August 2017: The Summer Box

August is the month of the extremes.
It is when the summer reaches its peak with the highest temperature and humidity.
It is also the month of the biggest festivals, with Obon festivals happening nationwide in the middle of August and large-scaled fireworks festivals taking place in major cities throughout the month.

August is full of life.
It’s a perfect time for mountain hikings or watermelon splitting (suika-wari) at the beach.
It’s also the best time to indulge in cold noodles, followed by some delicious shaved ice with syrup (kakigori) while enjoying the relaxing sound of a wind bell (furin).

The Lifestyle Box

The items inside the box let you experience Japan’s summer with your senses: you can hear it, see it, hold it and taste it. Importantly, you will also be able to discover ways the Japanese use to cope with the heat, either through food consumption or house decoration.

1. Mino-yaki Goldfish Ceramic Plate
Let’s bring some sense of coolness to your dining table with this adorable plate!

Originated from Gifu Prefecture, Mino-yaki (Mino ware) is Japan’s most popular pottery. Its history is said to date back to 1300 years ago.

2. Goldfish Washi Note Pad: Two versions available – The 100-sheet small size and The 30-sheet large size
Made of Echizen Washi and produced by artisans in Kyoto, this artistic note pad makes taking notes and writing messages all the more fun!

The art of Washi (Japanese traditional paper)-making in Echizen city (Fukui Prefecture) has a history of about 1500 years.

3. Goldfish Washi Tape
Time to summon your creativity! This tiny yet powerful item can help you create craft projects, personalize your stationery, design your planner/calendar or even wrap gifts!

Washi is commonly made from bark fibers of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub or the paper mulberry. It is appreciated for its unique texture and durability.

4. Goldfish Scooping Game Display Set
Goldfish Scooping is a popular game in summer festivals in which a player scoops goldfish with a paper scooper. This item completes our goldfish collection for the box.

5. Seto-yaki Wind Chime (Furin)
Together with goldfish, wind chimes are an icon of Japan’s summer. The relaxing sounds of wind chimes and images of goldfish swimming in clear water invoke a sense of calm and relaxation.

Seto-yaki (Seto ware) refers to a type of Japanese pottery produced in and around the village of Seto in Aichi Prefecture. Seto was the location of one of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan. The Japanese term for ceramics from Seto (setomono) is used as a generic term for all pottery.

6. Hamamonyo Tenugui Handkerchief
The item can be used as a handkerchief or a lunch mat. We had to use 6 different patterns as this item is extremely popular during the summer. The photo below is one of the patterns used.

7. Summer Snack Set: 2 Eel pies & 1 Bourbon Petit rice cracker pack that can be either Yakisoba or Karaage flavor.
Japanese often consume eels in summer as a way to combat summer fatigue. Meanwhile, Yakisoba (stir fried noodles) and Karaage (fried chicken) are popular dishes at summer festivals. 

8. Sunflowers & Lady in Kimono Postcard
The postcard embraces the Vintage Romance lifestyle and fashion style developing in the Taisho era (1912 – 1926), intended to evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Number of items: 8. Total Retail Price: $60

The Snack Box

The Summer Box is filled with sweet and savory snacks for you to discover Japan’s eventful and colorful summertime. It also contains some lifestyle items for you to truly explore the beauty of the season.

1. Shunkado Eel Pie (2 pieces)
Eating eels (unagi) is considered to be helpful to combat the summer fatigue as eels are rich in vitamins and minerals.

2. Ramune Jelly (1 item)
Ramune is a carbonated soft drink originated from Japan. It is widely known for the distinctive design of its Codd-neck bottle with a marble inside.

3. Ningyo Yaki – Edo Festival (2 pieces)
Ningyo Yaki (baked doll cakes) are cakes baked in small molds and are filled with sweet anko bean paste. These ningyo yaki resemble floats and palanquins that are carried in festivals’ processions and the men who carry them.

4. Kakigori Gummy Candy (1 bag)
Kakigori (shaved ice served with syrup) is a widely beloved summertime dessert in Japan.

5. Bourbon Petit Rice Cracker (1 pack of either flavor)
Yakisoba (stir fried noodles) and Karaage (fried chicken) are popular dishes at summer festivals.

6. Tokyo Carameliser Coconut (2 pieces)

7. Harajuku Lemon Yaki (Baked) Chocolate (2 pieces)
These chocolate cookies are from Colombin, a company that produces snacks for the Japanese royal family

8. Tokyo Rusk Setouchi Lemon (3 pieces)

Lifestyle items:
9. Goldfish Washi (Japanese traditional paper) Tape
10. Goldfish Scooping Game Display Set

Number of items: 16. Total Retail Price: $40.