Emily Matsuno

Chirimen Sansho Chihiro


Chirimen Sansho Chihiro

Branding, Packaging design, Lettering, Illustration

Chirimen Sansho is a traditional specialty dish in Kyoto. Chirimenjyako or Ojayko (written as "ちりめん" for short in Japanese), are juvenile sardines. The branding was inspired by these tiny sardines that are dried in the sun, then flavored and mixed with sansho berries. Many enjoy chirimen sansho over steaming hot rice. 


Story behind the brand

Chihiro, the founder and owner of Chirimen Sansho Chihiro (ちりめん山椒千京), loved her mother's homemade chirimen. These delicately flavored chirimen soon became popular to those not just within her family but also among her friends and neighbors. Inspired, Chihiro wanted to share her mother's special recipe to a bigger audience and decided to start her own chirimen company. After living in Hawaii for a few years, her exposure to American cuisine has played a big role, influencing her to create a fusion of this traditional Japanese dish with Western flavors. The results were unique, experimental, and bold new flavors such as the white truffle, basil, garlic, tomato, and macadamia nut. 

Just like the chirimen flavors, I wanted to fuse the Japanese culture with a touch of Western culture. So for the logo, I wanted to create an end product that reflected that idea. Instead of using Japanese kanji and hiragana, I decided to write out the brand name in romaji (ローマ字) or the Japanese language written out in English alphabet.



Since the logo depicted the touch of Western culture, I wanted the packaging label to look more Japanese so it created a nice balance of the fusion of the two. The bottom of white section of the label symbolizes the gentle ocean wave where its the home for these tiny chirimen fishes.