Japanese Bamboo Spice Vessels, Both Traditional and Modern

This object might baffle Westerners visiting Japan:

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To give you some context, you’d find it in a traditional noodle shop.

It’s an old-school spice vessel, invented prior to blowmolding. They often hold shichimi (a spice blend) and are easily made with local materials. The body is simply a bamboo stalk. The cork is a piece of wood that’s been tapered, and the plug is a smaller piece of bamboo.

Modern versions are machine-made and jointed like woodwork, but still made of bamboo.

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These newer versions obviously require a lot more manufacturing steps, and don’t make sense versus the older version—until you consider that Japan’s economy traditionally prioritized keeping people employed over profit.

The traditional ones are about 4 bucks, the newer ones, $7.

Source: core77

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