Creative Around The World

Hamidashimono Whittling Kit – Yoshino, Japan

The Hamidashimono's lunch chopstick whittling in Food Foliage Brighton. Image by Food Foliage BrightonIG.

For more than a hundred years, wood left-over from Japanese home construction has been upcycled to make disposable  chopsticks in Yoshino, Nara prefecture, Japan, they called it – the Hamidashimono. Every Hamidashimono is upcycled, collected, stored and dried as if it were a regular pair of izakaya-grade chopsticks and once whittled, is ready for use.

With the support from Lotus LLC of Japan, three Japan-based designers – Jan ChipchaseJames Gibson and Eko Hayashi – produced the Hamidashimono KIT, a chopstick making kit with premium wood left-over – after their visit to the family-owned Kitamura Seihashishohe, the old chopstick factory in Yoshino. It is where the production of disposable chopsticks already started in the late 1800’s from the recycling of used sake barrels. But today they are made from the leftover planks of locally grown trees which has been used to construct beams for traditional Japanese homes.

Hamidashimono in Yoshino, Nara prefecture in Japan. Hamidashimono in Yoshino. Image by Hamidashimono IG.

Together with local craftspeople in Yoshino, the three designers mentioned above launch their first izakaya-grade chopstick making kit: Hamidashimono #1:…

Hamidashimono kit by Jan Chipchase, James Gibson and Eko Hayashi with the support from Lotus LLC of Japan. Hamidashimono kit by Jan Chipchase, James Gibson and Eko Hayashi with the support from Lotus LLC of Japan.

The Hamidashimono #1 kit includes:

  • 50 x Hamidashimono
  • 1 x Higonokami Superior Brass whittling knife
  • 10 x #240 grade sandpaper
  • 1 x cedar chopstick holder, ideal for displaying
  • 25 x Ue Washi Koubou hand made paper bands for wrapping chopsticks prior to use
  • An indigo dyed tenugui

Mr. Kitamura-san, the second generation of Kitamura Seihashishohe. Making the Hamidashimono chopstick. Image from Hamidashimono IG.

They use upcycled cypress from the chopstick manufacturing process sourced directly from the Kitamura Seihashisho. The bundle of premium cypress Hamidashimono can be used to whittle twenty-five pairs of chopsticks. You can see above, Kitamura San, the 2nd generation owner of Kitamura Seihashisho, holding a pair of finished chopsticks he made his own.

Hamidashimono kit by Jan Chipchase, James Gibson and Eko Hayashi with the support from Lotus LLC of Japan. Hamidashimono kit by Jan Chipchase, James Gibson and Eko Hayashi with the support from Lotus LLC of Japan.

Another product in the store of Hamidashimono is Higonokami Superior Brass. It is made in Japan by Nagao Konekoma Factory, ideal for whittling the Hamidashimono. The brass ages beautifully, taking on a dark patina with use.

Higonokami Superior Brass of Hamidashimono in Yoshino, Nara Prefecture. Image by Hamidashimono. Higonokami Superior Brass of Hamidashimono in Yoshino, Nara Prefecture. Image by Hamidashimono.

To support the traditional craft and the Yoshino community, a third of all profits from Hamidashimono kits are shared with Kitamura Seihashisho. The forests around Yoshino are very well maintained, and tours can be arranged. Watch below to see the artistic and quiet Yoshino town:…

 

 

For more information Hamidashimono: Website hamidashimono.com – Instagram @hamidashimono_.

Source: Hamidashimono shop — Food Foliage Brighton Instagram page — Hamidashimono #1 information —  Make your own izakaya-grade chopsticks with Hamidashimono.