You probably know that the Japanese usually use chopsticks for eating. Because of that, Japanese people always appreciate those who can use them properly.
Here are some tips on how to use chopsticks properly.
First of all, you must hold your chopsticks towards their end, not in the middle or the front third.
When you are not using your chopsticks, or have finished eating, lay them down in front of you with the tips turned left. Please do not stick your chopsticks in the rice. This manner is inappropriate at Japan. This is only done at funerals with the rice that is put onto the altar.
The most prohibited thing to do when you use your chopsticks is to pass food directly from your set of chopsticks to another’s. Please mind this, because this is a funeral tradition that involves the bones of cremated body. This manner is considered extremely terrible in Japan. If you want to pass food to your friends, please put it into a plate, and then pass it to them.
The other things that you should avoid when you are using chopsticks:
- Do not spear food with your chopsticks.
- Do not point with your chopsticks.
- Do not wave your chopsticks around in the air or play with them.
- Do not move plates or bowls around with your chopsticks.
For the better experiences, as you are separating a piece of food into two, exert controlled pressure on the chopsticks while moving them apart from each other in order to tear the food. This takes some practice. With larger pieces of food such as tempura, it is also acceptable to pick up the entire piece with your chopsticks, and take a bite.
If you have already eaten with your chopsticks, use the opposite end to take food from a shared plate.
These are some of the most basic rules to follow!