50
4
16

楊枝

Picks

Nihonbashi Saruya is the only specialty store in Japan for yoji (Japanese picks). Established about 300 years ago, it has continuously supplied picks to Japanese people since the Edo era.

In Japan, mass-produced picks made of Japanese white birch are the most popular. However, long ago, picks were made from many different types of trees, including willow, white willow, and deutzia. Saruya picks are made from kuromoji tree wood, which is prized for its flexibility and aromatic scent. Even now, craftsmen hand-carve these picks, one by one.

The store master, Ryota Yamamoto, explains, “Many fans just refer to these picks as kuromoji rather than kuromoji yoji. There’s an attractive quality about kuromoji that can’t be found in any other kind of yoji.

“Let me tell you this,” he continues. “Here’s why we pay so much attention to a small detail like a pick. We believe it shows the spirit of iki.”

Iki is an aesthetic ideal of Japanese commoners regarding what’s chic, cool, and sophisticated in fashion and attitude. While inexpensive, convenient mass-produced yoji may be “good enough” for use, people continue to value cool details. Saruya picks play a role in passing on the iki legacy of style.

However, Nihonbashi Saruya doesn’t just stick to traditional values. This store develops new products while paying scrupulous attention to packaging. Kuromoji picks are used by premier restaurants and are also popular gifts. For example, Samurai Yoji picks may intrigue international visitors. The wrappers display short Edo era samurai expressions in Japanese like Matarei (“Please wait!”) and Korenite gomen (“Goodbye now!”) with English translations. These picks are inexpensive, and they make ideal gifts.

Nihonbashi Saruya
http://www.nihonbashi-saruya.co.jp/

Packaging for picks. From left, Sanbaso (offers congratulations for a good grain harvest), Ooiri (celebrates success in drawing many visitors), Kumadori (a type of kabuki makeup), and Kin-senryo (means both “million dollars” or “big success”). All of these good wishes represent traditional Japanese culture (noh, kabuki, and their performers).

Samurai yoji (picks). 950 yen for 40 kuromoji picks (excluding tax).

Yoji in decorative Japanese wrappers attract attention.

Daruma
達磨
Nishikigoi
錦鯉
Nambu ironware
南部鉄器
Kimono
着物
Decorate anything
デコる
Itsukushima Shrine
厳島神社
Karaoke
カラオケ
Chopsticks
Edo kiriko
江戸切子
Harajuku girl
原宿ガール
Meiji Shrine
明治神宮
Monja
もんじゃ
Mango
マンゴー
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
美ら海水族館
Resort beaches
リゾートビーチ
Steakhouse
ステーキハウス
Korea
Hakuohki / Adekan
Japan
Suite PreCure
Mexico
Street Fighter 4
Germany
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
Cute community character promotes local charms.
I want to create awesome kawaii nail art.
Toybox kawaii shop shows people power.
Machiya bars
京町家の夜
Yokai Costume Parade
百鬼夜行
Ikkyu-ji Natto
一休寺納豆
Moon watching
観月の夕べ
GAME BAR
a gathering spot for grownups where old games are available
NEXT GENERATION
TOYOTA x STUDIO4°C collaboration begins a new PES Project called “Next Generation”
AKIRA BIKE
enthusiasts create a dream machine from the world of Otomo’s AKIRA
ANIME PILGRIMAGE
a quest to visit locations relating to stories and characters
SUSHI
寿司
RICE VINEGAR
お酢
RICE CAKES
KAISEKI
懐石
KOHEI NAWA
TAKU OBATA
Nerhol
TABAIMO
MENBURYU
SANJA MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
SADO
茶道
SHODO
書道
KENDO
剣道
JUDO
柔道
EDOKIRIKO
江戸切子職人
KACCHU-SHI
甲冑師
FOOD MODEL CRAFTSMAN
食品サンプル職人
SENSHOKU-KA
染織家