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Decorative Wrappers from Disposable Chopsticks (Waribashi)

Updated 1999-09-27

A few examples of "Waribashi" - the Japanese word for disposable chopsticks ("Hashi") - they are made of wood or bamboo, attached at the end. You break them apart immediately prior to use. These shown here are both Chinese and Japanese. The first three from the left are more decorative, and wrapped in more ornate folded papers appropriate for gift-giving. The rightmost ones are all made in China, but you're likely to find them in both Chinese and Japanese restaurants.

I am frequently amused by the poor English translations that sometimes appear on waribashi wrappers (not to mention instruction booklets for many consumer goods manufactured overseas). For instance, here's one actual waribashi quote:

"Welcome to Chinese Restaurant.
Please try your Nice Chinese Food with chopsticks
the traditional and typical of Chinese glonous history and cultual."

[PHOTO YET TO BE POSTED]
Kirin Ichiban Advertisement Waribashi

[waribashi19990923 - 1999/09/23] Description: This is an unopened set in mint condition. The wrapper is similar to the way disposable straws are packaged (sealed at both ends), but wider and flatter. Printing is in red and yellow, with instructions on the back (copyright dated 1996). These are made in South Korea, probably for use in the United States. Source: Sunnyvale, California.

 



Cathay Pacific Airlines "Learner" Chopsticks

[cstix19981218a - 1998/12/18] Material: Plastic. Description: Round, ivory-color plastic with the airline logo in red. They can be used as normal chopsticks that taper to a blunt tip. The mismatched pair are also somewhat dual-function, with a vestigial knife and fork molded into the opposite end. Length: 27 cm. Origin: Manufactured in Hong Kong. Source: Phoenix, AZ 85044.

Text on the reverse of the cardboard wrapper suggest that "these Cathay Pacific Learner Chopsticks have a built-in 'safety' device that lets you gain experience without losing too much weight!"

Step 4 of the illustrated "How-to" instructions is "If you really think you've given it a fair shot, and failed, turn the chopsticks around to the 'Western end' and enjoy your meal anyway." (Personally, I think this would be more difficult than Western cutlery).

Also, the advisory: "Caution: not recommended for soup" (No... really?).


Northwest Airlines Waribashi with matching napkin.

[cstix19981211 - 1998/12/11] Source: St. Louis Park, MN.


Custom Imprinted Melamine (Plastic) Chopsticks

[cstix19981212 - 1998/12/12] Materials: Melamine resin (a type of Plastic). Description: Square and gently tapered, ivory color and texture. Imprinted in blue ink. Red paper wrapper. Nationality: Chinese style. Length: 27.5 cm. Source: Made in California, USA.

Creator Norman Sperling (nsperling@global.california.com) sent me this sample pair of chopsticks, part of an innovative advertising campaign for Blue Shield of California. Sperling, an Oakland, California inventor and astronomy teacher, came up with the idea for these trade show "giveaways" - a popular alternative to ho-hum pens and key chain flashlights. As part of a marketing effort toward the Asian community, 15,000 of the unique and practical promotional items were distributed during the 1998 Chinese New Year celebration in San Francisco, California.


Waribashi and Wrapper from "Vong" restaurant, Manhattan, NYC

[waribashi19980220a - 1998/02/20]. Gift from fellow chopstick collector, Amber Dorko-Stopper.


Embossed with Gold Waribashi Wrapper

[waribashisf001 - 1998/08/29] Description: Folded paper with orange color in lining. Embossed with Japanese characters in gold and with uncolored floral design. Length: 30 cm. Nationality: Japanese (Made in Japan). Source: San Francisco, CA.


McDonalds Restaurant Waribashi

[waribashi19980601 - 1998/06/01] Description: This is an unopened set in mint condition. The wrapper is similar to the way disposable straws are packaged (sealed at both ends), but wider and flatter. Printing is in red and yellow, with instructions on the back (copyright dated 1996). These are made in South Korea, probably for use in the United States. Source: Sunnyvale, California.



Snackers™

[cstix025 - 1998/08/05] Here's an innovative 'chopstick' device! - A modern waribashi (disposable) pair of tweezer-like chopsticks, great for hashi-impaired users on the go. Material: Birch Wood 'popsicle™' type sticks or 'tongue depressors' Description: Two flat, sanded pieces of wood similarly drilled with a notch and tab to fit each other. Just poke one's tab through the other's notch and viola... instant tweezer-chopsticks! Dimensions: 15 x 1.5 cm. Source: I didn't find these in a store... yet. They are mostly being marketed to the foodservice industry (caterers, etc.). I found them on the internet at http://www.norwood.dk/snackinfo.html. Snackers were developed by Ascco UK, LTD. (Much thanks to CEO Stuart Aiken for the samples!) and are made in Denmark and France by Norwood A/S (manufacturer of sticks for ice cream treats) and marketed by by Klik, Inc. Ltd., who I'm told will be coming out with a new product soon, called "Kliksticks."


Snacksticks™

[cstix20000520d - 20000520] A simple idea, yes, but always with a look toward innovation. Klik has created a new line of chopsticks-like utensils. Similar to the original Snackers,™ Snacksticks have an added 'tapered' feature, which makes them not only somewhat more attractive, but also more precise in use.

*** Check out this Links page for other Waribashi Collectors' pages! ***

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