How to Use Chopsticks in Japan

Learn Before Using! 10 Chopsticks Taboos in Japan

Chopsticks are a common eating utensil in many Asian countries and very important for Japanese food culture. Yes, it’s 21st century and many Japanese eat foreign food with knives and forks but still most of Japanese restaurants only serve dishes with chopsticks, especially noodles, sushi, tempura, sukiyaki and so on.

Most of foreign visitors to Japan are impressively good at using chopsticks after trying for few times. But do you actually know how to use them correctly? Did you know there is a number of etiquettes for use of chopsticks?? It’s much better if you know basic manners of how to use chopsticks not to be embarrassed by doing chopsticks taboos in public. In this article, I’m introducing how to use chopsticks correctly and some of chopstick taboos.

Let’s learn more about Japanese chopsticks culture and be a chopsticks master!!

-How to Hold Chopsticks Correctly

This is the correct way to hold chopsticks and it could matter to Japanese people. Sometimes if they don’t hold them in right way, others may think that you are not so well-mannered person as Japanese.. But if you are a foreigner and hold them correctly, Japanese people will be very impressed and applaud you!!

Now, I’m introducing some of don’ts of chopsticks in Japan!

-10 Chopsticks Taboos

1. Sashi Bashi/刺し箸 (1)

Do not stub food with your chopsticks instead of picking it up in a right way.

2. Tate Bashi/立て箸

Do not stick up your chopsticks in your rice. This gesture is same as during funeral when people set up incense for dead people.

3. Kuwae Bashi/くわえ箸

Do not hold your chopsticks in your mouth.

4. Nigiri Bashi/握り箸

Do not use your chopsticks by grabbing them.

5. Hashi Watshi/箸渡し

Do not pass food to other person from chopsticks to chopsticks.

6. Neburi Bashi/舐り箸

Do not lick chopsticks.

7. Tataki Bashi/叩き箸

Do not tap your chopsticks on the table or dishes as drumming.

8. Sashi Bashi/指し箸 (2)

I introduced Sashi Bashi before, but it has two different meanings (they are actually written in different Kanji letters). This time, it means “Do not point at someone by chopsticks”.

9. Yose bashi/寄せ箸

Do not pull a dish by your chopsticks.

10. Saguri Bashi/探り箸

Do not use your chopsticks for searching a particular item in your food.

Are you good to go with chopsticks now? Show off your chopstick skill and manner! And tell your friends if they use them in wrong way!

If you are keen on learning more Japanese culture and etiquette, then you may enjoy these stories listed below!

▽ Related Articles ▽

▼ Editor’s Picks ▼

Written by

"The world is my oyster" A globetrotter 🌎 and hammock lover 🌞 who loves taking adventures to fuel wanderlust. Born and raised in Japan, I have lived and explored countries around the world. As a resident of Japan and based on my travel experience, I'd love to share my knowledge and tips for travelling Japan with my readers. I hope my story will help you plan your trip and have a great time in Japan 🌈