During Japan’s Taisho period (1912 – 1926), a small cafeteria was established to serve the needs and bellies of hungry travelers, which there were many given its proximity to the venerable Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture. The area is known as a place of worship but also for its bountiful beef, vegetables and seafood. And for over 100 years, Ise Ebiya has prided itself in serving dishes using local ingredients.
Roughly 2 years ago Ise Ebiya decided take on a massive re-branding project that would, in effect, change the look and feel of their entire legacy. They brought on art director Shogo Kishino to oversee the change, which would honor the cafeteria’s past while giving the store and all its packaging a modern, refreshing look.
Utilizing ゑ, a nearly obsolete Japanese character pronounced as e and used in the cafeteria’s name, Shogo created 12 pictorial representations of elements found in Ise. Some are local ingredients and foods like tea leaves, shrimp and cow, while others like the torii shrine gate and uchide-no-kozuchi, a legendary hammer, relate to the local faith and tradition.