Pumpkin Cookbook Cover

I lived in the Kingdom of Tonga, a small developing country in the South Pacific, for two years as a member of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV). JOCV members work in many fields in development assistant, and one of the fields is health care. Some JOCV members in Tonga work in this field, and one of them published The Pumpkin Cookbook to promote healthy cooking. She asked me to design the cover.

The cover would be photocopied on rough paper, so I choose rough hand drawing so that the quality of the paper and the tone of the drawing would match. It also helps to create nice and old-fashioned, warm feeling of healthy cooking.

Pumpkin is a "Japanglish" word that means squash. Japanese do not distinguish between pumpkin and squash. Both are kabocha in Japanese. This book is actually The Squash Cookbook. Agriculture is one of the main industries in Tonga, and squash is one of the major farm products. The author noticed the nutritious value of squash and tried to promote healthy cooking through this book.

Tonga exports literally tons of squash to Japan. In fact, the majority of the imported squash in Japan are from Tonga. Some Tongan people assume Japanese eat squash daily (just like North Americans assume Japanese eat sushi daily. In fact, we do not), and those friendly Tongan people give lots of squash to Japanese who live in Tonga. This cookbook helped me to cook all the squash piled in my living room.