I’M PLANNING A JAPANESE PARTY. HOW DO I DO IT?
- Just because you want a styled party, doesn’t mean you have to stick to the cliche (think lanterns, pompoms, pastels).
- If you want a truly different party, a great way to go is Japanese simply because Japanese culture is one of the most unique and highly distinctive in the world.
- By the end of this post, you will be bursting with various ideas on how to execute your Japanese-inspired party. Think of the possibilities!
THE TALE OF TOBY AND SYDNEY
If you’re at a loss as to what specific Japanese theme you’d like for your party, try this: a Sumo theme for a boy, and a Kokeshi Doll theme for a girl.
Interestingly, I’ve done both parties!
More specifically, a Sumo Wrestler themed party for Toby, and a Kokeshi Doll themed party for Sydney Belle. Both turned out amazingly well and I’m going to share the details further with you.
A SUMO THEMED PARTY: THE ELEMENTS
When you hear Japanese, what comes to your mind? Here’s what I see:
A traditional Japanese temple guarded by four stout sumo wrestlers! Here’s where things get interesting. For the stage, I decided to work on the facade of a Japanese temple complete with its arched roofing and hanging red lanterns. In the middle lies Toby’s celebratory cake framed by Toby’s traditional Japanese name (which reads: to-bee. I think!) on top.
An oriental lantern display as photo-op area. I just LOVE how this turned out. The lighting of the lanterns and the way they are all lined up makes the set-up so interesting and photo-worthy.
Have an awesome-ly designed Sumo wrestler themed invitation. Unknown to most people, the invitation is actually the starting point of inspiration for most stylists. It acts as a launching pad for further design ideas. And when you start with an invitation like this, you will surely be bursting with tons of ideas for your party.
A decorate your own Sumo Wrestler / Kokeshi Doll craft activity for the kids. This one is a real catch. It’s right smack in theme, and a great way for kids to stay preoccupied while the adults socialize!
Sushi pillows as giveaways. Nothing probably beats a pillow in terms of usability, and turning it into the shape of something in line with your theme is a great idea.
A KOKESHI DOLL THEMED PARTY: THE ELEMENTS
When my husband’s good friend, Beau, contacted us for his daughter’s baptismal party, I became excited because I learned that their theme was Kokeshi.
Kokeshi dolls are absolutely adorable. I think they are cute and cuddly and…they just make me feel relaxed when I look at them. Don’t you too? Take a look at this one:
Just look at the lightness of colors, the leveling of each dessert (some high, some low), framed by flying origami and hanging cherry blossoms, and backed by the lightness of bamboo and supreme natural daylight. All the credit goes to photographer Adrian Ardiente‘s mad skills for capturing this work of art.
To the right: Sydney Belle’s delightful cake by Lovely Jiao of Sugarplum Pastries
Hire a skillful and reputable cake maker. In Manila, cake suppliers are a multitude, so choosing one wisely may be quite the challenge.
Make origami kusudama flowers and place them beside framed photos of your daughter as centerpiece. These flowers are easy to make and perfect for the DIY mommies out there. Watch the video below to learn how to craft this flower:
MORE TIPS, IDEAS AND SUPPLIERS
Here are a few more things you can explore:
If you’re going the DIY route, make sure you stop by your nearest DAISO store. They have all manners of Japanese trinkets that will prove useful to your party (such as Japanese bowls for your dessert table, the occasional Japanese lantern and other decor items).
To keep everything authentic, make sure you translate the celebrant’s name into Japanese and incorporate them into the decor. The above is a rough translation of Toby’s name in Japanese, incorporated into a banner that I designed for the stage. Although this is just a little detail, I believe that it’s the little things that make any party extra-special.
Work with your caterer on providing Japanese inspired food. The caterer that comes to mind for this one is Michelle of Creamery Catering. Creamery not only serves delicious food, but serves it in an attractive way. More importantly, Michelle is quite easy to talk to.
Provide kiddie-set meals in bento boxes. I think this kills two birds: one, you are providing pre-selected, individualized meals for the children, and two, you are perfectly in-theme!
I’M TURNING JAPANESE I THINK I’M TURNING JAPANESE I REALLY THINK SO…
For those who have actually been to Japan, it is very very hard not to fall in love with the country, its people, and its culture.
If I was able to somehow capture a piece of that Japanese culture thru Toby and Sydney’s parties, then I would already consider the effort a smashing success.
Here’s to Toby and Sydney: may you have many more stylish parties to come!