Posted by: softypapa | February 7, 2008

Japanese Chopsticks Holder Koma Spinning Top Hashi Oki

Japanese Chopsticks Holder Koma Spinning Top Hashi Oki Hashioki Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Japanese Chopsticks Holder Koma Spinning Top Hashi Oki Hashioki Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Japanese Chopsticks Holder Koma Spinning Top Hashi Oki Hashioki Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Japanese Chopsticks Holder Koma Spinning Top Hashi Oki Hashioki Japan Tokaido Softypapa

Japanese Chopsticks Holder Koma Spinning Top Hashi Oki Hashioki Japan Tokaido Softypapa 


Japanese table etiquette prescribes many rules (see list below) for the proper use of chopsticks or hashi as they are called in Japanese.  One of the most important rules is that the eating ends of the hashi should never be allowed to touch the table.  Accordingly, the Japanese have developed a wide range of beautiful and interesting chopstick holders called hashi oki, which are designed to elevate the ends of the chopsticks above the table when not in use.

About the Listed Item

This brand new chopsticks holder takes the shape of a Japanese toy spinning top (koma) with special indentations on the underside which allow the top to stay put when resting on a table.  The top is finished with red and black lacquer.  In addition to being a useful tabletop dining accessory this koma also spins beautifully!

Height: 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters)
Length: 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters)
Weight: 0.3 ounces (8 grams)

Click here to see more chopsticks holders!
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

Japanese Chopstick Etiquite

Chopsticks are called hashi in Japanese and the following is an informal list of rules and suggestions for proper Japanese hashi use.  Many of these rules have their origin in religious belief and are taken seriously by most Japanese.  Though few would actually say anything to a foreign rule-breaker, most Japanese find the following actions a bit difficult to witness.

The Rules:

  1. Never let the business end of your chopsticks touch the table top.
  2. Don’t wave the chopsticks or use them to hover over food while deciding which morsel to pick up.
  3. Avoid food dripping or falling from your chopsticks.
  4. Do not spear food with your chopsticks.
  5. Don’t suck on the ends of chopsticks or close your mouth completely around them.
  6. Speakers at formal meals should never tap their chopsticks against tableware in order to gain the attention of others.
  7. Never exchange food via chopsticks.  Always place shared items on a plate and pass the plate to the intended recipient.
  8. And by all means NEVER stick your chopsticks into your rice bowl and leave the chopsticks standing on their own!  This particular rule stems from the Japanese funeral and memorial practice of using a bowl of rice with chopsticks stuck in the top as an offering to the spirits of the dead.  I’ve personally experienced the lightning fast reflexes of an otherwise gentle and demure Japanese mother who quickly snatched my hashi from my rice bowl after my first (and only) experience violating this rule.

Disposable Chopsticks and Improvised Chopstick Holders:

While the Japanese enjoy using beautifully designed and decorated reusable chopsticks at home, diners at Japanese restaurants (even very expensive restaurants) will likely be given a pair of cheap disposable wooden chopsticks to use with their meal.  The disposable chopsticks consist of a single piece of wood which is split up the middle.  The restaurant diner makes use of these by first removing the paper cover and then pulling the sticks apart to separate them.  Some people then brush the eating ends together several times in order to remove any small splinters or rough edges which may remain.  When dining with Japanese people please keep in mind the rules noted above and follow the lead of your hosts.  When you wish to rest your chopsticks be sure to use a chopstick holder (hashi oki) or, if no holder is available, you can rest your chopsticks on the lip of any large plate or bowl.  Surprisingly, most Japanese restaurants do not provide any hashi oki for their customers, and many Japanese are therefore adept at making their own from the paper which covered their disposable wooden chopsticks.  Reminiscent of the unique Japanese paper-folding craft called origami, folded paper hashi oki are a utilitarian wonder of inspired necessity, crafted with care by people who take their mealtime etiquite seriously and who are able to preserve propriety through creative ingenuity. When dining with Japanese people keep an eye open at the start of the meal and you just may witness someone engaged in the skilled act of making their own paper hashi oki.  If you ask, I’m sure that they would be delighted to teach you to do the same…

More photos below!

item code: R2S5-0003878
category code: L1650



  1. I recived a set of thes holders a few months back from my step father who works for a moving and storage company and in the box he gave me is a set of 5 of these holders. colored black with one gold ring on top and a smaller slimer red ring inside of it. My question is how much are thes holders worth?

    • Hello Heidi, It’s hard to estimate the value of your chopsticks holders. However, unless your holders are very old or very special they are probably not worth too much as such items are fairly common (at least in Asia) and priced rather low. I hope that this helps a little. I’m sorry that I do not have any better information for you. -Kurt 🙂

      Learn more about Japan at
      Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

  2. […] japanese chopsticks holder […]

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