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 sense 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.