My family usually buy rice from supermarkets or from local stores in the neighbourhood. Then we take the rice out of the bag and put it into a plastic bucket with cap.

It works well that way and I had never thought about the rice bag design until my first time living in Japan, when Osamu-san gave us a 10-kg rice bag at the beginning of every month.

The Japanese rice bag in general is made of thick paper (which cannot be easily torn by the cat’s claws or the mouse’s teeth and very environmental friendly).

The Rice Bags in Wazuka-cha Cafe

The Rice Bags in Wazuka-cha Cafe

However, it’s the twist-tie formation at the top that I want to talk about, such a convenient and sensible way to protect and contain the rice. After finishing taking enough rice to cook for your meal, simply fold the top of the bag and twist the band to tie.

How my 2-kilo rice bag looked like after the rice was finished half.

How my 2-kilo rice bag looked like after the rice was finished half.

Besides clever usability, the rice bag identity design can even encourage people to buy it as souvenirs. If you are by any chance in Niigata prefecture, please buy 1 or 2 kilos Shirokuma Rice as a gift for your mom.

In 2010, Shirokuma Inc. decided that they needed a re-branding after harvesting sustainably grown rice for over 120 years. The company turned to local graphic designer Ryuta Ishikawa who proposed these following adorable rice bag designs. Feel like they are saying “Cuddle me” =))

shirokuma rice bags

Shirokuma means White Polar Bear in Japanese


Feature Image Credit: Okomeya-Ryotei