Part 1 – Chopstick manners
In all the years I have lived here, I have read many articles written by fellow foreigners about manners in Japan. Some of the things I have read do have some truth to them, but some things are a little exaggerated and dated. I have decided to write about the top five things, choosing one topic at a time.
So, without further ado:
Chopsticks AKA – ハシ
Here is a list of things you should not do while using chopsticks! Even now in 2019 many Japanese will stare at you in a restaurant just to see if you can use them correctly or not!! Also, if you are on a date, the Japanese lady will rate you on your chopstick skills and etiquette.
- Don’t play with your chopsticks (ハシ)
- You shouldn’t cross the back end of them while using
- You shouldn’t stab your food with them and leave them standing upright
- You should use a chopstick holder when you place them down
- Never just place them on the table
- Don’t use them as toothpicks!
- Don’t use them like drumsticks!
- Don’t dig around your bowl of food with them
- Don’t drag a bowl or alike towards you by using your chopsticks
- You shouldn’t scoop food from the bowl into your mouth using your chopsticks
- Don’t hold one in on hand and the other in the other hand to “cut” your food. This is VERY BAD!
- Don’t lick your chopsticks
- Don’t use the other end of them to pick up food from a share plate of food.
- If the meal has a lot of juice, don’t let the liquid drip of the end of the chopstick
- Don’t pass food to each other’s chopsticks
- Do not place them on top of your rice bowl while you are in the middle of eating a meal. Use a chopstick holder.
- Don’t suck along the chopstick
- Don’t wave them around while talking or point with them
- Never mix and match chopsticks. For example, one wooden and one plastic or different designs etc.
- Don’t scratch yourself with them!
- Don’t pick food up and put it back if you change your mind
- Don’t touch bits of food while choosing. Choose visually before picking it up
- If you are using the wooden chopsticks that are slightly stuck together at restaurants, do not open them sideways, open them upwards.
- After you eat, place them on the holder or if at a restaurant, you should place them in the wrap they came in.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learnt chopstick etiquette:) you don’t even need to be in Japan to learn this which is a top bonus!
Do you really need to do all these things? Well, yes actually. But if you don’t care how you look in a foreign country ask for a spoon!