is simple, beautiful and very eco-friendly and using it promotes a healthy environment as it is re-usable. It is now used primarily for wrapping gifts or as interior decoration and table cloths. Modern furoshiki is designed with contemporary fabrics so as to be good for the environment. Regular bags have a fixed amount of space and are able to carry only a few types of objects but a furoshiki is very flexible and versatile and can be adapted for different kinds of use. Thus Japanese gift wrapping with fabric should be your first choice when wanting to wrap a gift.
The perfect furoshiki fabric is both strong and of the right thickness. However you can use whatever you have at hand and try out different techniques. If your fabric is too thick and difficult to tie, then using a simple folding technique and tying the gift with a ribbon is a good idea.
Along with furoshiki, Japanese gifts also make use of mizuhiki which is a special cord traditionally used for tying up the hair of a samurai. It is created from rice paper, tightly bound to give it stiffness and then coloured.
How to Wrap Using Traditional Furoshiki Technique
Furoshiki style of wrapping gifts has come back into popularity with the rise in environmental awareness. For this style of wrapping, you need a suitable measure of cloth. You can use scarfs, towels, old sheets (cut up and decorated), fabric samples, leftover material from sewing and so much more. Traditionally the gift item should be roughly one-third of the furoshiki's diagonal length.
Wrapping Gifts Using The Furoshiki Technique
- Start the process by spreading the cloth and placing the object in the middle
- Next take the two opposing corners and bring it across the item.Tie a secure square knot using both.
- Bring the remaining two sides and do the same
- There are several variations possibles in how you tie the knot. YouTube has several resources for you to explore and learn.
8 Gifts You Can Give which Can be Made Better by Wrapping in the Japanese Style
A Nintendo 3DS
A Nintendo 3DS is every child's and quite a few adults' dream. It is the world's first 3D handheld gaming console and is perfect for both gamers and lovers of Japan and Japanese culture because Nintendo and the games it makes have become synonymous with Japan.
The first impression that the 3DS puts out is that it is a more glamorous and sleeker version of the previous gaming consoles NIntendo introduced to the market. It has the very same touch enabled dual- screened set up. However, what sets it apart completely is that it's top screen can display games in automatic stereoscopic 3D. That's right, it doesn't need 3D glasses for playing 3D games!
In terms of size, It is a bit smaller than the DSi and weighs a light 226 grams with all the accessories like the stylus, SD card and battery. It is sleek and has curved sides, angled edges and a glossy high quality finish. The lid has two cameras. The device even allows the user to view Netflix and surf the internet for funny cat pictures on it and has many exclusive games with famous characters such as Link, Pikachu, Mario, Peach and Yoshi.
It is backwards compatible so the person you are gifting to won't lose their game library with the device. Applications and games are included which means the user can start having fun as soon as they take it out of the box.
The device will cost you around ₹23,000 on Amazon but you can get it for less on offers provided by different sites. All this and more means that the Nintendo 3DS will never be a wrong choice for a gift.
A Classy Japanese Lacquerware Set to Go with Their Tableware
Producing Lacquerware is an ancient Japanese craft. Lacquer is used in several traditional Japanese items such as urushi-e, prints and objects like Buddha statues and bento food boxes. To make these items, the sap of the lacquer tree is used and historically, only highly skilled and dedicated artisans have made lacquerware as the substance is poisonous to touch until it dries.
With such a deep and meaningful background to it, a Japanese lacquerware set becomes the perfect gift you can give to someone interested in Japan. Soup, rice, noodles, pasta or curry- everything can be served in a proper Japanese soup bowl. Lacquerware can handle both hot and cold food stuff and you can get one with a Sakura (Cherry blossom) pattern to add to the novelty. Such sets are typically around ₹800 to ₹1,500. The 2 bowl set of Nizona Polyurethane Japanese Lacquerware Soup Bowls will cost you Rs.699 on Amazon.
An Elecom Quill Stylus Pen for Business Colleagues or Kids with Tablets
Gifting an Elecom Quill Stylus Pen will take the happy receiver of the gift straight to an era in Japan when writing used to be done with feather quills. However this cool stylus doesn't need to be dipped in ink, it is modern and has a sleek, shiny look.
Truly a stylus with style, The product includes a stand and so makes a fine desk ornament when not in use. It comes in both black and silver and works with tablets and smartphones. The stylus makes texting elegant and smart! The stylus will cost about ₹3,600 and you can buy it on Amazon.
Elecom is a reputed Japanese electronic company headquartered in Osaka Japan and so it makes the product so much more linked to Japanese culture and heritage.
Beautiful Japanese Style Kanzashi Hairpins
Kanzashi are hair ornaments that are used in traditional Japanese hairstyles. These make the perfect gift for a female friend or relative who is into Japan. To make the gift even cooler, you can wrap it in Japanese style and add a small note inside the folds that in the past, kanzashi have been modified to be used as weapons too!
Kanzashi are made using a wide variety of materials which include lacquered wood, silver and gold plated metal, tortoise shell and silk and plastic. There are many styles of Kanzashi hair ornaments. The origin of this pin is in the ancient belief that a pointed wiry stick brings good luck and rids people of devils.
The Acrylic Vintage Kanzashi has a dangling Sakura style decorative bead to give it an authentic Japanese touch. It will make the wearer look elegant and beautiful and is a great gift choice. Buy it for Rs.1,110 from Amazon.
Canon IXUS 190 Digital Camera for Capturing Perfect Moments
The best gift for a person who likes both photography and Japanese culture is of course, a Japanese camera. These have the advantage of superior Japanese technology and innovation. Coming straight out of Japan, the Canon IXUS 190 is a great light-weight and portable point and shoot camera which is perfect for both amateur and advanced photographers.
It boasts a high-tech Digic 4+ processor which allows for enhanced image processing quality. The 1/2.3 inch CCD Sensor is great at capturing high definition pictures with amazing colours and contrast value. The best feature of this camera is it's great 10X optical zoom feature that lets you capture far away images with ease.
Not only this, it has zoom plus technology that increases the total zoom power up to 20X. There are several shooting modes like auto, P, digital IS, face self-timer, low light photography, fish-eye effect, miniature effect, toy camera effect, monochrome, super vivid and many more. Costing just ₹8,850, the Canon IXUS 190 is one of the best models under ₹10000 and is the perfect gift for the photographer you are giving it to. Buy it on Amazon.
Japanese Ivory Folding Hand Fan
Did you know that the folding hand fan was invented in Japan? These beautiful fans are masterfully made out of silk and bamboos and have a wide range of designs. Like most things Japanese, they have symbolic value and are a symbol for friendship, respect and good wishes.
These are widely given on special occasions and help keep the user cool in warm weather. You can get a bamboo stand to better display the fan. Thus the Japanese folding fan is a great gift for all occasions as they are very practical and also pretty. There are several Japanese folding fan styles in the market which will cost you about ₹500. Like this Linen Butterfly Flowers Hand Fan with Lacquer Handle Japanese Folding Fan which costs Rs.567 on Amazon.
Traditional Maneki Neko Showpiece to Bring Them Luck
Want to send some good luck to the person you are searching a gift for? A Maneki Neko cat is the perfect answer. You've probably seen these waving cat showpieces before but the fact that they are good luck charms is not that well known. These talismans are very popular in both Japanese and Chinese cultures.
Besides being cute, this gift is also very symbolic and meaningful. Maneki Neko means beckoning cat in Japanese and refers to the fact that the cat has its paws raised as if it was wishing luck to its beholders. There are also several interesting legends about the beckoning cat and you can add a small book about them along with the present.
The raised paw of the cat is meaningful too. If the left paw is raised, it is to bring in more customers and if the right paw is raised, it means good fortune and money are on their way to the owner. You can also buy one with two hands raised as these signify protection. You won't go wrong with such a meaningful gift. The Maneki Neko Money Lucky Cat Statue will cost you around ₹2,483 on Amazon.
Easy to Wear Japanese Kimono
A Japanese Kimono is something that every Japan loving person will appreciate as it will help them feel a stronger connection with Japan and it's culture. The word Kimono literally means clothing. Kimonos are instantly recognisable anywhere in the world.
A Yukata Kimono is perfect for those who are new to the Kimono world as they are light, airy, cool and comfortable. You can wear them at casual parties and events during the spring and summer time and indoors at all occasions. There are even kimonos available for men and these are very popular for people interested in Japanese martial culture. Also, cosplayers will also always appreciate a good Kimono.
You can buy a child's costume version like this Baby and Blossoms Traditional Japanese Kimono Dress Gown for Girls aged 4 to 6 years from Amazon. Priced at Rs.996, it has a floral print on a black background, is trimmed with golden ribbon and comes with a hand held fan. If you're shopping for an adult with more serious intentions of wearing a kimono, explore the Kimono Yukata Market; however, these are a lot more expensive and there will be a long wait for your shipment to arrive as well.
Bonus Gift Idea: Kawaiibox Curated Gifts Subscription
Kawaiibox is a Japanese subscription gift that sends a monthly box full of Kawaii things to the receiver. These include plushies, squishies and more. The box has carefully curated and authentic cute characters along with all Kawaii brands. The shipping is free and the company guarantees that it will put a smile on the receivers face month after month making it the ultimate gift for Japan lovers. Prices start from US $17 per month, which is about Rs.1,248.
Scratch beneath the surface
Learning about anything that is steeped in history and tradition can be all the more rewarding when you discover where these customs come from. Each culture is unique and one as ancient as the Japanese has a rich history that can be fascinating. Find out more about their gifting culture and your own gifts will benefit from it.