We are in a new normality, made evident by milk.
It was one of the first items to disappear after the quake, along with rice and instant ramen. But just as I was getting around to the idea black coffee, it made a comeback. Three days ago I spotted a batch of 200ml mini-cartons in a Kabukicho convenience store (which I bought multiples of, to my shame). Then yesterday I saw these full-sized one-liter cartons in a department store:
It should have felt that things are moving back to the way they were, but it didn’t: The package was unfamiliar as was its place of origin, Shimane Prefecture, which is closer to South Korea than it is to Tokyo.
Someone really made an effort to get them here. Yet in Fukushima and in prefectures nearby the farmers are throwing their milk away, because higher-than-normal radiation has made it unsellable.
While on the subject, of milk here are some images of carton design from the Milk Tour Nippon 2011, held last month:
The package on the left shows a crested ibis, an icon of Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture. On the right is apple milk from Aomori Prefecture:
This yoghurt package from Appi-kogen highland in Iwate Prefecture was particularly eye-catching. It’s the work of none other than Yusaku Kamekura (1915-1997), better known for his posters for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics :