Application for the art of gift wrapping workshop tour in Japan is now open!
I have been waiting to send this email for a long time...! It took me months to finalize the contents of the workshop tour but I'm finally ready to introduce it to you!
But first, let me briefly explain how I got here if you haven't read my story of creating this tour yet.
>>> Take me to the site now!
I grew up in Ehime, south of Japan where the prefecture is famous for delicious oranges. Over 40 different kind of orange trees are everywhere along the mountain hillsides and coastlines, and the school lunch as I was growing up always included a pack of freshly squeezed orange juice. (I later learned this only happened in Ehime, the schools in the rest of the country offered only milk)
Although I love oranges, Ehime seemed to be not a very exciting place for a young student who had a strong passion for visual arts, so I moved to New York to study art. Since then, I had been busy adopting a new lifestyle overseas, learning different kinds of arts & designs and building my career as an artist...and I never looked back.
A few years ago, I got an idea to create a workshop tour in Japan. Many of my students were interested in learning philosophy, concept, materials, etc and I thought that one of the best ways to learn the art of gift wrapping is to provide the whole experience where the participants could learn how the materials are made and experience all kinds of creative workshops using them. I flew into Tokyo to research more about what kind of tour I could possibly create there. There I found a shocking truth...many paper-related goods were produced in Ehime where I thought was all about oranges...!
A bit ashamed for not knowing much about my hometown, I went back to Ehime to research the paper industry there. I learned that in fact Ehime's Shikoku-Chuo city is ranked #1 to produce paper goods in Japan which includes Mizuhiki paper cords (traditional wrapping materials), crepe papers (popular for creating paper flowers), calligraphy papers (used for Japanese calligraphy and Sumi-e paintings), origami papers, etc. There are also paper museums, Mizuhiki factories and Washi paper mills where you can learn more about the papers. I was impressed.
I contacted artisans, creators, and organizations to experience the hands-on workshops myself and I love them so much so that I wished to share these experiences with my students and anyone who are interested in learning more about the paper, the art of gift wrapping and traditional crafts in Japan.
Indeed, Ehime was one of the perfect places for me to share my love for paper and gift wrapping with others.
Because all the workshops will require the attention and guidance for the participants to fully take advantage of the learning experiences, we decided to keep the group very small. I will be your instructor of the gift wrapping workshops, tour guide, translator and a team member. We will be enjoying to learn and experience the art and culture together as well as getting inspirations from each other!
I made sure that this won't be just another sightseeing tour but is filled with creative workshops and learning experiences that you could take the knowledge and skills back home and continue exercising your creative mind. That being said, you'll have some time to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area and try delicious Japanese cuisine too! You can learn more about the tour and apply HERE.