Goshugi-bukuroThursday, 4 November 2010
I thought I might post about a little something traditional today as I don't think I've done that for a long time now.
These pretty things you see here are called Goshugi-bukuro, which literally means "celebration money sleeves". It's very common in Japan to give money as gift at weddings, and Goshugi-bukuro is always used for this occasion with the sender's name written on the skinny white paper you see on each Goshugi-bukuro. (Yes we write our names from top to bottom, vertically.) Each one has a plane envelope to slip money in inside and the envelope is wrapped with a big piece of good washi paper folded in its special way.
Goshugi-bukuro are sold everywhere in Japan even at the 100yen shops or convenience sotres, but I like to choose nicer ones and these 3 are my recent favourites. I bought the one with pretty gold cranes printed on really beautiful washi paper (the one on the left seen in the first photo) a while ago at ITO-YA, it was the loveliest Goshugi-bukuro I had ever seen!
But when I became the one to receive Goshugi-bukuro, I realised what a huge waste all these things become! They say you can not re-use them for when you go to someone's wedding and not just all the papers but all the beautiful "mizuhiki" (the special decorative cord to tie around the envelopes) are only to be thrown away afterwords and that made me feel sad! We only had a very small wedding but still there were many Goshugi-bukuro to be wasted. Well I haven't thrown them away, trying to think of the ways to use them for something.
Anyway, we received one Goshugi-bukuro which used handkerchief instead of paper and I was so happy to see it! I think it's such a wonderful idea, the handkerchief can be used over and over afterward! So, for my friend's wedding I went last weekend I used a recyclable cloth Goshugi-bukuro, I actually found the one that is like a pocket sleeve so I bought that too. They cost a lot more than the average paper ones but I still think they are better. I have 2 more weddings to go to this month so I'm all set for now!