Beauty in everyday items

I followed a link from BoingBoing today and discovered the wonderful blog for PingMag, “The Tokyo based magazine about Design and Making Things.” They cover all sorts of traditional and non-traditional Japanese crafts, and how they integrate their design Bamboo Wrappersense into today’s world. This specific post, Imitating Nature, about (of all things) food containers brought back happy memories of the 7 months I lived in Japan about 20 years ago.

As a participant in the first year of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), I helped teach English at Kessennuma Nishi Koko (Kessennuma West High School) in Miyagi Prefecture. On weekends, I traveled as much as I could around northern Japan, and the beautiful bentos (lunch boxes) sold at the train stations–each station offers its own specialty and its own presentation–and the souvenir foods I carried home to my office mates always delighted me. Finding this post at PingMag was like taking a short trip back.

The JET Program, by the way, was one of the best things I ever did. I treasure every memory and heartily recommend it to anyone who has a desire to see Japan from the inside.


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