Tawashi Scrubbing Brush - From Tokyo Fish Market
Despite what it seems like based on the posts here, it wasn't all Disney during my time in Tokyo. Besides the work proper, we also took in a bunch of the local sights and places. One of them was the Tsukiji Market where we spent time in both parts - the inner market where we wandered around amongst fork lifts and workers and the outer market where they sell more retail items from food to household products. And that's where I came across this Tawashi Scrubbing Brush. It is billed as being "made by Traditional Craftsman of Japan" and as you can see, they even list the guy's name: Shinichi Sagara. It seemed like a nice, unique item to bring home that wouldn't sit on a shelf, but that we'd actually use.
You can find these online like in this Japanese Restaurant supply shop where they describe their own version of the product thusly:
This biodegradable, all-natural scrubbing brush has been around in Japanese households for over 100 years and is made from hemp palm fiber. Each brush is carefully tied and finished by hand. Indispensable in the kitchen, this brush is hard, durable and waterproof, ideal for scrubbing pots (especially cast iron) and tackling the toughest grime in your kitchen and bathroom. It comes with a metal hook so you can hang it up to dry. "Kame" means turtle in Japanese and this name was given to this tool because of its long life span and similarity in appearance.I also came across this cute story that talks through the 'story of Kamenoko Tawashi'. Full .pdf here, but I've pasted a screenshot below.