NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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重箱 Jyubako Jubako Lunch Boxes

Jp En

Jubako lunch boxes come in various shapes such as cylindrical or hexagonal, but the most common is square.

Jubako are basically lunch boxes for food. They may have up to 5 layers. Officially, these layers represent the 4 seasons, so there are usually only 4 layers. Jubako may hold special food such as 'osechi' at New Year, or for hanami cherry-blossom-viewing picnics, or during athletic festivals.

It is believed that jubako developed from 'food baskets' ('shilong') introduced from China. However, there are references to lunch boxes in Muromachi-period documents, therefore, it could be said that jubako have a long history.

During the Edo period, jubako came to be used by common people, too, and their real manufacture began in 1610. Samurai and daimyo used them as lunch boxes during leisure outings, such as hunting expeditions. Later, they started to be lacquered and decorated. Even now, this traditional item is commonly used in Japan.
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琉球漆器 Ryuukyuu-sikki Ryukyu Lacquerware

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Ryukyu lacquerware is a traditional craft with a history of 600 years in Okinawa. It is mainly produced in Naha and in the town of Haebaru in Shimajiri county.
   Ryukyu lacquerware dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Its skilful and artistic qualities were highly appreciated, making it one of the most sought-after luxury exports from Okinawa to China and Japan.
   Gorgeous and technically advanced tables, writing boxes, food containers and trays were crafted under the Kaizuri-Bugyousho, a department of lacquerware manufacturing established by the Ryukyu kingdom. Technically and artistically high-standard lacquerware was produced. In particular, the 'tsuikin' method of creating designs in relief is a decorative technique only seen in Ryukyu lacquerware.
   The bright vermilion color of this lacquerware is unequaled elsewhere. The contrast of black and vermilion is audacious and innovative. It is one further example of the special characteristics of Ryukyu lacquerware.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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