Kattobase! Kattobase! Kattobase!
That’s what you might hear at a Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) match in Japan. It’s equivalent to screaming, “Get a big hit!”
Hashi, on the other hand, refers to good old-fashioned chopsticks. You’d likely find some at an oriental restaurant or food store.
What you won’t find anywhere else other than Japan are Kattobashi (Kattobase + Hashi) chopsticks, which are chopsticks that have been pieced together from recycled baseball bats.
Each year thousands of baseball bats are broken and then thrown away by professional NPB players. Japan’s top chopsticks producer, Hyozaemon Corporation, has taken advantage of this by recycling all the discarded wood and turning it into batches of chopsticks.
Each kattobashi chopstick features the name, logo and color of a specific NPB team. They’re especially attractive to baseball fans that might seek to collect a few pairs for each team they favor.
Unlike conventional chopsticks, however, kattobashi chopsticks are meant to be reused over and over. It makes sense considering that an NPB fan is likely to opt for their own pair of kattobashi chopsticks when they dine, rather than using the disposable wooden chopsticks offered by most restaurants.
Kattobashi chopsticks are therefore both environmentally friendly and baseball friendly. They’ve been on sale since 2003, but are just now swinging their way to popularity.