For the Japanese, the simple act of wrapping a present (or even a purchase at a store) is also another part of their rich culture, one that has been taken to an art level.
Gift-wrapping to the Japanese is equated with the heart, so the care and thought one puts into the act is paramount. Presentation plays a key role here, and what matters is harmony between the combination of papers and trimmings – their textures, colours, and patterns must combine to produce a melodious rhythm – an art form both spiritually and physically.
Opening the package is an honoured ritual in itself, and the packages must have elements of projected interaction with the receiver insofar as what is revealed and what is concealed, with hinges, flaps or cuts hinting at contents without disclosing them.
The Japanese see the act of giving a gift as the presenting of one’s feelings to the recipient.
Even in daily life, when offering a small item to one’s host on a visit, for example, and certainly in the context of a celebration or similar, it is important not to pass on anything negative- be it external or any internal disharmony one’s experience.
This is an unspoken tradition which continues in Japan as a sense that has come down to the present in the form of tsutsumi. And although this tradition has changed with the modern times, the influence of this delicate consideration for others beneath the wrapping can be seen if one makes the effort to observe closely.