Monday, September 18, 2006
topic 2 "Furoshiki"
“Furoshiki” is a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used to wrap gifts, clothes, and other goods. Furoshiki means “bath spread”, deriving from the usage of bundling clothes at public baths in the Edo Period (1603-1867). Its usage have then extended to protect goods when transporting and decorating goods for presents. Furoshikis are made of silk, cotton, rayon, or nylon. Furoshiki requires numerous wrapping techniques; there are many ways and many things that are wrapped with furoshikis. The wrapping methods vary in size and shape.
Check the link that I pasted below, if you are interested in wrapping techniques!
Furoshiki was very common since the Nara period (AD 710-794), known as "Hirazutsumi" back then, but the usage of it has declined since the postwar period due to the introduction of plastic bags. Many of the young Japanese people today have negative images about furoshiki as “bag for old people”. Most of theyoung people tend to favor convenient plasticbags .
Recently, Japanese minister of environment and various environmental organizations have been promoting active usage of furoshiki. With rising awareness and environmental trend, many brands in Japan are collaboratively producing furoshikis with trendy design and easy instruction where young people can easily wrap in their own unique style. Little by little, furoshiki is becoming labeled as "cool traditional eco-friendly product".
Furoshiki is an ecologically friendly 3R product (reuse, recycle, and reduce) with abilities to cut down enormous wastes and CO2 in Japan.
Globally, Japan is an industrial giant and big waste emitter. We are required to reduce the quantity of industrial wastes for which we are responsible of, to reuse and recycle waste, and to dispose of them in an environmentally-sound manner .
Furoshiki has the potential to replace:
- Plastic shopping/grocery bag
Do you have an ecological product like Furoshiki in your country? Or do you know any ecologically friendly products like Furoshiki?
What do you think about the future of plastic bags? Do you think it is necessary?
If not, how can we prevent society as a whole to stop using plastic bags?
What are other methods to make young Japanese people to become more attracted to "Furoshiki"? Are you interested in owning one?
other information about furoshiki
Furoshiki with new design
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Jinrikisha or also known as rickshaw is known to be around in other parts of the world since 17th and 18th century. Jinrikisha, literally meaning "human powered vehicle" has been popular in Japan since the Meiji period (1868) as a mode of transportation. Nowadays in Japan, these jinrikishas can only be found in tourist attraction places such as Kyoto and Otaru serving sight-seeing tourists. However, in other southeastern Asian countries, jinrikishas are still major forms of transportation. Needless to say, but this vehicle is so ecologically friendly!!
The name itself is self explanatory, "JIN"=human, "RIKI"=power "SHA"=vehicle. This means no production of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants! Reducing greenhouse gas emission and other air pollutants are critical in our generation, yet we are struggling to meet this goal. People in the old days have come up with various ways to improve life with limited technology and resources. What other things can you think of??
Is there vehicle in your country that are ecologically friendly?
Human powered vehicle is criticized for its image of "human toture", would you rather have
other animals to power the vehicle?
One of the problem of human powered vehicle are distances are limited. How can we prevent problems?
How can we prevent automobile industry to depend on enormous mass of fossil fuels?
What is your ideal mobilization society?
Monday, September 04, 2006
"Tradional lifestyle and ecological product in Japan"
Topic 1 "Kimono"
Have you heard of Kimono?
You may seen Kimono in movies like "Last Samurai" and “Sayuri”. Kimono is a well-known traditional dress (mainly for women) from the Edo Period. Kimono is a very expensive dress and it is traditionally passed down through generations. Since Kimono may come with very expensive tags (I don't know if they had price tags!), people from the Edo period preferred to purchase Kimono from the used Kimono dealer . When a Kimono becomes no longer needed, it will be recycled back to the Kimono dealer. Kimono is a valuable product where every little bits of pieces are used. For example, an old Kimono can be used to patch similar Kimonos, and often handbags are made from them too.
Kimono is very unique in a way that it requires no space for storage. It can be stored in a closet like a flat paper! (since houses in Japan are a lot smaller than western houses!)
In the summer people wear summer type kimono called "yukata". It is very soft in texture, and made for nightclothing (pajamas). The worned out yukata is also recycable, and it will eventually be used for diapers for baby and rags to wipe the floor.
Today, Kimono is commonly worn on special occasions. Examples are: Weddings, Seijinshiki (coming age ceremony, celebrate passage to adulthood (age 20)) and summer fireworks (Yukata). But recently Kimono is becoming popular scene in young age, and famous department stores are selling Kimono in affordable price.
So, many of green activist in Japan are hoping for the revival of Kimono scene in Japan.
I am not saying being too westernized is a bad thing, but keeping goodness in our tradition is really important and at the same time, it is ecologically friendly.
So, what is a similar product (kimono) in your country?
Or do you know any clothing product that has historical background like Kimono?
If you are invited to Eco-Product 2006, would you want to try on the Kimono? (they have one for the guys too! Do not worry!)
PS: the picture above is mine, and I know its awful, but please be nice on me this time!)
Sunday, September 03, 2006
I am your host, Shiro Hosojima from Japan for Sustainability!!
First, I like to thank my commentators for participating in this blog project. I hope we can find our ways by sharing our thoughts regarding current ecological product across the globe. I will be sharing you some of the interesting product from Japan. I will appreciate your comments and sharing us your thoughts will be much appreciated!
Ms. Onishi (blog supporter) (Japan)
Risa will be commentating and supporting on the topics
Another purpose of the blog is to announce information about the giant ecological
exhibition called "Eco Product 2006" .
This exhbition is scheduled from December 14-16 in Tokyo Japan (happens once every year)
I want to have discussion with my commentators regarding the ongoing/past ecological product issues in Japan, and attaining feedbacks will give us knowledge to make the exhibition more comfortable place for international guests.
Remember, this blog is very "relaxed" and "open".
I hope we all can attain great information by sharing our ecological values.
Here are the schedule for the next 3 month.
schedule (I will post one topic per week)
Tradional lifestyle and ecological product in Japan
Current trend of ecological issue in Japan.
Last year's Ecological Product, and this year's lookout for Ecological Product
News and Updates about the 2006 exhibition (timely!)
We have about 6-8 outstanding commentators!
(thank you very much for your support!)
Professor Harty (Kansas, US)
Dr. Moiseev (Russia)
Ms. Hsu (New York, US)
Mr. Olivares (Los Angeles, US)
Mr. Olsen (Utah, US)
Mr. Supachai (Pakistan)
Jen (Colorado, US)
I would appreciate if our commentators can make little introduction!