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In Japan presentation is everything, especially when it comes to gift-giving and packaging. In fact, sometimes packaging can be a selling point all on its own, like with these mix-and-match Gogo no Kocha (“Afternoon Tea”) bottles by Kirin.

One designer has recently discovered a recipe for success by combining minimalistic art with stationery, another thing Japan tends to do extremely well. The design, featuring rubber bands with tiny bows on them, hit the market earlier this month and is being praised for adding some creative flair to an otherwise boring, everyday object.

The series of rubber bands in question, called the mizuhiki band, is based on the traditional art of using mizuhiki, or rice paper cord, to make decorative knots on gift envelopes, among other uses.


The idea for mizuhiki band was first thought up by Japanese designer Yu Aso two years ago for the Kokuyo Design Award in 2013, sponsored by the brand Kokuyo, a leader in stationery products.

After some re-tooling to get it just right for the overseas market, the bands are due to hit retailers soon, in your choice of red, pink, blue, or green. Each pack will contain seven rubber bands.


Overall the product has received praise from stationery lovers around the world for its simplistic nod to Japanese culture not only in design, but on the label itself.

In Japanese, rubber bands are called wagomu with “wa” meaning “band” and written with the kanji character 輪. On the package for mizuhiki band, though, the kanji 輪 is replaced with 和, also pronounced “wa” but meaning “Japanese” or “harmony”. We certainly have to agree that receiving a present wrapped with one of them is sure to leave you feeling pleased.

Next time you need to add a little effortless flair to a card, present, or freebie, how about using one of these cute little ties?


For those interested, Spoon & Tamago is currently taking pre-orders for the mizuhiki band, scheduled to ship out sometime in November.

Source: Colossal
Images: Spoon & Tamago