Chopstick rules in Japan + tips

Chopsticks are something that you will use a lot in Japan!
So you should know how to use them as well as the rules for using them.
1) The right way of holding chopsticks
It can be a little difficult at first.
But once you get used to using chopsticks, it is no problem at all.
So the correct way of holding them looks like this:
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Hold the upper stick with your index finger and thumb and support it with your middle finger (slightly underneath).
The lower stick is stuck between your thumb and hand.
The ring finger is just supporting it, so it doesn't fall down.
When you get comfortable holding them like that, you can start moving them.
Just move the upper stick with your three fingers up and down. The lower one always stays in this position.

2) Rules for using chopsticks
Like I wrote in my last article: there are many rules for chopsticks in Japan:
  1. Never stick your chopsticks into food upright. Especially not in rice. A rice bowl with chopsticks stuck in it is used only for ceremonies when someone died.
  2. Don't pass food from chopsticks to chopsticks. That is considered very unhygienic. So if you want to give an other person some of your food, just take it and put it on their plates.
  3. Don't use chopsticks like a fork. Picking food up by sticking the chopsticks in it is completely wrong. Use them the right way and pick the food up by taking it with both sticks.
  4. Don't play with chopsticks. Although they look nice for playing drums on your plates, it is very childish when you do that.
Those are the most important rules that should be followed when using chopsticks in Japan.
3) Tips and informations
If you want to practice your chopsticks-skills, you can do some exercises.
Like picking up little things or ice cubes. It might be a little challenging but it really helps!

Did you know that kids in Japan use some kind of helping tool when they learn how to use chopsticks?
It looks like this:
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In Kyoto you can get chopsticks with your name on it!
The store it called: Hashi Gallery Mon
You can choose the chopsticks you like and the shopassistant will write your name on them with a special laser machine:
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Chopsticks are a little bit different all around East Asia.
Korean people use often metal chopsticks. Those are more difficult to use...
I hope this article could teach you some things about chopsticks.
Check out my last article for some Do's and Don'ts in Japan.
See you!

Rob W