For more than 100 years, a town in Nara Prefecture has been using leftover, high-quality cypress wood from the home construction process to create disposable chopsticks. But even in this process there are leftovers: slices of wood called hamidashimono that were simply collected and burned. So a team of designers worked with local craftspeople to upcycle these leftovers to create an izakaya-grade DIY chopsptick set.

All of the Hamidashimono are sourced from the family-owned Kitamura Seihashisho, who operate sustainable forests near Yoshino, Nara in the heart of Japan’s timber country.

Every Hamidashimono is collected, stored and dried as if it were a regular pair of izakaya-grade chopsticks. The team commissioned a custom made cedar storage container and washi strips that can bind the finished pair together. A brass Higonokami whittling knife is included, and the whole kit is bound in a silk-screened, indigo dyed tenugui.

Whittling a single pair of chopsticks good enough for eating takes about fifteen minutes — and is the ideal pre-dinner activity over good conversation and a glass of sake.