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Furoshiki: Wrapping Cloths from NHK Japanology Plus

Japanese broadcaster NHK have some wonderful programmes studying various cultural aspects of Japan which you can watch in English on NHK World On Demand.

This programme has recently been broadcast featuring our friend, the wonderful Yamada Etsuko, who shares the beauty and history of the furoshiki that we stock here in our Zusetsu Store!

History of furoshiki

Etsuko san wraps furoshiki too, and you can see many of the beautiful furoshiki that you can buy with us here at Zusetsu artfully displayed behind her in the Harajuku sister-store to their base in Kyoto!

I love how Etsuko recommends using the water-repellent Aquadrop furoshiki as a baby mat!


Each furoshiki is like a work of art in its own right. Motifs reflecting the different seasons are very common. In Japan, seasonal differences are very clear. The choice of a furoshiki motif that incorporates nature at each time of year reflects sensitivity to the changing seasons. Different furoshiki are used for different purposes. Some have special motifs for celebrations. Various dyeing techniques are used. A brush technique called bokashi allows for subtle colour gradients - this is also used when dyeing kimono.

Here the bokashi technique creates a subtle springtime haze. This bokashi technique allows for a subtle visual impact.

Furoshiki are works of art. Superb craftsmanship is showcased in their gorgeous appearance and meaningful motifs.


In this 30-minute programme there are many interesting video clips of furoshiki being used too. Do take a look at this fascinating show: you can watch it by clicking on this link!

We hope you enjoy it too,

Cathy and Yukki



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