Look around. From the car you drive to the electronics you use, Japanese influence is everywhere!
Japan only opened its doors to everyone else during the Meiji Restoration period (1868-1912), and, while the West has shaped Japanese culture in a big way, Japan’s influence on us is mind boggling! As our winter bouquet collection is inspired by Japan and its ikigai philosophy (more about that here!), we’ve put together a list to show just how much love the Land of the Rising Sun.
Karaoke. Can you imagine a world where friends and colleagues don’t come together for raucous renditions of 80’s power ballads? Nor can we. The first karaoke machine was invented by musician Daisuke Inoue in Kobe, 1971.
Pop culture. Nintendo video games. Pokémon. Karate, Judo, and Sumo. Studio Ghibli and all its anime masterpieces (we recommend watching Spirited Away). And, of course, there’s J-pop! Japanese pop music renowned for its cheesiness.
The love of Japanese food (washoku) is a global phenomenon! It’s synonymous with a healthy, balanced diet and quality ingredients. Traditional Japanese haute cuisine, kaiseki, revolutionised Western fine dining. Kaiseki is beautifully prepared dishes served in many tiny courses, where the essence of the ingredients shine through.
Then there’s the sushi-boom! The first conveyor belt sushi restaurant opened up in California in the ‘70s, followed by the California roll. And soy sauce. And ramen.
Made In Japan means quality. Since the ‘70s, Japanese-manufactured goods have ruled: Sony, Toyota, Nikon, Fuji, Casio, Hitachi, Canon. Selling everything from cars to cameras, radios to home appliances. Japan is still the leader in technology – just look at their advancements in robotics.
Kimonos! Influences of the kimono has stormed the fashion scene for decades. And Tokyo street style has a unique way of turning absurd pieces into a whole subculture. Take Harajuku, mixing baby-jane frills with gothic makeup for an out of this world anime-look.
The philosophy of Wabi-sabi, the art of imperfection, has influenced designers and brands everywhere. We’re seeing a global rise in androgyny, deconstructed silhouettes, and clothing folded like origami.
Did you know, the wave emoji is based on Japan’s most famous painting, The Great Wave Off Kanagawa? A woodblock print (yuko-e) by artist Hokusai around 1830. Here at bloomon, we love ikebana, an artform flower arranging technique to create minimalistic arrangements.
The philosophy of ikigai might just be the secret to a long, happy, and fulfilled life. Ikigai, meaning the ‘reason for being’, is about finding what makes you happy – going inward to figuring out what our dreams and needs are. Japanese culture has a way of harmonising nature and one’s health – onsens are a way of life in Japan. And nothing soothes the soul like soaking in a natural hot spring!
There’s no denying that our lives would be very different without Japanese influence. And Japan-fever shows no sign of stopping. So grab your chopsticks, slurp ramen, sip on sake and reconnect to nature with fresh flowers at home.
Our Japanese inspired bouquet collection.