Same, but different

If you have browsed for hashioki online or in a store you have undoubtedly noticed that many examples are different versions of the same form.

For example, these rabbits, cranes and sleeping cats appear to have come from the same molds, and the only difference between them is the way they are decorated and/or glazed. All three are very popular animals in Japan, so their producers undoubtedly know that a new version of one of these iconic shapes is bound to sell.

IMG_1992Sometimes differences in decoration go beyond color. Pebble-shaped hashioki with Chinese-style landscapes, like these examples, are also popular in Japan. However, the version on the right is not just multi-colored but is also a completely different scene with a unique border treatment.
Scrolls are also a popular shape for hashioki, particularly in restaurants. Note that these four examples not only have different kanji characters, but also have different decorations on the rolled portion of the scroll. I don’t actually know whether these patterns traditionally accompany these kanji, or whether it’s just happenstance. In any case, from left to right, these kanji are tomi for wealth, kotobuki for long life, roku for happiness, and fuku for good luck or fortune.  I have another version of this scroll with an inscription invites diners to relax and enjoy their meal, but I’ll write about that at a different time.

In the meantime, hope you enjoy these hashioki twins.

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