Japan has a problem. It’s culture of gift-giving and wrapping, while beautiful, often results in layers and layers of single-use plastics. There is another way though, which sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Or in this case, the bottle. The Kanda Budo Orchards in Rikuzen Takada is a family-run vineyard that dates back to 1905. Tomoe Senko is a dye company in the neighboring prefecture of Iwate and dates back to 1908. With a combined 230 years of history under their belts, the two organizations decided to produce a gift set featuring wine wrapped in a chusen-dye tenugui tea towel that conveys the history and roots of the two artisanal producers.
The collaboration came together thanks to Manorda Iwate, a local company specializing in facilitating commerce through design and craft. Art director Kenichi Suzuki was brought on to oversee the project, which resulted in a series of wine and non-alcoholic juice wrapped in a tenugui tea towel. Bringing cohesiveness throughout the project are beautifully designed tree rings, which convey the history but also locality of the project.
Titled “Shi-Ki” (four seasons) the gift set won’t be easy to find, even if you’re in Japan. It will only be carried by local retailers Kawatoku Ichibankan (Morioka), Liquor court Prost (Morioka Station), and LaLa Iwate Morioka.