Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: PA/MD/DE tristate area
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Furoshiki are traditional Japanese wrapping cloths.
I get my furoshiki directly from Hayashi San(Mr. Hayashi), who took over the business from his father, and his company has been making high quality furoshiki like this for over 70 years here in Kyoto. As with many traditional things here, furoshiki are not as commonly used as they once were, and without increased support, both in Japan and abroad, it's inevitable the number of furoshiki companies will keep thinning.
I've been looking for an authentic source for furoshiki for some time now, and was so glad to find Hayashi San. His company is a member of the Furoshiki Study Group, which is made up of Japan's surviving 40 or so Furoshiki companies. They aim to introduce people to the beauty and practicality of furoshiki.
I was also fascinated to learn a bit about the rich history of furoshiki, which is quite long and colorful. As a student of the Japanese language, I was surprised to realize that 'furo' is from the word for bath. I'd never thought to connect the two! And 'shiki' is a thing that is spread on the ground. It seems that In the Edo Period, from the 17th to 19th century, larger sized furoshiki were used to wrap the clean clothes in, carried the just worn clothes home, and in between, were spread on the bath house floor to stand on while changing.