On Japan and Elegance

One of the major themes of beauty that I constantly encountered in Japan is elegance. This theme became a huge filter by which I was able to see so many things in Japan. I was able to discover elegance deeply engraved into every aspect of life and for this post I want to talk about chopsticks: 箸 “ha-shi”.

Today I was looking through some blog posts from the online blog “Spoon & Tamago: Japanese art, design and culture“. Featured in a post entitled, Designers attempt to simplify chopstick etiquette” , was a beautiful example of simple elegance. The designers Takeshi Hamana and Yuya Iwagaki  created “temotoasobi,” a  packaging design for chopsticks. The casing folds into a rest to place the chopsticks on called “hashi-oki”.

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Another fantastic example of elegant design is the collection of chopsticks made for Hashikura Matsukan (A company that manufactures chopsticks). Featured on Nendo, each set of the collection is a beautiful attempt to reinvent the object that has remained timelessly and relatively the same for thousands of years.

ONE: hanataba [designed for comfort]

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 4.28.22 PM hanataba02_akihiro_yoshida

TWO: jikaoki [designed to keep the tip clean even without a chopstick rest]

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THREE: sukima [designed to create a negative space shape]

sukima_sketch sukima06_akihiro_yoshida

FOUR: kamiai [designed to fit together & held with magnets]

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FIVE: udukuri [the classic]

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SIX: rassen [two parts become one; this is my favorite design]

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