⟨ Object ⟩

THE Soy Sauce Cruet


Resculpting the classics

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Illustration / Furze Chan
Translation / Ian Tsang

醒目的紅色瓶蓋,水滴狀的玻璃瓶身,透視著深褐色的濃郁醬油。當談到醬油瓶的設計時,很多人第一時間都會先想到Kikkoman的萬字醬油瓶

由已故大師榮久庵憲司於1960年代設計,萬字醬油瓶破天荒用上玻璃材質,使醬油份量從此變得清晰可見;而角度經過精密計算的鳥嘴口,也解決了每每在盛醬油後,醬油回流時滴到桌面上的窘態;加上它瓶子的孤線造型好看又好拿,漸漸成為日後各廠商的仿效對象、確立了當代醬油瓶的原型風格。

前陣子曾報導過的日本品牌「THE」,他們擅長於捕足物品的原型風格,並積極串連日本各地的職人工匠,帶來一個個揉合傳統工藝價值,又不失改良創新的生活良品;像之前介紹的「THE飯茶碗」,以及上面看到的「THE 醤油差し」,都是品牌概念新舊並蓄的顯例。

針對萬字醬油瓶的致敬作品,「THE 醤油差し」保留了前者的絕大多數特色,包括對透明玻璃的採用,標誌性的孤線造型,以及醬油防漏的設計。在製作流程上,「THE」找來江戶時代起家的玻璃工場「石塚硝子」代工,並以青森縣「津輕玻璃」的獨特工法製成瓶身的「Crystal glass」,比起一般玻璃更優異的透明度,醬油容量一覽無遺。

此外「THE 醤油差し」也把瓶蓋從塑膠換成玻璃,不僅外觀更一體成型,其重新設計過的管道,在沒有鳥嘴的構造下仍達到零滴漏,表現甚至要比萬字醬油瓶優秀,可說是青出於藍勝於藍。這也難怪「THE」在自家商品型錄上會這樣寫道——「這個產品確實是史上最漂亮的防漏醤油瓶。」言辭間還不慎流露出了,品牌對自家商品的得意和自慢。

MIDWAY shop
香港深水埗基隆街132號B地下一樓

 

Eye-catching red lid, and the teardrop-shaped glass body, which makes visible the rich-flavored dark brown soy sauce inside. When it comes to the design of soy sauce dispenser, Kikkoman’s design will be the first thing that comes to many people’s mind.

Designed by the late master Kenji Ekuan in the 1960s, the Kikkoman soy sauce bottle broke new ground by using glass as the material so that the amount of soy sauce becomes clearly visible. In addition, the angle of the spout has been decided based on meticulous calculations so as to avoid the embarrassment of soy sauce dripping on the table after pouring. Moreover, its curved outline is both good-looking and makes for an easy grip. For all these reasons, this design has gradually become a model for imitation for other companies in the days ahead, thereby cementing its status as the archetype for contemporary soy sauce bottles.

Earlier on, we have reported on the Japanese brand “THE”, which excels at capturing the archetype of objects and is also actively bringing together artisans from all over Japan to create one after another lifestyle project that blends traditional craftsmanship values with innovation. Both THE Rice Bowl, previously featured here, and THE Soy Sauce Cruet, are distinct examples of the brand’s concept of embracing both new and old.

As a tribute to the Kikkoman soy sauce bottle, THE Soy Sauce Cruet has kept most of its features including the use of transparent glass, iconic curved outline as well as drip-proof design. THE commissioned Ishizuki Glass, a glass factory founded in the Edo period, for the production and employed the special technique of Tsurugaru glass from Aomori prefecture for making “Crystal glass” for its body. Given its more outstanding transparency than regular glass, it allows for perfect visual clarity of the content inside.  

Furthermore, THE Soy Sauce Cruet uses glass instead of plastic to make its lid, thereby creating a more uniformed design, and its redesigned opening, despite an absence of the beak-like spout, manages to completely avoid spillage, which works even better than that of the Kikkoman model. It can be said that the new model surpasses the original one. It then comes as no surprise that THE notes the following on its product catalogue: “This product is truly, the ‘most beautiful spill-proof soy sauce cruet’ ever created.” The words spill the brand’s satisfaction and pride towards its own creations.

MIDWAY shop
G/F, 132B Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong