Kinkaku in Snow

Creative “appreciation” of a tea box

Kinkaku in Snow

Kinkaku, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion was built around 600 years ago in Kyoto.

The client, Takano Chikko is a workshop of traditional Japanese craftsmen, specialised in different fields including woodwork, metalwork, lacquer wear etc. As they renovate damaged parts of the temple, over the years they were given the scrap wood of what used to be the temple - some of which are hundreds of years old.

Utilising such scrap wood materials, the workshop created Chabako, or Tea Boxes, and organised an exhibition to invite several art and design practitioners who produced new concepts of Tea Box. Kotaro Watanabe, director of Takram, as one of the designers who took part in the event, proposed "Kinkaku in Snow.

The event took place in the department store Ginza Mitsukoshi in Autumn, 2016.

Kinkaku in Snow"

Kinkaku is best remembered in a scenery on a snowy day. Gold in the white landscape. On the other hand, Chabako, or tea box is best associated with Konpeito candies, a Japanese confection in various pastel colours. Ordinarily, one shakes a ceramic container to take several candies before having a bowl of tea.

By combining two inspirations, Watanabe designed a game to look for a gold piece among many white Kompeito candies hidden in the snow. In a tea ceremony, several guests are given in turn a shovel-shaped spoon to dig in the Tea Box full of snow, to look for a candy. Whoever finds the sole gold will be the winner.

One would bring a candy onto a plate, on which is painted with Japanese lacquer, a natural landscape. Then the scenery on the plate will be covered by snow too, which becomes the finishing touch of the snowy landscape.


Creative appreciation:
Kotaro Watanabe
Photos, creative support:
Kotaro Yamaguchi

Takano Chikko


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