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The Life of Discarded Things - No.5 "The Unused Grater"


Image of The Life of Discarded Things - No.5 "The Unused Grater"
  • Image of The Life of Discarded Things - No.5 "The Unused Grater"
  • Image of The Life of Discarded Things - No.5 "The Unused Grater"

Japanese folklore & proverbs are a huge source of inspiration to me and this series of prints looks at an area of particular fascination. In Japanese folklore all things have a spirit (or a god residing within them), including such items as household tools and objects. In literature and illustrated books there are examples of Yōkai (a supernatural monster or spirit/妖怪) which have been transformed from everyday items into mischievous characters once they reach 100 years in age. But in addition, an object that has been tossed aside or remained unused without the proper thanks can also become animated into taking revenge. This series of prints will highlight some of the characters you may find familiar in your own home, and might give you pause for thought.

Fifth in the series is ‘The Unused Grater’.

Every print comes with a signed and stamped paper 'story slip' (see images above) describing how the character depicted came to their discarded life:

“The Life of Discarded Things/ No.5 The Unused Grater/忘れられたチーズおろし

The kitchen is a particularly hazardous place when it comes to the yōkai of discarded objects, with many deep cupboards and drawers providing a place for those unwanted gifts and unnecessary tools and gadgets to be forgotten about, and develop personalities of their own, some of them resentful...

This box grater was purchased when the owner lived alone, but as his family grew, another grater arrived and took over grating duties, whilst this older model was left to languish in a utensil drawer. Whenever the drawer was opened, the grater’s hopes were dashed when he was no longer selected to help with making dinner, and he gradually formed into a vengeful yōkai who now likes to take bites out of fruit and vegetables, causing them to go bad...

He also has a well-known Japanese cousin, the spiky yama-oroshi
(やまおろし), and it must be hoped that the two never get together..."

The story slip can be pasted on to the backing board of a frame, or mounted in a window under the print itself for framing if desired (if using bespoke framing).

Individually hand printed using Japanese pigment inks and hand carved rubber printing blocks. Each print will have natural small variations, due to the methods used - the one you receive may not be exactly the same as the one shown in the photographs.

Printed on 100g oatmeal 100% recycled paper (with natural flecks).
Paper size: A3 (297 x 420 mm or 11.7 x 16.5 inches).
Signed in pencil and stamped with nakamura characters [中村] in red ink.

Please note: the print is sold unframed, but fits an IKEA ribba frame and mount (about an inch would need to be trimmed from the bottom of the paper to do this).