Monday, January 08, 2018


If you've ever eaten o-sechi or foods during the New Year season in Japan, you may have noticed these fancy chopsticks called Iwaibashi (literally celebratory chopsticks).

The chopsticks are pointed on both ends and wrapped with decorative red and white paper.

Apparently the chopsticsks are bleached white.

The reason these chopsticks are pointed on both ends is that it is thought you are sharing your meal with the Gods.

I know some people like to flip their chopsticks to the opposite side to take food, but when using these, you aren't allowed to--It is thought to be rude because you are using the Gods' side of the chopsticks.

So try to remember to only use the side you ate with.

Also these chopsticks are already separated because the Japanese feel that it is bad luck to "break/split" the chopsticks during an auspicious time.

We use these chopsticks from January 1st (washing them between meals) until January 7th.

Have a nice week!


Rowena said...

very interesting cultural note on these chopsticks and I honestly never knew the thing about flipping chopsticks to take food.

jalna said...

Interesting!! I wonder who makes up all these rules. Seems like always gotta have rules.

Anonymous said...

Learn so much from your posts. Thank you! I also noticed in another picture of sekihan, there are also chestnuts. Did you make it, and if so, do you just put the chestnuts in with the rice and beans when you cook it? Hahaha, more of my favorite Japanese foods....sekihan and actually the roasted (Korean?)chestnuts that are sold in the markets and festivals.
I had bought okowa on my last trip and loved it. I guess they were more preserved because there were 3 different little squares, sekihan, chestnut rice and some type of mixed rice that was delish! I hope to find more in February.

K and S said...

apparently you can use the other side when using regular chopsticks, Rowena, just not with these special ones.

all kinds of rules Jalna, sometimes too many!

V, that sekihan I got from my MIL, it is an "instant" type, just put the rice, beans and a special water in then cook. This particular one had chestnuts in it too.

Take care everyone.

KirkK said...

I recall something about this I was taught waaaay back.......nice to read about things that jog my memory.

K and S said...

at least you were taught this Kirk, for me it was nice to learn something new :)

Take care!