But Japanese toothpicks are sharp at only one end. The other end is rounded like the finial at the bottom of a staircase. A Japanese person told me you are supposed to break off the rounded end and lay it on the table and use it as a rest for the sharp end, just like a "hashi-oki" or chopsticks rest. This represents the Japanese attention to detail. In America, being able to use a toothpick twice is more useful. But for the Japanese, aesthetics and design are sometimes more important, even something as mundane as a toothpick can be made more beautiful.