Chopsticks are used in many parts of the world and have become common utensils across the globe, especially in Asia. China, Japan, and Korea are the most popular nations in Asia to use chopsticks with their foods. In ancient times, chopsticks were made from trees and bamboo. They were originally from China. They began to spread to Japan and Korea by 500 A.D. One of the common questions was asked – Why do Japanese use chopsticks, not fork or spoon utensils, when they eat? This is because Japan takes chopsticks seriously.

When you are visiting Japan, you could easily find chopsticks in many places, such as restaurants, convenience stores, and food stalls. Eating with chopsticks is an art, and it takes a lot of energy and time to learn it. Many westerners are not aware of the golden rules of using chopsticks when they are dining with Japanese people. Of course, Japanese understand the fact that you are a foreigner and forgive you if you make mistakes. However, knowing a little about the art of chopsticks and the local manner really helps you in making friends, doing business with the locals, and being a good guest. If you do that, Japanese really show their appreciation to you.

Eggbun believes you have probably used chopsticks at some point in your life or thought about learning more about the art of chopsticks. So, today, Eggbun wants to share some information with you, because Eggbun thinks not many foreigners will use chopsticks correctly or understand the Japanese chopstick etiquette when they are dining with their Japanese friends.

Firstly, Eggbun is going to show you the step-by-step guides to holding a chopstick correctly.

1.  Traditionally, you should use the right hand to hold the chopstick, even if you are left-handed.

2.  Take your right hand out as if you are going to shake someone’s hand.

3.  Rest one chopstick in between the thumb and the index finger. 

Remember to hold close to the dip of the chopstick

4.  Grip it steadily and bend your ring finger and pinky to rest the middle part of the chopstick on it, then add the second chopstick.

5.  Hold the second chopstick like you are holding a pen and grip it steadily. Put your middle finger under the second chopstick.

6.  Keep the first chopstick on the thumb still, but move the second chopstick with your index and middle finger up and down to grip food.

Great! You have learned how to hold the chopsticks, and it is time to learn some phrases.

  • 箸 (はし) [hashi]: chopstick
  • 手 (て) [te]: hand
  • 右手 (みぎて) [migite]: right hand
  • 左手 (ひだりて) [hidarite]: left hand
  • レストラン [resutoran]: restaurant
  • コンビニ [konbini] : convenience store
  • 屋台 (やたい) [yatai]: food stalls

Are you planning to go to Japan soon? Make sure you have learned some useful phrases before you head to Japan. 

Since you have learned how to hold the chopsticks, you might be interested to know more Japanese culture. 

Follow Eggbun and chat with your AI tutor Lanny to learn Japanese!


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