Blue and white Japan

When Western people think about Japanese aesthetics, they will often think either about elaborate and colourful designs like kimono fabrics, or they will think of the rustic and minimalist aesthetics of tatami mats and shōji doors. I was therefore very surprised to discover the Japanese love for blue and white fabrics and pottery. The designs often include simple geometric forms.

I love how the blue and white designs are simple yet elegant. This subtle sense of beauty, and the fact that it is present in so many aspects of daily life in Japan, is one of the things that I love so much about this country.

blue and white japanese fabrics

Blue and white Japanese fabrics. The indigo colour of these fabrics, which is sometimes referred to as ‘Japanese blue’, is called ‘ai’ in Japanese. It is produced from the plant ‘dyer’s knotweed’ and the dye has a distinctive sulfur like odor.

blue and white japanese rice bowls

Gorgeous blue and white Japanese rice bowls