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5 March, 2017 23:55

March 5, 2017

‘Blue Stripe Tea Set’

1976

Designed by Mori Masahiro

The Blue Striped Tea Set designed by Mori Masahiro during the late 1970s in Japan captured my attention since it is such an everyday object that we all know of and use. This object is from the Japan collection placed in the ‘Craft Design’ section and the description read that after the Second World War the promotion of good design was essential for economic recovery. These were intended to be high quality good with principles of being affordable, original and meets the requirements of modern life. This specific tea set was manufactured by Hakusan Porcelain Company which is based in Nagasaki.

In Japan the tea culture is something that is important and signifies getting together with friends and family. It is an everyday activity. Tea is seen as having a relaxing time. It is a part of Japan’s identity and it is apparent when you first land in Japan. There are vending machines with bottled tea, stores selling matcha tea and tea at home. The V&A has highlighted one of Japan’s key cultural identity with such a simple object.

The V&A has shown that good design can be manufactured and be of high quality at the same time. I think that there’s a subtle message that Japan is a country of togetherness and resilience through this one object. The simplicity of the actual design is what makes the elegant craftsmanship stand out. It is shown again that the Japanese have a way of creating objects with lots of skill by the ‘Cord-Chair’ design by nendo, Tokyo in 2009. The design is yet again simple but has this certain precision and focus. It is pure skill to create such a chair. In a small section the V&A has showcased the iconic designs from Japan. Next to the tea set are modern objects such as the Sony Walkman, Sou Fujimoto’s model and a few other things. I saw similarity of these objects and it was the fact that these objects looked simple and delicate in a way. I think that this is another thing that is a part Japan to live simply and clean.

Back to the tea set by Mori Masahiro, it is still relevant to Japan today and also in Western Culture. We are shown the there are some similarities in both cultures.

There’s also been a rise in matcha products in London nowadays; there are lots of small cafes in west end selling matcha. From Starbucks (green tea latte), EAT to Tombo and Tsujiri Matcha House it is now a trend on a rise. It is something that people can recognise and this is what makes the Japan collection interesting to look at.

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