: Reflections on Japanese Kawaii Design
松田行正著 B6判変型上製304ページ NTT出版 購入する by Yukimasa Matsuda Hardcover: 304pages Language: Japanese Product dimensions: 18.1×12.8×2.7cm
Across times and borders, gourds show up here, there and everywhere. Symbols of fertility, miniatures of the universe, their smoothly curved exteriors repel water while quietly protecting a world inside. Amazingly, this fruit native to Africa was already grown in Japan during the Jomon period, over 8000 years ago. Gourds have been used for all sorts of purposes. With just a tiny bit of handiwork, a gourd can be transformed into a liquor flask, a bowl, a ladle, a musical instrument, or the resonator for one. No wonder they also make frequent appearances in mythology, music, paintings, poetry and pottery. Even though they are not very popular as food, gourds are still cultivated or grow wild in most countries around the world. In this book, Chihiro Minato elegantly tells the tale of this innocent-looking, charmingly shaped fruit from the point of view of folklore, archeology and anthropology. The idea behind the book design was based on an ancient Chinese story of an alternate cosmos inside a gourd-shaped wine jar. When you open the book, the text (cosmos) appears to float on the water (liquor) inside. Specifically, I decided to use the same printing method (wax plus) for the body of the text as for the window part of window envelopes. As a result, everything except the text and illustrations is dramatically transparent, and is sure to surprise everyone who takes a look inside. The cover and jacket were also made transparent through waxing. In order to achieve an efficient transparency, the choice of paper was fairly limited, so for this book I only used a single type of machine-glazed kraft paper.