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Kotaro Watanabe Collaborates with Toraya

Art and nutrition embrace in these petite Japanese confections.

In today’s digital world, even time- honoured traditions are not spared from life in the fast lane. Not even wagashi, traditional bite-sized sweets enjoyed with tea to contemplate the transition of the four seasons.

Design engineer Kotaro Watanabe has collaborated with 480-year-old confectionery company Toraya to produce Hitohi (meaning “one day” in old Japanese), a set of five wagashi which condenses the appreciation of seasons into the appreciation of a day’s progression.

“Wagashi are typically luxury items that enrich our daily lives,” says Watanabe. “But here, functional aspects are embedded. Each wagashi confection contains appropriate ingredients and nutrients for different times of the day.”

The project was commissioned by Future Lab, a think-tank which provides branding consultation to corporations and proposes future lifestyles.

While only 400 were produced as gifts to the lab’s opening event held last year, Watanabe hints that production might resume in the future.

Now that’s one thing needed on the fast lane.

Wagashi