Musubi Furoshiki Online Store
| Kyoto, since 1937

A HISTORY OF FUROSHIKI



<< A history of more than 1,000 years >>

Furoshiki, a single piece of fabric, have been used for more than 1,000years.
The name might have changed a few times, but the shapes remain almost the same.
Furoshiki contain the wisdom and soul of our predecessors.
Even with limited land and resources and small housing, the Japanese have continued to live happily because
they have not forgotten their gratitude for what they have and have displayed wisdom and creativity
in using the necessary amount at the necessary time effectively right to the end.

 

<< History of Furoshiki >>

The history of furoshiki has two branches. One is the branch that furoshiki have followed as a wrapping cloth.
The custom of wrapping things in cloth dates from ancient times.

Documents show that there were fabrics called "koromozutsumi" in the Kamakura period(1192-1338).
These were the predecessors of the furoshiki that we use today as a wrapping cloth.
The name has changed with the times, but the custom is the same.


Koromo(衣)=clothes + Tsutsumu(包) =wrap


After that ?

Meanwhile usage of the word "furoshiki" increased as public baths (furo) became more common.
The word "furoshiki" can be found in the list of items left by the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu(1543-1616).
It referred to a cloth that was used when taking a bath.
Originally a furo was not a soaking bath but a steam bath, and people used furhoski to wrap their clothes while they were in
the bath so that their clothes did not get mixed up with those others. When they got out of the bath, people would use the
cloth for wiping their feet and to stand on while dressing.
Since the "Hirazutsumi" and furohiki were similar in shape and use, gradually the distinction between them disappeared in
everyday life, and by the middle of the Edo period people were commonly referring to wrapping cloths and furoshiki.



 

<< Past and Present >>

Wrapping and trying are the essential elements of furoshiki.
The origins of these two words in Japanese are very interesting.
The kanji for "Tsutsumu"(wrap; 包) comes from the figure of a woman admiring the baby in her womb.
The character for "Musubu" (tie; 結) means giving shape to something or making something from nothing.
"Omusubi", a rice ball, means shaping rice by pressing it. "Mi o musubu",
to grow fruit means that a fruit is grown from nothing. By piece of cloth, give it shape, and fulfill a purpose.
Furthermore, by wrapping an object, you are handling it with care and showing respect to the receiver.
Furoshiki reflect the sensitivity of Japanese.

TV TOKYO TOKYO KOUSATEN (テレビ東京「東京交差点」)

It tells how furoshiki has developed from ancient times to the present day.


Furoshiki had been relinquished as the society was modernizing although it is one of the traditional culture in Japan.
From the perspective of the sustainability, Furoshiki has started to be acknowledged as an eco-friendly item again.



Brief History of the Company

1937 Yamada Kanshichi Store was founded
1959 Yamada Sen-i Co., Ltd. was established
1966 The second-generation president "Koichi Yamada" assumed the company
1974 Yamada Sen-i was awarded a prize which is given for companies fulfill their duties
1984 International trades have started
1992 The capital of company was grown to 27500,000 yen
1994 Tokyo store opened
2003 The third-generation president "Yoshio Yamada" assumed the company.
2005 Musubi Kyoto store - promotes local specialties and sells regional products - opened