おてもと

I love it when my friends share interesting information about Japanese with me. There are not many places in India where one can come across Japan related items. And so, when one does happen to see them it is imperative that he/she share it with friends.

Here is one that a student sent me last week ー

WhatsApp Image 2016-10-21 at 9.25.33 PM.jpeg
Otemoto

Courtesy – Namratha-san

 

I had thought that the Japanese word for chopsticks was 箸(hashi) and was quite excited about the prospect of learning another one. But after doing some preliminary research, I learnt that おてもと referred to 割り箸 (Waribashi) or splittable wooden chopsticks. Often found written on the paper wrapper of chopsticks used in high class restaurants, the word is usually used by service providers in the humble language.

Apparently てもと originated within the imperial court and was used by the women working there. It served the purpose of elevating the standard of the language and to differentiate it from that of the commoners.

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