Posts tagged ‘eco bag’

Bag It Up!

Eco-bags are big in Japan right now, but before supermarkets were even invented, Japanese women were slinging their knick-knacks in a huge handkerchief called a furoshiki. They’re intricately weaved from natural material like cotton or silk and come in sizes big and small. Every time I’m in Japan, friends hand them to me as gifts because they’re classy-chic and haul a load of junk with only a faint trace of a carbon footprint.

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Back in the day, ladies used the furoshiki to carry their unmentionables down to the public bathhouse (Furo means ‘bath’). Though after World War II, cloth bags were replaced by plastic disposable ones. (Imagine a time when it was all the rage to throw away your bags.) Now that we’re far more aware of our environment maybe furoshiki will make its mainstream comeback. Check out this clip to see how you can actually use a furoshiki.

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Here’s the site that not only sells furoshiku ($9-$16~) but tells you how to wrap things like wine and watermelon. You Have fun! \(^_^)/

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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March 2, 2009 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Mottainai: Don’t be Wasteful!

Soon after moving back to the U.S., I found myself sitting in one of those $8.99 all-you-can-eat salad bars. I ordered a cup of hot tea and the waitress handed me a fistful of lemons, creamers and sugar packets; three wedges and five sweeteners, to be exact. Most Americans wouldn’t think much of it, but after living in Japan, the land of “take only what you can eat,” my first thought was “What a waste!” After all, anything unused would inevitably be trashed.

In Japan, people express their disdain for wastefulness by saying, “Mottainai!” It stems from Buddhist philosophy, but grew into the psyche during the country’s wartime days when people literally starved to death. To this day, my father reminds me of how he sliced a single apple every day among his siblings in order to stay alive. “Mottainai!” he’d say when I started flinging my mashed potatoes at the wall.

Young Japanese kids these days are spoiled. That’s why one mother decided to write a children’s book called “Mottainai Grandma” to teach her son the importance of finishing his food. It sold over 400,000 copies.

But compared to the U.S., Japan is a country with conservation on the brain. Most public areas have separate trashcans for recyclables and non-recyclables. Eco-friendly grocery bags are the latest trend. And there’s little in the way of paper towels in restaurants and restrooms. Most people carry handkerchiefs. Though, I must admit, Japanese stores tend to go excessive on the gift-wrap, even when it’s not a gift. I brought that point up to a Japanese friend and she counteracted it with, “Well, why do Americans have a constant supply of paper towels at home?” Touché.

So if you’re thinking of doing business in Japan, think less, not more. It’s a tiny island country over there. The last thing it needs is an extra heap of waste. Well, so as long as they’re not planning to build anymore airports.* (^_<)

*Kansai International Airport was built on a man-made landfill island.

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
JPBizDirect, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. – Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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October 29, 2007 at 4:04 pm 2 comments


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