We were first inspired by antique Chinoiserie murals, and began our creation of wallpaper based on those antique finds, but now presented in a modern Japanese sense.
Our brand name "Ocashi" is based on the ancient Japanese word "をかし(wo-ka-shi)", which has many meanings: deeply inspiring, elegant and amazing, some emotional nuances...It expresses feelings that cannot be clearly described in words.
"Ocashi" symbolizes that we are trying to be creative in reflecting such ancient Japanese aesthetics, but not just an old-fashioned imitation, but something that fits the modern interior.
Our Thoughts on the Identity of
Japanese Panoramic Wallpaper
As noted above, we were influenced by the mural painting style commonly called "Chinoiserie" (meaning Chinese taste), but Chinoiserie contained a Japanese aesthetic, and we want to add even more to our collection.
First of all, let’s take a brief look back at the history of Japanese style houses.
Old Japanese Style Houses were Integrated with Nature
First, the ancient Japanese wood construction of houses had almost no walls, so there was a soft separation between the outdoors and indoors. Surrounded by hedges, the mansion was laid out with a bedchamber in the center and in front of it, a garden that looked like a miniature version of a huge, glorious world around them. The traditional Japanese garden had a different look compared to the western style garden of flower beds. Japanese gardens were made to resemble the ocean or mountains, and attempted to create a small world that represented nature itself.
In such a mansion, the nobles of the time lived mainly in a seated position on the floor, gazing at the garden and feeling the changes of the seasons, reading poetry, playing musical instruments and dancing…
In the old days of Japan, the living space was always attuned with nature. The people who lived there would have felt that their lives were part of the natural world.
Unique Japanese Architectural Elements: Fusuma
In ancient Japanese housing, there were almost no walls, and the space was divided by partitions or fabrics called "Byobu" or "Kicyo" which originally came from China, but eventually found favor as a unique element in Japanese housing. One of its features was the "Fusuma" (a panel made of paper pasted on a wooden frame). It is like a movable wall unified with the wall. Fusuma is an element of housing that is specific to Japan and different from neighboring Asian countries. Initially, the fusuma was covered with paper imported from China, but eventually it was decorated with Japanese paintings. (Later, not Fusuma but Byobu, would become a single large painting or mural. This was also created by ancient Japanese craftsmen who devised a structure to smoothly connect the panels so the joints were not noticable.) We think that the traditional Japanese lifestyle, where people have been familiar with natural landscape paintings all over the walls of their rooms, is the root of the mural painting commonly known as "Chinoiserie".
And sadly, it is an element that has almost been lost in the modern home. It is impossible to recreate a traditional Japanese “mansion” style house as a modern home in a dense urban environment. Also, in our modern house, it is “not cool” to just use traditional Fusuma.
However, we hope through our wallcoverings to express the aesthetic sense of living in harmony with nature, in our modern day interiors. After all, living in harmony with nature is the spirit of Japanese interior design!