10 Japanese Products Japan is Famous For

There are many amazing products, gifts and themes Japan is famous for or associated with. As a culture, popular Japanese products today are often founded in history, usually growing in popularity due to practicality, religion or tradition. With so many popular Japanese products out there it can be difficult to know which ones are the most suitable to have and use in the home, or which ones to give as a gift. In order to help you decide on your favourite products, to keep for yourself or use as a gift, we’ve created this guide showcasing some of the best famous Japanese products there are.

10 Popular Japanese Products

A lady in a billowy blue floral dress with slightly tousled hair glances back

1. Kimono

As far as famous Japanese products go, the kimono is possibly the most globally recognisable. Traditionally made of silk, to represent luxury, kimonos come in a range of colours with beautiful, classic Japanese designs featuring blossoms and cranes. Today, kimonos are available in a range of fabrics including cotton and polyester to make them accessible and flexible for purpose. To find out more about kimono trends and the history behind them, please read our previous blog post for all information.

2. Woodblock Prints

Everyone is familiar with the iconic ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ woodblock print; well this specific woodblock technique is very traditional in Japanese art and creates a beautiful texture to any piece that is created through the woodblock print method. Traditionally, these prints are completed by hand without any help from machines, via Ukiyo-e carving and printing techniques originating over 300 years ago and still practised today.

Hokusai's 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa', picturing a large blue and white wave with Mount Fuji

3. Japanese Tea Sets

In Japan, tea and, more specifically, Japanese green tea is a very important feature within everyday life which is why Japanese tea sets and tea caddies are very useful Japanese products to own. Not only are they practical, but they also look beautiful and are perfect when hosting others.

Two kokeshi dolls on a wooden surface; one in green has an angry expression while the other in pink smiles

4. Kokeshi Doll

Kokeshi Dolls are very popular Japanese products, coming in a range of colours, designs, shapes and sizes, the dolls can represent a variety of themes. If you are looking for a gift, these are the perfect present for a variety of occasions. To find out more about Kokeshi Dolls and the traditions behind them, please read our article dedicated entirely to the subject.

A purse with a clasp, boasting a genuine Japanese white maneki-neko (welcoming cat) design

5. Lucky Cat

The Japanese lucky cat has long been a recognisable sign of good luck and good fortune, normally placed proudly in the shop or front window of any Japanese business establishment. The story behind the Japanese lucky cat is definitely worth reading about, as is the meaning behind the variety of different colours lucky cats are available in, so you can determine which colour will be most relevant to you.  

A Japanese art display of Mount Fuji under a crimson sun with striking blue and white waves in front

6. Furoshiki

If it’s a gift you seek, there’s no better option than Furoshiki. Traditionally Furoshiki wrapping cloths were used to carry items as well as for gift wrapping. Today the range of colours and designs they are available in makes them a lovely present on its own. Whether you use it to wrap gifts or as the gift itself, the recipient won’t be disappointed!

Sushi rolls variety with ginger, wasabi on black plates, against a pink cherry blossom backdrop

7. Sushi Set

Sushi is so popular globally, not just in Japan and nothing says sophistication more than having sushi set to eat it on, complete with matching plates, chopsticks and dishes.

blue and white tableware

8. Blue and White Tableware

Any tableware with the classic Japanese blue and white design, as shown in the bowl set above, is instantly recognisable as a Japanese product. Today, these designs have become more modern and abstract, but they still stay true to the iconic colours and essence within the patterning and shapes.

A Japanese sake set with a tall bottle & four small cups featuring blue & white speckles and bamboo images

9. Sake Set

The ultimate Christmas, wedding or birthday gift is found in the form of a sake set. Sake has been a famous Japanese product for many years and serving it in the correct glassware shows respect and appreciation for the tradition and drink. If you want to know more about sake and its historical context, then please check out our comprehensive guide to Japanese sake for everything you need to know.

2020 calendar

10. Haiku Poetry Collections and Calendars

A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-lined poem made up of 17 syllables with five in the first line, seven in the second and then five again on the third line. Usually, haikus reflect or focus on nature and often have a tone of a philosophical nature. Due to their tranquillity, haiku collections are often printed onto other Japanese products, for example, a calendar or notebook making them a thoughtful gift for anyone who's interesting in the art.

If you would like more gift inspiration for Christmas this year, then please check out our list of top-rated Christmas gifts. Or, alternatively, you can shop products by occasion back on our main online store to find the perfect gift for every moment worth celebrating.

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