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on 4 December 2002
How to wrap 5 more eggs is a fascinating book focusing on the subject of traditional Japanese packaging. Hideyuki Oka is a packaging collector who has produced a work outstanding in its simplicity: pictures of packaging and a brief comment to explain what the packaging is for and when it was made. Many types of traditional packing have been collected here. From woven straw egg carriers (hence the title) to ceremonial gift boxes, each piece is presented in a very clear, full or half page photograph. The book is forwarded with an introductory essay by the author and each plate is referenced to an explanation at the back.
This book is fascinating as it illustrates how traditional wrapping techniques- many arrived at out of necessity rather than decoration or promotion - have become art forms in themselves. One of the best things about this book is that Oka has lifted the ordinary out of it's traditional context and allowed it to be seen as something extraordinary; something to be acknowledged as beautiful. This point is even more important as some of the wrapping techniques are part of folk crafts that are being forgotten.
I have found this book useful as a part of an investigation into japanese costume and history for A level Textiles. It offers a lot of visual resources for a student or designer.
Anybody who loves packaging, graphics, textiles, paper or design or anyone who is interested in Japanese culture, history and is a bit anthropological will love this book too!
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