Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Japanese Chopsticks Part Three

Japanese boxwood, tsuge.  These chopsticks are very thin and used for picking up sweets.

Two sets of thin bamboo chopsticks, lacquered.   I think the dark spots were made by burning.  The bottom tip of those chopsticks are very sharp, so when I store them, I wrap the tips with tissue papaers.   Ocha utensils often come in washi paper.

Bamboo, Green lacquered

Bamboo, Red lacquered and Reversible


Umut Kakeeva said...

It is very interesting information and reminded me Japanese dinner at one of Peace Corps trainers house several years ago. He wanted to share Japanese food and culture with us and gave us 40 rules which we were supposed to follow while guesting there. One of the rules were don't use personal chopstick in the main dish However,he was using himself his personal chopstick to get food from the main dish. Later, I asked about him ,and he said the chopstick was reversible. He had just used the other side of the chopstick. Isn't that amazing and practical? Actually, I should practice and improve my chopstick using skills.

keiko amano said...


Wow, weren't you surprised he gave you 40 rules? If I were you, I'll make a U turn and go home! I wonder what other 39 were, but kidding aside, Japanese do have many rules. Even Japanese ourselves complain about such customs while not abandoning them completely.

I'm glad that you asked the host about his personal chopsticks, and he clarified it. We take for granted that people are looking at the same things as we do, but I realized that turning chopsticks around and using the other fat parts seem obvious to our eyes, but I guess it isn't to non-Japanese.

ZACL said...

Very beautiful pieces of work, Keiko.

I have a number of sets of chopsticks, most are nothing out of the ordinary. My favourites are a bijoux type I bought in the Swarowski factory in Austria many years ago. They are black with a few small blue crystals in a vertical line from the top.

I should use them some time ;)

keiko amano said...


Wow! You bought a bijoux type Swarowski chopsticks!? It's always amazing someone comes up with such an idea because it never occurs to me. But from the ancient time, artisans have been striving to make rare and innovative arts in different material. I'd like to see them. They must be beautiful. I love Swarowski anything. When my mother was alive, we made a visit to a Swarowski shop every time after our lunch at the Yokohama Prince Hotel. Now the hotel is gone. I miss that.

takeshi007 said...

Today, Japan uses many varieties of materials in the manufacturing of chopsticks. Wood or plastic are the principle materials used today, however personalized chopsticks have also been made of: metal, bone, ivory, and even jade. However, these are typically reserved for special events, or just for show.

keiko amano said...

Dear 007,

Thank you for adding your comment. Are you in a chopstick related business?