Chopsticks!! Not by Euphemia Allen…

An assortment of Chopsticks
An assortment of Chopsticks

Anyone who has ever been to an asian restaurant (ever) has encountered chopsticks (or in Japanese はし- pronounced hashi – ha-shee). I’m not referring the piano music composed by Euphemia Allen but the actual food utensils used in Asian culture. You know like from The Karate Kid.

Famous scene from The Karate Kid.
Chopstick scene from The Karate Kid.

Only I’m not referring to catching flies. In fact, I’d like to go over some chopstick etiquette.

Maybe that wasn’t the best example but I love finding videos where people are having fun with formal topics.

The proper usage of chopsticks (hashi) is the most important table etiquette in Japan. Chopsticks are never left sticking vertically into rice, as this resembles incense sticks (which are usually placed vertically in sand) during offerings to the dead. This may easily offend some Japanese people. Using chopsticks to spear food or to point is also frowned upon and it is considered very bad manners to bite chopsticks. Other important chopsticks rules to remember include the following:

  • Hold your chopsticks towards their end, and not in the middle or the front third.
  • When you are not using your chopsticks and when you are finished eating, lay them down in front of you with the tip to left.
  • Do not pass food with your chopsticks directly to somebody else’s chopsticks. Only at funerals are the bones of the cremated body given in that way from person to person.
  • Do not move your chopsticks around in the air too much, nor play with them.
  • Do not move around plates or bowls with chopsticks.
  • To separate a piece of food into two pieces, exert controlled pressure on the chopsticks while moving them apart from each other. – Wikipedia

Howcast might be a little more straight forward with their explanation from their series on sushi lessons.

Okay if you really want hear Chopsticks, check out this classic clip from Sesame Street:

Enjoy your day, thanks for reading!

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Author: hikikomori78

American Hikikomori is an upcoming short film that explores the emotional struggles of a Japanese teenager named Isamu Fujihara, when he moves to America.

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