J a p a n e s e    C u l t u r e

Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The Japanese Wooden Spoon

The Japanese Wooden Spoon
The object above top is a Japanese scrubbing brush (kame no ko tawashi™, turtle child bundle, or tawashi for short) . Tawashi are used especially for scrubbing wooden vessels such as barrels, that might otherwise be damaged by more aggressive scrubbing techniques. It is almost completely organic being made of hemp palm threaded into a twisted loop of wire. Most Japanese households have one somewhere.

Tawashi are given as consolation or booby prizes (at least in the popular long-running Asahi Television program "Welcome Newly-weds,"新婚さんいらっしゃい) in the same manner as wooden spoons are given to losers in the UK.

Both the tawashi and the wooden spoon  are the almost useless item, that everyone almost wants. A tawashi is the sort of item that, like a wooden spoon, one wants but one has, and there is little use in having more than one at home.

In accordance with the Nacalian theory presented by this blog, I suggest that that the wooden spoon is phallic whereas the tawashi may be yonic, and thus each may represent: the hidden but ubiquitous, wanted and yet unwanted, ambivalent part of Western and Japanese culture.

Look at the tawashi and the wooden spoon and tell me I am wrong.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.