Photo: Aaron Yoshino

Ornate Gift Wrapping Is Part of the Present

December, 2015

Those who view gift wrapping as a superficial formality are missing a key message that creative packaging can project.

“The attention spent on putting together a beautifully wrapped present means someone really cares about you,” says Shiho Masuda of Shiho Style & Design. “When I worked as a gift-wrapping designer and consulted with clients, I always asked if the receiver was a man or woman, and what color and style they liked, so gift wrapping really becomes a part of the gift.”

Masuda spent 12 years honing her craft in New York and the last five in Hawaii teaching others Japanese-style gift wrapping. In comparison to functional, Western-style gift wrapping, the Japanese technique is ornate, detailed and focused on presentation. Although she says the process is simpler than it looks, it is an art that starts with the raw materials.

“For example, a wine bottle has a curve. It’s an odd shape and so I love using unryu paper. It’s a small, thin, lightweight tissue paper, but with a very strong fiber that’s good at wrapping objects because it’s flexible.”

Learn More

Masuda offers classes in Hawaiian paper crafts and Japanese gift wrapping. To enroll in a two-hour class on Japanese holiday gift wrapping, call 839-6041. Other information is available at

Get tips from her YouTube channel at


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