keeping / recycling
Inro Cedar Box
MINATO, Tokyo, Japan
- W21.3cm D7cm H27.5cm
the product:Toraya’s yokan (a bar of gelled sweet bean paste made chiefly of azuki beans, sugar, and agar-agar) packaged in an inro* cedar box is a highly popular gift in Japan. In general, the culture of using wooden boxes for gifts was popularised in the Edo period and is still in use today. Toraya has various sizes of cedar boxes to match their selection of wagashi (traditional confectionaries). For example, there are five different sizes for 1-5 pieces of extra large yokan, four sizes for 2-5 pieces of large yokan and other types of wagashi.
The cedar used for the box and lid has a straight and well-defined grain.
As the name suggests, the lid has a gentle bulge, similar to the shape of a traditional inro* case.
The lid is made of thick wood, so you can enjoy the beautiful aroma of cedar drifts every time you open the lid.
The boxes are made so tightly that even if you hold the lid, the box underneath will not fall out. As it has little warpage, it can be used for a long time.
The cedar box is just the right size to reuse us a sewing box. The lid can be used as a workbench or turned upside down as a tray to keep your needles and buttons from going astray.
It can also be reused for a wide range of purposes such as a letter case and tool box.
The image shows the inro cedar box for 3 pieces of large yokan.
*Inro: A traditional Japanese case for holding small objects, such as a name stamp or medicine, that is suspended from the obi (sash) of a kimono.
the maker:Toraya was founded in Kyoto in the late Muromachi period, which is about 500 years ago. Toraya’s wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionary), which reflect the unique charm of Japan's four seasons, have developed in tandem with Japanese culture such as the tea ceremony. These confectionary continue to enrich the daily lives of Japanese people through traditional Japanese annual events.
Toraya value the connection between traditional Japanese ingredients, nature and climate as well as with producers and local communities.
The golden tiger (tora) is the trademark of Toraya. In the Edo period, golden tigers were painted on each piece of tiered black lacquer box, which was used to carry confectionaries to the Imperial Palace etc.. Nowadays, paper gift boxes and recyclable paper bags with the same tiger design are mainly used to carry wagashi, Toraya continues to delivery the charm of wagashi and Japanese culture throughout Japan and the rest of the world.
The gallery in Toraya's store in Akasaka, Tokyo, which was renovated in 2018, regularly hosts exhibitions that offer a visually rich insight into the history and culture of traditional Japanese confectionery. Toraya Archives (Toraya Bunko) collects and preserve the ancient records and documents related to wagashi for the purpose of passing on traditional knowledge to future generations.