Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Exquisite Textile Art! Limited-Edition Design For Häagen-Dazs Green Tea
Written by MATCHA-PR
Häagen-Dazs Japan releases limited-edition art designs for three of its standard flavors in the fall of 2020. The design of the Green Tea mini cup is artwork created by roketsu-zome, a traditional Japanese dyeing method. Learn more about this dyeing technique and the inspiration behind the artwork.
Limited-Edition Design! The Gorgeous Häagen-Dazs Green Tea Mini Cup
In the fall of 2020, Häagen-Dazs Japan releases three limited-time artistic package designs for three of its standard flavors—Green Tea, Vanilla, and Strawberry.
The Green Tea flavor comes in a cup with an elegant design created using the traditional Japanese method of roketsu-zome, or wax-resist dyeing. The design adds a touch of Japanese asthetics to this widely loved dessert.
In this article, we introduce the features of Japanese wax-resist dyeing and the inspiration behind this limited-edition artistic design of the Green Tea mini cup.
Roketsu-zome: A Dyeing Method with a Thousand-Year History
An obi sash featuring a pattern made by wax-resist dyeing. Photo from PIXTA
Wax-resist dyeing, otherwise known as roketsu, was first used in Japan during the Tempyo period (729-749). The method consists in drawing a pattern on cloth using melted wax, and dipping the textile in dye. Only the patterns drawn in wax remain undyed, revealing a beautiful design.
This traditional textile dyeing method has a long history and it remained popular until the early twentieth century.
Batik pattern. Photo from PIXTA
This technique of wax-resist dyeing is known as batik in Malaysia and Indonesia. In a similar way as in Japan, wax is used to draw patterns on textiles before dyeing them and the entire process is done by hand.
The Inspiration Behind the Green Tea Mini Cup Artwork
The artistic packaging of the Green Tea mini cup features white flower petals floating across a dark green background. This elegant color gradation is one of the distinctive features of wax-resist dyeing.
According to a representative of Häagen-Dazs Japan, "The artist chose this shade of green to visually express the delicate matcha flavor of the ice cream. The aroma of matcha green tea and the elation from experiencing this refined flavor are expressed through the imagery of flower petals whirling about in the wind."
Depicting the Aroma of Green Tea through Wax-Resist Dyeing
The original artwork for the Green Tea mini cup packaging.
The package was designed by Ena Furuya, a contemporary artist specializing in textile dyeing. Ms. Furuya's interest in wax-resist dyeing started in elementary school as her mother was also a textile dyer. After enrolling in graduate school at Musashino Art University, she started to focus wholeheartedly on this method.
Ms. Furuya has been creating and exhibiting floral-themed artworks using traditional wax-resist dyeing. Her artwork has attracted wide attention in Japan and overseas.
Apparently, it took about a month to complete the original artwork for the packaging design.
Ms. Furuya began her creative process by researching tea leaves. She also sketched tea flowers and tasted the Häagen-Dazs Green Tea ice cream to be able to express its flavor and fragrance through illustrations.
The final version of the artwork shows how much attention was paid to the features of tea plants and product's flavor. The floating petals in her drawing truly depict the essence of tea.
She explained us the allure of wax-resist dyeing.
"There are many painstaking steps involved in the dyeing process, such as washing the cloth and scraping the wax off. These hands-on procedures are all crucial and give me the sense that I am 'creating something.' I believe that wax-resist dyeing involves all my five senses and this adds a deeper dimension to my artworks. This dyeing method truly brings out an unparalleled dimension."
Three Types of Packaging Designs
Three types of limited-time packaging designs for Vanilla, Strawberry, and Green Tea flavors have been designed by different artists with distinctive styles.
Shuntaro Takeuchi, a Japanese illustrator designed the Vanilla art packaging. Inspired by the fragrant notes of vanilla, the drawing depicts locals from Madagascar playing music, talking among friends, and waiting for the perfect moment to taste this simply delicious ice cream.
Maegamimami, another Japanese illustrator, drew the Strawberry art packaging. It features a cute girl fascinated by the fresh, sweet, and tangy taste of strawberries.
Since each of the packaging designs are unique, you'll be eager to collect them all!
A Chance to Enjoy Art Through Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream
If you wish to add a touch of Japanese aesthetics to your life, look for products designed by roketsu wax-resist dyeing on your next trip to Japan. While this method is traditionally used in kimono and obi designs, you can find small accessories featuring these techniques, too.
Additionally, Mitsuo Aida (1924-1991), a famous Japanese poet and calligrapher, was known for using wax-resist dyeing in his captivating works. If you are interested to see how well do Japanese calligraphy and wax-resist dyeing go together, visit the Mitsuo Aida Museum in Tokyo.
Currently, the number of roketsu wax-resist textile dyers is apparently on the decline. The beautifully designed Green Tea mini cup offers a rare opportunity to appreciate artwork created through traditional wax-resist dyeing that captures Japanese aethetics. At MATCHA, we hope that the Green Tea art packaging design will help popularize this traditional craft so its legacy is passed on to the next generations.
Written by Ramona Taranu
Photos by Monami I.
Sponsored by Häagen-Dazs Japan, Incorporated.