Warinuri is a set of disposasble waribashi chopsticks painted with traditional urushi lacquer

The waribashi found itself in Japan during the Edo period in the 1800s and were usually made from leftover cedar scraps. However, today almost 90% of waribashi are imported from China and made from timber imported from Mongolia or Russia. Japan uses and disposes about 25 billion pairs per year, contributing significantly to global waste.

On the other hand, we have the luxury status of kanshitsu objects painted with urushi lacquer, a painstaking technique involving several steps of lacquering, sanding and polishing, giving the final objects a remarkable shine and deep, full colors.

Noticing the discrepancy between the fast paced consumerism and the presence of cultural traditions during my stay in Takaoka, I set out to create a set of waribashi painted in urushi, elevating its status from a disposable utility to a luxury object, reflecting both the mix of modern and traditional as well as the idea of recycling and enviromentalism. The “split”, which is unique for every pair, is decorated with shibonuri (using protein) and ishimenuri (using wood charcoal) techniques to make them stand out. It is said, that the act of splitting a pair of waribashi embodies the consciousness decision and will to start something.