51
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.

Hasamiyaki ceramics
波佐見焼
ANREALAGE
アンリアレイジ
SIRI SIRI
SIRISIRI
Candycrafts
あめ細工
Gyudon(beef-on-rice bowl)
牛丼
Kaminari-mon
雷門
Ramen (Japanese soup noodles)
ラーメン
Mt. Fuji
富士山
Architecture Street
建築ストリート
Edomae Zushi
江戸前寿司
Edo kiriko
江戸切子
Gundam 1/1
ガンダム1/1
Mangroves
マングローブ
Resort beaches
リゾートビーチ
International Avenue
国際通り
Umi-budoh
海ぶどう
Japan
Neon Genesis EVANGELION
Netherland
Odin Sphere
Japan
Kinnikuman
Italy
Sengoku Muso
Natural kawaii with new balance for future fashion.
“Twintail” — simple dream-come-true magic for change.
I want to create awesome kawaii nail art.
Harajuku girl leads next-generation kawaii.
Moon watching
観月の夕べ
Ippon udon
一本饂飩
Fushimi Inari Taisha
伏見稲荷大社
Kyoto Proverbs
TOTTORI YOKAI ROAD
where yokais and humans live together
KOBE TETSUJIN 28-GO
mega-size robot who saves the peace in Kobe city
NEXT GENERATION
TOYOTA x STUDIO4°C collaboration begins a new PES Project called “Next Generation”
OSAMU TEZUKA
creator of Japan’s manga and anime cultures
ODEN
おでん
KAISEKI
懐石
WHISKY
ウイスキー
TEMPURA
天婦羅
YAYOI KUSAMA
TABAIMO
KOHEI NAWA
MANABU IKEDA
SANJA MATSURI
NIIHAMA TAIKO MATSURI
NACHI-NO-OGI MATSURI
NEBUTA MATSURI
KARATEDO
空手
SADO
茶道
SHODO
書道
NOH
KATANA-KAJI
刀鍛冶
FOOD MODEL CRAFTSMAN
食品サンプル職人
SUMI-SHOKUNIN
墨職人
EDOKIRIKO
江戸切子職人
e-Sports
e-Sports
SHOGI
SHOGI
GAME CENTER
GAME CENTER
SPACE INVADERS
SPACE INVADERS