Asian artwork, widely known as Oriental art, is immensely influenced by various cultures and religions, such Zen philosophy and Buddhism.
Among several accomplishments, Japan boasts of impeccable craftsmanship, which is a complete delight for the onlooker. You may find spiritual influences prevalent in Japanese designs and artefacts. Concepts from Buddhism, Taoism and Shintoism can be seen in the everyday items used by the Japanese. For instance, all three of these religions preach respect for natural beauty, and this motif can be seen in day-to-day objects used in Japan.
Along with traditional influences, modern Japanese artists and craftsmen seamlessly infuse culture with simplicity and utility. Using these craft items can be a great way to blend ancient concepts and ideas with contemporary designs in your life.
Here are a few items influenced by Japanese culture that you can include in your home décor and your lifestyle:
1. Japanese Pottery & Porcelain (陶磁器 – とうじき)
Japanese pottery and ceramic ware are among the country’s oldest art forms. The Japanese use kilns to create vivid styles and patterns in earthenware, stoneware, glazed pottery, glazed stoneware, porcelain, and blue-and-white ware.
With the drinking of tea being a predominant aspect in Japanese culture, ceramic tea cups are equally famous in the country. One such style of pottery is Satsuma pottery, which involves making porcelain items that are ivory or cream in color, decorated with enamel or gilded with Oriental designs. This type of pottery is a highly collectible. Additionally, Imari pottery of Arita, is another type of Japanese pottery that is considered as one of the finest in the world. Include them in your crockery collection to give it an ethereal touch.
Arrange few exclusive porcelain pieces with a bamboo shade and a Japanese Tatami mat for a quick way to add some oriental flair to your home decor.
2. Yukata – Japanese Kimono (浴衣 – ゆかた)
You need an actual visit to the Land of the Rising Sun to know about Kimono. This traditional Japanese costume, also called Yukata, is an elegant full-length robe that drapes until your ankles and is tied around your midriff with a sash, called the Obi.
Kimonos are generally made from breathable fabric and handwoven materials to make them comfortable and timeless. This costume is commonly worn by Japanese women in summers and teamed with geta (shoes). The artwork on Kimonos is often inspired by nature and includes motifs of Cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, butterflies, and pine trees.
In the yesteryears, kimonos worn on special occasions were made of silk and satin, and were covered in brocade and feature designs. Kimonos are now worn mostly for ceremonial occasions and events such as festivals and marriages. With westerners donning a Kimono for a Bohemian look, this garment will make for the perfect Japanese souvenir.
3. Dakimakura – Body Pillow (抱き枕 – だきまくら)
The use of dakimakura or body pillow is famous among the Japanese. This trend is gradually spreading to other nations, primarily for its orthopedic benefits. Body pillows have proven to be of great help to people suffering from sleep disorders. It aids in getting uninterrupted sleep by relieving leg, hip, shoulder, and spinal strain. Further, it provides optimum support to your neck and allows your muscles to relax when sleeping.
To add to the overall appearance of body pillows, Japanese manufacturers have incorporated popular characters from the anime and manga world in the dakimakura pillow cover. Anime 「アニメ」 (animation) and manga 「漫画」have been a part of Japanese culture since several decades now. As they’re a big part of the Japanese entertainment industry, buying dakimakura with manga and anime characters can be a good way to experience modern Japanese culture.
4. Paper Lanterns (提灯 – ちょうちん)
Paper lanterns refer to lamps made from paper, which is stretched on a bamboo, wood or metal cast. This style of lighting is part of Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean cultures.
To impart a sophisticated look to the lantern, some people replace paper with silk cloth. Modern Japanese lanterns are made of construction paper and used in outdoor events.
Include Japanese lanterns in your home décor to add a Zen feeling to your home as well as bring in the soft glow of candlelight. Regardless of where you place these lanterns, they will surely liven up the aura of the space.
5. Omamori – Japanese Amulets (お守り – おまもり)
Omamori are traditional Japanese charms, commonly sold at religious sites like temples and shrines. You can either place these items in your house or carry them with you.
Each Omamori has a covering that is usually made of brocaded silk and encloses papers or pieces of wood with prayers written on them. These spells and prayers are supposed to bring good luck to the bearer.
According to Japanese folk tradition, Omamori can also ward off bad luck. These items hold great value in Japanese customs, and each Omamori has a special purpose. Do learn about their importance before buying them.
Traditions and cultures play key roles in shaping a community’s art, and Japan is no different. You can see such influences in the designs and patterns in most Japanese items. Incorporating Japanese products in your house and lifestyle can surely make your abode look aesthetically sound, resulting in a serene and a cultural atmosphere.
Nicola Reynor is a passionate blogger who loves to blog about fashion, beauty, travel, health, fitness, wedding and lifestyle trends. When in leisure time, she prefers to spend time in traveling with friends and family. Connect with her on Google+ and Twitter.