Chopstick manners

Knowing how to use chopsticks is just part of dining properly while eating in Japan, however it is a big part of it. Having proper manners and etiquette is also very important. Here are some quick things to remember about chopsticks in Japan. 

Don’t leave them in the food – Never stick your chopsticks into rice (or other foods) and leave them like that as this is a custom that is done at traditional Japanese funerals. Plus it’s just rude so don’t do it. 

Don’t stab things – If you can’t use chopsticks, use a fork instead, there is no shame if you can’t master them but just don’t stab the food with your chop sticks. It is again considered rude and just foolish looking doing it. You aren’t a child and the food is not a play toy, so just avoid this. 

Don’t pass food – Like leaving the chopsticks in a bowl of rice, passing food between chopsticks is a no-no and is something that resembles a ritual that is done at traditional funerals (passing bones from chopstick to chopstick). Just pass the bowl to each other if you want to share food with another person. 

Don’t point – Mom always said it’s rude to point at someone, the same is true with chopsticks, so don’t do it. 

Don’t move plates – Again, just use your hands to pass a bowl or plate to another person if you are sharing food. If you shouldn’t share items from chopstick to chopstick, then you probably drag a plate or a bowl with your chopsticks across the table.  

Don’t rub them together – People often like to rub chopsticks, especially if they are the disposable wood ones to get off some of the pieces of wood on the sides, don’t do it. It is considered rude behavior and often may be seen as insulting to the restaurant owner as you are mocking their chopsticks. So just avoid this, set them down, and wait for your food.

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