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7 Styles of Traditional Japanese Wrapping: Super Helpful to Remember!

The act of wrapping things is practiced often in our daily lives; for example, when you want to send someone a gift, or you are walking around carrying valuable items. In the past, people in Japan had used a single piece of cloth for wrapping. This almost magical cloth is indeed the “furoshiki”.

Today we want to introduce several ways of Japanese style wrapping using this furoshiki. Photo: flickr.com

 

1. Otsukai Tsutsumi (Errands Wrap)

furoshiki-otsukaitsutsumi
The standard way of wrapping; it is particularly convenient for wrapping things that are square shaped. The process is very simple so we would recommend you to try using this method for wrapping various items.

 

2. Yotsu Tsutsumi (Four Points Wrap)

furoshiki-yottsutsutsumi
https://www.flickr.com

The knot in the center is tied in two directions so it is more stable than the otsukai tsutsumi. It is suitable for wrapping relatively heavy or large items.

 

3. Hira Tsutsumi (Flat Wrap)

furoshiki-hiratsutsumi
https://www.flickr.com

This is the most simple style without any knots. Similar to the otsukai tsutsumi, it is a basic method of wrapping but is a sophisticated method of wrapping that is presentable even at weddings or for betrothal gifts. The way of wrapping without using knots expresses wishes for a “relationship tie that can never become untied”.

 

4. Bin Tsutsumi (Bottle Wrap)

furoshiki-bintsutsumi
https://www.flickr.com

This is a method of wrapping that allows a fragile bottle to be carried stably and thus comfortably; and you can even look stylish carrying it. If you are invited to someone’s house as a guest and want to bring some Japanese sake or wine as a gift, you can use this method of wrapping.

 

5. Hon Tsutsumi (Book Wrap)

furoshiki-hontsutsumi
https://www.flickr.com

As the name indicates, it is useful for wrapping books (or even better with 2 books). If you wrap your treasured books in your favorite furoshiki or a beautiful furoshiki, it is sure to make you cherish your books even more.

 

6. Suika Tsutsuki (Watermelon Wrap)

furoshiki-suikatsutsumi
https://www.flickr.com

This is a method of wrapping that allows you to carry something round like a watermelon in a hanging style. It doesn’t have to be round in shape; you can wrap a variety of things so if you remember this method it should be useful when you go shopping.

How to wrap: http://www.kyoto-musubi.com/

 

7. Ribbon Tsutsumi (Ribbon Wrap)

furoshiki-ribontsutsumi
This is a convenient method of wrapping that’s perfect for wrapping something flat. It even looks cute so if you are sending a gift that’s wrapped in this style, it is sure to please the person receiving the gift

 

Other than the methods we introduced here, there are numerous ways of wrapping. You may be surprised that there are so many variations to the methods of wrapping using a single cloth. On the other hand, you may come to realize how important and intimate the act of wrapping is to the Japanese. Perhaps the thoughts for the person receiving the gift are infused in the act of “tsutsumu” or wrapping. It is interesting that when you wrap something with your own hands, it can naturally evoke such emotions.

We would love for you to learn different styles of wrapping as an enjoyment for both yourself and the person receiving the gift.

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KAWATA

About the author

I'm interested in general in all things related to culture and fine arts with a focus on movies, art, and design. I hope to introduce to many people all the different sides to Japan in regards to Japanese culture.

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