Mubyo yunomi cup was originally designed for AKAR design’s 2013 Yunomi Invitational show (online only). It was my first time to be a part of this glorious show, so I wanted to create something meaningful and practical. The title “Mubyo” is a Japanese word that can be taken as “six gourds” or “no sickness”, due to the same pronunciations. In the ancient Chinese and Japanese cultures, they said that a gourd has a power to contain extraordinary things as well as ordinary things (water, liquor, seeds and such). It has been believed that gourd’s power is to absorb and conceal evils, so people hanged dry, open gourds at their front doors to suck up all the evils that come to their houses as a prevention.
Six gourds pattern is a Japanese tradition, to keep the people safe and healthy, using the magical power of words. The idea is that if the pronunciations are the same, the different words (concepts) can share the power, like electricity travels through conductors and still retains the same power. For yunomi cup, which is one of the most common tableware in the Japanese daily life, I wanted to send a message of best wishes to the future users. Six gourds cup will protect and keep the users healthy, through physical contact everyday. The gourds should suck up all the bad energy from the hands like a vacuum cleaner. I think the idea is well aligned with the Japanese custom of drinking green tea the yunomi cup is originally designed for, because the green tea is our elixir. There are many nutrition in green tea to keep you healthy, so, drinking green tea from the six gourds yunomi cup should guarantee you the near-immortal, unbeatable healthy life. I truly wish.
Since I started making this cup and told people what it means, a number of people purchased the cup with surprising urgency. They told me that this will be for themselves and/or their family members. We live in the time with the most advanced medical technology and enjoy all the privileges of various treatments, but symbolism and stories still have some meaning to us. And to maintain our mind’s health as much as physical one, I hope I can offer an idea for the people to enjoy, in a shape of cup as a small amulet.