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JICE Hokkaido Office held an online “JDS Furoshiki Workshop”

Asia International Student Service

JICE Hokkaido Office held an online Japanese culture experiencing workshop for JDS fellows on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 in Hokkaido, and 7 fellows participated in this workshop. It was planned with a purpose of deepening comprehensive understanding of Japan by having a firsthand experience of Japanese culture. It was also planned to give the additional value to their experience in Japan since they had not been allowed to freely engage in various activities with restrictions under the pandemic.

Furoshiki, the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth, is a single piece of cloth. The workshop was conducted by Ms. SAITO Noriko from an organization called “Musubiya Yuiku”, one of the certified groups of Japan Furoshiki Master Association which is actively spreading in the recent years the practical use of Furoshiki in Sapporo area in Hokkaido.

Participants first learned about the 1,300 years of history of Furoshiki, and the Japanese mind reflected in the history. Then they also learned that Furoshiki had been drawing renewed attention in recent years as a means of protecting the global environment for its reusable features. After these lectures, the participants fully experienced and enjoyed the practical use of Furoshiki wrapping. The participants used the original big JDS Furoshiki and small Furoshiki that had been made prior to the workshop.

Ms. Saito wore a traditional kimono and eagerly taught the participants about Furoshiki wrapping with careful explanation that was easy to understand. She demonstrated the correct way to tie a "square knot (true knot, or Mamusubi, in Japanese)," and how Mamusubi can be untied in an instant. She also shared with the participants the wisdom of the Furoshiki, a piece of cloth that can be transformed into various forms and used for multiple purposes. JDS fellows and their families who participated in the workshop were surprised by each technique shown and introduced, and this workshop brought smile to their faces.

At the end of the workshop, there was a time to share impression about the workshop. One of the participants introduced the use of cloth in her home region. The post-event questionnaire also showed that the participants were highly satisfied with the workshop.

Here are some comments from the participating JDS fellows:

-“I would like to use Furoshiki eco-bags actively from an ecological point of view. Japanese people should also make more use of Furoshiki.”

-“Using a traditional cloth from my country and wrapping it in Japanese Furoshiki style creates a cultural fusion.”

-“I was surprised that a piece of cloth can be used in various practical ways.”

-“It is more eco-friendly than ordinary wrapping. I would like to use Furoshiki wrapping when I give gifts because it is a unique culture not found in my country, and I think it will help me express my gratitude for others.”

JICE will continue to enhance the value of the JDS program through its own initiatives to foster young leaders of our partner countries with deep understanding of Japan, which is one of our long-term goals.


Hokkaido Office

JDS fellows experiencing various uses of Furoshiki
Families of JDS fellows also enjoying the Furoshiki experience together
The certified lecturer of “Musubiya Yuiku”, Ms. Saito showing various techniques of Furoshiki wrapping