Kabamaru is a gray and black striped cat, and the leader of the pack. Every year we have a huge summer matsuri with food and drink vendors to celebrate our anniversary, and our dream was to have Kabamaru and his friends celebrate with us at our Matsuri! So we asked Hajime Okamoto, legendary artist and creator of Kabamaru, if he would collaborate with us.
Our dreams came true in September 2021 when we “met” Okamoto-san over Zoom and sowed the seeds for the idea of this very special furoshiki (scroll through for a photo of Okamoto with his daughter Noriko). Using Umami Mart’s colors, the scene depicts Kabamaru and Co. celebrating with taiko, yakitori, kakigori, and sake. Notice the bright red accents and shimmering gold background. What a party!
On the furoshiki, the Japanese calligraphy reads: Matsuri da! Wasshoi, wasshoi, wasshoi, wasshoi!*
This translates to: It’s a festival! Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!
*Wasshoi is a cheery chant often heard at festivals and celebrations
We are deeply honored that Okamoto designed an Umami Mart exclusive Kabamaru furoshiki. As we head into our 10th year, this collaboration is one of highlights we’ve experienced during Umami Mart’s lifetime.
Hajime Okamoto was born in 1942 in Osaka and is a celebrated calligrapher and artist. He was greatly influenced by his time spent in China in the 80s, and returned to Japan to create the Kabamaru series in 1998. Okamoto calls his paintings "Ink Pop Art" and actively exhibits his work throughout the country.
Use furoshiki to dress up a suit pocket for a wedding, wrap up your bento, a bottle of sake or wine as a gift, or wipe the sweat off your brow during your next hike.
- Artwork by Hajime Okamoto
- Dimensions: 19 7/8"L x 19 7/8"W
- Material: 100% cotton
- Made in Kyoto, Japan