“It is now used as accessory trays, key trays, incense dish, etc. and is up to the user to decide how to use it.”
Kutani porcelain- Small Plates
Mame-zara is becoming a small trend here in Japan. Mame means “bean” which also is used to express the small size of things and zara (or sara) means “plate”. These small plates are normally used to serve small dishes or for soy sauce dish but someone must have thought that the cuteness of its petite size and fashionable design should be exposed more. It is now used as accessory trays, key trays, incense dish, etc. and is up to the user to decide how to use it. Stick them on a board, frame it; it becomes a DIY artwork.
Generally, mame-zara is available in sets of 5 since it is customary for dishes in Japan to be in sets of 5. It is said that 5 is a number that respects gods and goddesses relating to food. However, sometimes you are totally in love with one design but not so much the others. Japan Marche’s solution to this is “why not have our customers choose all of their favorite designs?!”
There are quite a lot of designs to choose from so I made a wish list of my own to make my dream set: Yoraku, Hana Karuta, Fortune Cat, Umegiku, Marumon-Takara. The theme is “early Showa Era”. Distinctively Kutani Porcelain colors playfully compliments the modern pop design.
Don’t forget: at Japan Marche, you can buy from 1 mame-zara and don’t have to be in a set of 5. If 3 designs catches your eyes, follow your heart and order just those 3!