There should be so many people who wonder “what criteria they should utilize”, even if they want to buy chopsticks.
Here are some tips when you choose chopsticks.
Please check it out.
◎Choose the ones with the best size
Chopsticks substitute your hand. Get the ones that fit your fingers’ size.
This is how you measure for the best size.
１）Spread your thumb and index finger at right angles
２）Link the tips of the thumb and the index finger
３）Make the straight line 1.5 times
This is your best size.
There is another useful measurement of your feet size (your height times 0.15) as well.
◎Feel the weight when you hold them
The weight of the chopsticks differs depending on the types. Some people prefer the light ones, and others would rather have slightly heavy ones. Make sure you hold them before you buy!
◎”Shinari” on chopsticks
Lack of “Shinari” (slight flexibility) on your chopsticks will cause the problem of being hard to pick up food. So, make sure you choose the ones with “Shinari”.
There are various kinds of chopsticks made in Japan and they are made, according to the various uses as well.
I’ll give you some information about a traditional “Iwai-bashi” among them this time.
◎What is “Iwai-bashi”?
We use them on the first three days of the New Year. “Iwai” means celebration in Japanese.
There are three kinds of chopsticks called, “Ryoukuchi-bashi”, “Yanagi-bashi” and “Tawara-bashi”, according to the use in Iwai-bashi.
Chopsticks usually have the thick edge on the top and the thin edge on the bottom, where you pick up the food.
But the Ryoukuchi-bashi’s edges are both thin.
They were both made thin so that “humans can eat with one side and God can eat with the other side”.
Our ancestors put thought into them that we can stay healthy in the New Year with these chopsticks, sharing some New Year’s traditional dishes such as “Osechi” or “Ozouni” with God.
The Iwai-bashi made with Yanagi (willows) is called “Yanagi-bashi”.
Since breaking something during the special occasion such as New Year’s Day celebration implies bad luck in Japan, the Yanagi-bashi are made with willows which are durable and hard to break. Yanagi-bashi is known to have good fortune, since it hardly breaks.
The middle part of this Tawara-bashi is made thick.
It was designed after a straw rice-bag whose shape is like a round diamond with the hope of a good harvest.
It represents the perpetuation of our descendants and is also called “Harami-bashi” or “Tai-bashi”.
- Hyozaemon’s store, specializing in chopsticks “Nihonbou”They have various kinds of chopsticks, such as traditional ones, the ones for children, and pretty ones for girls. Here, you can have your own name on chopsticks to make “your original ones”!
- This store’s motto is “Chopsticks are food.”
Address: 5-3-13 Hiroo Shibuya-ku Tokyo
- “Kobe Hashiya”This store’s concept is “women’s preference”.
- They sell over 500 kinds of chopsticks which were made by craftsmen throughout all of Japan.
- This is a specialty store in Kobe Motomachi, where you can buy your original chopsticks.
Address: 3-2-1 Sannomiya-cho Chuo-ku Kobe
- “Kyoto Ohashi Kobo”
- This is the only specialty store of chopsticks in Japan where you can have made-to-order chopsticks. You can have your own chopsticks made by over 100 kinds of selected materials. You can even order the special-sized ones for your bento-box (Japanese lunch box). Please note that it takes three months to receive them since your order.
Address: 16-5 Hanazono Tenjugaoka-cho Ukyo-ku Kyoto
- “Hashiya Ichizen”
- Not only can you order your original chopsticks but you can also experience making ones. Since this service is a part of the “Yufuin (Japanese famous hot-spring resort) tourist set”, you can have your own chopsticks as your great memory of an onsen (hot-spring) trip.
Address: 2093-2 Kawakami Yufuin-cho Yufu-shi, Oita