Having lived in the UK for over 20 years, and being immersed in a very different culture, my appreciation for Japan’s unique traditions has been enhanced. I realised how little I knew about Japanese tradition and I started rediscovering my heritage.
“The defining principle of Japanese culture and the way of living is characterised by celebrating nature, seasons, and being grateful for what the earth offers us.”
This rediscovery encouraged me to create Tsutsumi as well as “ma space design”.
‘ma 間 (pronounced as má) in Japanese it means “the space between things”.
Spatial design has been my profession for a long time. I wanted to help people fill their ‘ma’ with beautiful products and artworks while inspiring them to act responsibly towards our environment.
“My mission is to encourage people to reconnect with nature. Just like our ancestors did.”
Tsutsumi 包: Furoshiki wrapping cloth
Tsutsumi 包 in Japanese means ‘wrap’.
The shape of the ancient kanji for Tsutsumi replicates the form of a pregnant woman. The pregnant form enfolds what is most precious, a baby, and the idea of wrapping something precious extends to the act of enfolding an object in a square piece of beautiful fabric.
The more common word for this Japanese wrapping cloth is “Furoshiki”. Its use goes back some 1200 years.
In Japan, there exists the beautiful culture of wrapping treasured items, gifts, and belongings in Furoshiki. In the past, people used Furoshiki to carry trade products for transportation, with the concept that you can use it again and again. The use of Furoshiki has, however, faded since the 1970s due to the introduction of plastic and paper bags, wrapping paper, and luggage.
Tsutsumi is a product name for Furoshiki wrapping cloths which have been designed by Tomoko Kakita. They are made in Japan using a traditional hand-printed method by skilled craftsmen and can be used for wrapping gifts, sundries, and can even be worn as a face cover for a stylish look.
My ambition is to encourage those who own a Tsutsumi to use it with love and care so that it lasts for a long time. Remember the message of this product: that it is to be used to inspire people to act responsibly towards the environment, to help them to reduce waste, and to encourage them to reconnect with nature. It’s important that this message is passed along. The Tsutsumi may even come back to you again after many people have reused it in different ways.
Tsutsumi is a furoshiki wrapping cloth made in Japan using traditional hand-printed method call 'Yuzenzome' by skilled craftsman. Each colour needs one dyeing block. The artisanal colours are achieved by mixing the dyes by hand.
Tsuru 鶴 crane: Origami artwork
One of the popular origami folding is a paper crane 鶴.
Thousand origami cranes 千羽鶴 is a group of origami paper cranes held together by strings. The crane in Japan is one of the holy creatures and is said to live for a thousand years. Thus we make one thousand cranes, one for each year. There is a popular belief that people's wishes, such as happiness, eternal good luck, recovery from illness or injury and longevity, will come true by folding one thousand paper cranes. It is therefore a popular gift to give family, special friend and hospital patient in Japan.
I have been making paper cranes since the first lockdown started. I fold them with a wish for many people whose life is affected by the pandemic to heal and unfold to become happier and peaceful one.
I would like to invite you to discover my product range.