This portable hashi setto, or chopsticks and utensil set, includes a red plastic case with a design featuring Hello Kitty drinking from a yellow tea set on the cover. The case contains a stainless steel fork and spoon with red plastic handles decorated with Hello Kitty, a clock, a rocking horse, a block, and a giraffe. Also included in the case are two white o-hashi (chopsticks) with a red Hello Kitty figure at the top. The words "Hello Kitty" are printed in multicolored letters beneath the red figure on each chopstick.
This set is more elaborate than the typical hashi setto. Small children take a hashi setto to school with their lunches, though it can also be used at home. Including a fork and spoon in the set indicates how eating has evolved in Japan to include Western utensils and perhaps Western-influenced components to the meal.
Hello Kitty, called Kitty-chan in Japan, is a fictional, cartoon cat character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio. She is a white bobtail cat who has a distinctive pink or red bow. Kitty-chan first appeared on a vinyl coin purse in Japan in 1974; she first appeared in the United States in 1976. Hello Kitty is emblematic of the kawaii ("cute") section of Japanese pop culture. She is now an international phenomenon appearing on school supplies, fashion accessories, TV shows, high-end consumer products, and even at theme parks.