OK, I have my gift. I'm ready to wrap it. I was told that Japanese gifts should be wrapped in furoshiki. But when I went to my local Japanese store, the cheapest furoshiki they had was $20 (they went as high as $75). I know Japanese are, in general, more affluent than Americans, but $20 for gift wrap?! I can't believe that most people are using this for casual presents. I'm curious to know if I've just been led down a merry path by someone and really most people buy an attractive but inexpensive piece of fabric or a scarf (which is what I ended up doing), or just use wrapping paper or gift bags.
It also made me wonder what people do with the furshiki after they've opened the gift. Are you allowed to "re-gift" someone else with it? Do you have to be careful not to give it back to the person who gave it to you in the first place? Suddenly childhood images of grandma carefully peeling the tape up on Christmas gifts and smoothing out the wrap because it was "perfectly good" makes more sense!
Traditionally furoshiki are given back to the giver.
But maybe only Japanese would know this and there could be some not "au fait" with traditions I suppose.
You don't have to use genuine furoshiki. I've used bandannas, handkerchiefs, squares of cloth... Mainly I think this style of wrapping great for bottles.
Nor do gifts have to be wrapped in furoshiki.
However they should be wrapped in some manner. There are also great ways to wrap using paper that require only one piece of tape to hold it all together. Stores will often giftwrap purchases as well.
Furoshiki is used as a bag. Even when gifts are wrapped in a furoshiki, the furoshike is not given with the gifts. When you give your gifts wrapped in a furoshiki to someone, you have to get your gifts out of the furoshiki and take your furoshiki back.
Thanks, guys! I'm giving my gift tonight and will report back. I'm really grateful because I would otherwise have thought something was wrong if sensei gave the scarf back to me. You've saved me tons of potential embarrassment.
Hi! You can definitely reuse the Furoshiki, that's the main reason why it's very useful! It's true that it's cheap yet a very fab way to give gifts. You can also you that to wrap your bento boxes. Enjoy!
Hi everyone! Thank you for helping each other! It's a very nice thing that can be seen across JapanesePod community.
So, how did the gift giving go? Nowadays, it's more and more common not to use furoshiki, so please don't be too nervous about the use of it. With that said, furoshiki is very useful and I'm sure you'll give (and have given) a great impression if you give a present wrapped with furoshiki.