At that time, it seems that, rather than the two-piece form they now commonly have, chopsticks were made out of a single piece of bamboo that was bent and cut thin.
Although there are various theories, it is said that the upper portion of the character for chopsticks consists of bamboo, because traditional Japanese chopsticks were made of bamboo.
Given this history of the origin and function of chopsticks, we decided to make THE chopsticks out of bamboo.
While we ordinarily use chopsticks without any special thought, they in fact perform a multitude of functions depending on such things as the shape, size, and the texture of food. These functions include pinching, cutting by pinching, stabbing, dividing, breaking apart, mixing, etc.
Since bamboo tends to be strong and flexible and their tips can be made thin, such functions can be performed without using much strength.
Furthermore, because bamboo can grow to a height of tens of meters in the short span of only three months, it is a natural and renewable resource.
This is another reason why it is a material that can appropriately be called “THE.”
The only problem with bamboo is that, because it absorbs water, mold can easily grow. To overcome this problem, lacquer is applied.
One-by-one, the final coat is carefully applied by brush painting instead of spraying.
Actually, because it has strength, the outer surface of bamboo is used to make chopsticks, and there is a proper left and right direction. When this directionality is properly aligned with the surface facing in front, they are designed so that there is no gap between the pair of chopsticks, and it is easy to handle food items. Regarding this point, we have put a small notch into the surfaces so that the correct direction is easily seen.
Yamachiku Corporation, specializing in bamboo chopsticks in Kumamoto Prefecture, produces the raw bamboo.
Our company uses only hand-cut bamboo, and we cut the bamboo, which tends to vary in thickness, to a uniform thickness. As a company specializing in the production of bamboo chopsticks, we perform all the operations for this, from cutting into shape to finishing off.
The lacquer varnishing is by Shitsurindo, following in the tradition of Echizen lacquerware, which itself has a history dating back more than 1500 years.
This company is located in Kawadamura (Fukui Prefecture) and was founded in 1793 (Kansei 5). Since that time, it has preserved traditional methods and does not use any chemical paints, finishing off each product by hand with brushes.