Furoshiki are colorful squares of cloth traditionally used to wrap things up. They come in many sizes and are made of different materials, such as cotton, silk, polyester, or nylon. An average price is around 1 m×1 m (1.1 yard per side). The colors of Furoshiki are also diverse, with brilliant purples, gentle reds, and opaque greens being among the many possibilities. Designs and patterns are just as varied – grasses, flowers, geometrical patterns, and countless other forms are printed in carefully arranged, vibrant hues.
Furoshiki began to appear around the time of the 8th century, when people used them to store clothes and other items. Later, they were employed as bags to carry things in. Furoshiki are durable and can wrap up many different objects depending on the knots that are used. Because reuse is possible, Furoshiki have recently attracted the attention of many ecologists. Light and small, they can serve as bags, scarves, interior decoration items, or gift wrappers, for example. Furoshiki make superb souvenirs and are available at many department stores and elsewhere. Ask at the Front Desk for a discount coupon for the Keio Department Store close to Shinjuku Station.
Updated: April 24, 2020