How Apple is more Japanese than Japan

“Apple and its late co-founder Steve Jobs are American success stories. Yet, there isn’t much that’s baseball and apple pie about them. Instead, there is something very Japanese about both,” Brian Ashcraft writes for Kotaku. “At times, Apple is more Japanese than Japan.”
“Oone of the things that makes Apple more Japanese than Japan is how it packages its products. In Japan, there is a culture of wrapping — and, in turn, presentation. This culture of wrapping started over a thousand years ago, when people began using cloth to wrap valuables,” Ashcraft writes. “During the Edo Period (1603-1868), notions of the ‘correct’ way to wrap and present gifts became solidified. Even today, the wrapping culture can be complex. For example, you might give someone a bag which contains a present; that present could be wrapped in a special way; unwrapping it would reveal a box; inside the box, there is a tray of, let’s say, cookies; and those cookies are individually wrapped. It’s like the Inception equivalent of wrapping.”

Ashcraft writes, “Apple is a master of presentation and electronics wrapping. The way the Apple puts hardware in boxes, but uses the packaging to be part of the experience was revolutionary for consumer electronics. For gifts in Japan, this is normal. For electronics, it wasn’t. Apple’s packaging and design influence on Japanese companies, such as Nintendo, has been noticeable.”


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