How to Use Chopsticks

April 16, 2002

Chopsticks are the most frequently used eating utensils in Japan, though mastering these sometimes slippery sticks can be quite a challenge. Practice makes perfect and what better excuse to enjoy delicious teriyaki, noodles or sushi more often? In addition to the basic technique for successful chopstick use, as illustrated below, there are also some points you should keep in mind when using them. How to use Chopsticks 1.Tuck one chopstick under your thumb and hold it firmly. 2. Now, take the second chopstick and hold it as if it were a pencil. 3. Keep the first chopstick in original position and move the second one up and down. 4. Dig in! Points to remember It is very important not to directly pass food from your chopsticks to somebody else’s chopsticks. The reason this is taboo is that the bones of the dead are passed in that way from person to person in Japanese funeral rituals. When you help yourself to food from large serving dishes, you should use the thick end of your chopsticks, which is clean. In other words, don’t double dip! Etiquette

  • Don’t stick chopsticks vertically into food, especially into a bowl of rice
  • Rest your chopsticks on the chopsticks rest before you pick up a food dish
  • Don’t pick up a dish with the hand that is holding your chopsticks Don’t wave your chopsticks around above food dishes
  • Don’t use your chopsticks to point at somebody Above all ‘dozo o-meshiagari kudasai!’ – enjoy your meal!
    By Sally Schofield Continue to read the SheSaid review of Lonely Planet World Food Japan

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