Chopsticks manner in Japan


In my country, kids are taught to use chopsticks at the age of 5 or 6. It is expected that primary school aged kids are able to use chopsticks for every type of food, including rice.


I think the main reason is because we have many noodles and rice noodles dishes in Vietnam, so if you don’t know how to use chopsticks, it’s quite difficult to eat outside as you might make a mess using a spoon only. Many restaurants, especially small ones, don’t have forks even if you ask for one.

Similarly in Japan, chopsticks are widely used. All Japanese-style food are served with chopsticks. Japanese people even use chopsticks for their soup (or rather just drink it). However, there are far more manners when using chopsticks in Japan than my country. Let’s have a look at some taboos!


While eating

One simple rule, don’t use your chopsticks to do anything else other than pick up and put food into your mouth.

Holding chopsticks correctly

Don’t grip chopsticks or hold one in each hand

Using chopsticks in a correct manner

Don’t stick chopsticks straight up in the rice bowl as it is considered rice for the one who has passed away.

Don’t shake (furiage-bashi), or rub (kosuri-bashi) chopsticks,

Don’t tear food with chopsticks (chigiri-bashi),

Don’t move the plates/ bowls around using chopsticks (yose-bashi),

Don’t browse the food with chopsticks (mayoi-bashi),

Don’t point chopsticks at others

Don’t stab the food using chopsticks even if it is slippery, never stick the chopsticks into the food (sashi-bashi)

Don’t lick (neburi-bashi) or eat things that stuck on your chopstick straight from the chopsticks (mogi-bashi)


When finish

Make use of chopsticks holder if available


Don’t cross chopsticks over a plate/ bowl, instead, rest them on the edge of the dish if the holder isn’t given.




Have you ever experienced difficulty while using chopsticks?




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