The Cultural Exchange's first event of the year was a fun Japanese chopstick-making workshop facilitated by Debra S and led by a skilled chopstick craftperson from Niigata, Japan, Mrs. Kayoko Takashima, and Mr. Mamoru Kaihou of Hashitou, Honten, a well known chopstick shop in Tokyo.
It was held at Itedaki Gastropub restaurant in Boston. The members enjoyed a delightful bento box lunch while learning about the history, importance and etiquette of using chopsticks. After lunch, everyone had a hands-on experience making their own personal set of chopsticks using all natural materials--aromatic cedar wood, oak leaves and walnut oil.
We were encouraged to select the two pieces of cedar wood that "called" to us, to "feel" the process and work slowly as we shaved the wood down into the right shape and then sanded and polished them into finished chopsticks. It was a very Zen experience.