The gift first appears in the form of a traditional handcrafted bar of facial and body soap, with scent of juniper berry and palm rose. Over time, as the receiver uses it in a shower room, a message on a canvas slip slowly appears from within. Finally, the moment comes when this personal message can be read – poignantly, when one's body and soul are both naked and open to heartfelt words.
The gift is received in an elegant package with a wax seal. Akin to an envelope, it hints at a letter-like experience, allowing one to appreciate the slow passage of time: for a sender, waiting to hear from the receiver in a while, and for the receiver, to eventually discover a warm message – neither of which knowing exactly when it will arrive.
There are seven types of messages, varying from love letters, thank-you notes, to birthday celebrations, all of which no one knows if they will arrive on time.
“in time” is a gift range with a theme of message-giving and care for others, and Message Soap, is its first product. Takram devised and realised the concept, product planning, art and creative direction of the entire range. The product was launched in March 2016, and is now available online and in several select shops in Tokyo.
Takram conceived and created in time with and for Mai Mukaida, whose company, Lalitpur, crafts premium natural skincare products, sourcing all ingredients in Nepal. Through manufacturing cosmetic products in Nepal, Lalitpur endevours to create employment for the female victims of human trafficking, who need to work in order to become economically independent.
Mai Mukaida, CEO of Lalitpur
Japan Times article
"Message Soap, in time" official website
Kotaro Watanabe, director of Takram
“It is becoming increasingly rare for people nowadays to actually take time to compose hand-written letters and send by "snail" mail. We live in the age of instant messaging, which even the creators of the product cannot live without. That said, however, along with those modern practical tools of communication, we need to balance our lives, with something that while it may not appear completely useful, is there to be savoured. "Message Soap, in time" is a product that lets you enjoy the passage of time, just like the intimacy of corresponding by conventional mail.
Indeed, the name "in time", has been selected for its dual meaning – while referencing the passage of time, it also, when spelled without the space, becomes the French word "intime". It is quite interesting that a way of communication that is asynchronous in both time and space, sometimes pulls people at two ends even closer, even more intimately”...
Creative Direction, Concept & Copywriting : Kotaro Watanabe (Takram)
Art Direction & Design : Kotaro Yamaguchi (Takram)
Co-Art Direction & Design : Renee Verhoeven, Cédric Carêmel, Eri Nishihara, Shohei Hasegawa (Takram),Yuri Okada (ex-Takram)
Web Design & Coding : Eri Nishihara, Shohei Hasegawa (Takram)
Photo : Yosuke Suzuki (erz)
Co-Creative Direction & Copywriting : Mai Mukaida (Lalitpur)