When I travel to Japan, I find inspiration everywhere I turn. As many of you know, the skincare rituals of the geisha inspired me to create TATCHA, formulating the collection after their recipes, honed by generations. Japanese culture is steeped in centuries of tradition and symbolism, a heritage I sought to honor in designing the collection. Designer extraordinare and TATCHA co-founder Stanley Hainsworth helped breathe modern life into these traditions, and I am excited to share with you some of the meaning behind our packaging.

• Japanese tea ceremonies are a crucial part of the culture, dating back centuries to the Muromachi Period. In creating our ritual, we were inspired by the traditional tools of the ceremony. The shape of our jars is based on the natsume, small vessels used to carry the powdered tea, while the small golden spoon on top references the utensil used to scoop precious tea from the jar.

• When seen in person, a geisha’s iconic white makeup is almost translucent, with the warmth of her skin showing through the color. We recreated this warmth on our jars with a combination of white urushi lacquer and a layer of pearl pigment so that it would reflect this uniquely luminous quality.

• Centuries ago, only the Imperial Family was permitted to wear clothes dyed in purple, due to its rarity and expense. We chose the traditional hue to represent both the quality of the products, and our utmost respect for our customers for the silk ties atop our Supple Moisture Rich Silk Cream. The ties are made by a kimono artisan outside of Kyoto, hand-dyed and woven of the same silk created for kimonos. It is inspired by the kimono worn by the geisha and the naturally silky softness of her skin.

• The box carton carrying each product is shaped after hikidashi, Japanese drawers used to store treasures like kimono and family heirlooms. These drawers are embellished with a traditional Japanese moongrass pattern used as a natural motif.

• The interlocking hexagon pattern on the stickers is called kikko, or tortoise shell, which represents longevity, health and happiness. The seal itself represents freshness and promises the quality of the product inside.

Japanese history and symbols are rich with meaning; we are still finding ways to incorporate them into our collection. I look forward to sharing more stories and heritage with you as our collection continues to grow.



Learn more about our core ritual collection here.

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published June 2014

Living, Design
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