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New Years Chopstick 2008/11/24 11:11
Seattle
Hello,

I am trying to find a place, either online, or maybe in the Seattle, WA area that carries the fat-in-the-middle chopsticks my Dad uses for New Years. I don't know if it's a traditional Japanese thing, or something my Dad made up, but he looks forward to using them as the new year approaches. They look like they're double ended! Is this kind of item a seasonal thing (so I have to wait until Dec to find them) or is my Dad just strange, and no one wants to stock double-ended chopsticks?

Thanks in advance!
by MysteryPotato  

They're called "iwai-bashi" 2008/11/24 17:50
Here you go.
https://shop.mitsuwa.com/eng/egoods/eindex.php?c=11

They are indeed commonly used in Japan as a New Year's tradtion.

Btw, some locals get the wrong idea that one end of those chopsticks are for eating and the other end is for serving the food, but the truth is that the other end is to be saved for God to eat with you.
by Uco rate this post as useful

serving chopsticks 2008/11/24 20:18
Actually, there's nothing special about such chopsticks. It's not a New Year's tradition. The idea of serving with one end and eating with the other makes sense because Japan likes practical ideas. But within family, you don't have to be so formal.
by Natsuki rate this post as useful

my experience 2008/11/24 22:18
Natsuki's idea is one way to look at it, but we always used iwai-bashi with special New Year designs on the packaging, and although it was usually just my parents and I, we dressed up a bit and had a feast using those chopsticks for the first three days of the year. We felt it was important to start the year with a special feeling, honoring the gods and the fortune they bring. So I do understand how your father feels about it. It's up to you and your family to decide what to use.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Thank You! 2008/11/25 12:14
Thank you so much! This helps a lot. My Dad is getting older now, and I've been finding it rather difficult to keep up his Japanese traditions when my Japanese language skills are so poor!
by MysteryPotato rate this post as useful

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