Japanese Culture

Manners of Chopsticks(お箸のマナー)

Japan is famous worldwide for its chopstick culture.
Our neighboring country, Korea, also uses chopsticks, and even China uses chopsticks.

However, just as each country has its own culture, Japan’s chopstick culture is also unique and different from other countries.
Although there are similarities among Asian countries, Japan has its own unique culture.

If you are thinking, “I am going to Japan and want to know how to use chopsticks?

If you are planning to visit Japan and want to know how to use chopsticks, here is a simple and easy-to-understand guide!


Unlike the metal chopsticks used in Korea, most chopsticks used in Japan are made of wood.
In restaurants, disposable chopsticks are sometimes used.

How to hold chopsticks

1. Hold the bottom chopsticks between the base of your thumb.
2. Hold the upper chopsticks with three fingers.
3. When moving the chopsticks, fix the lower chopsticks and move only the upper chopsticks up and down to pick food up.

Chopsticks are an essential part of Japanese food.
There are certain ways to hold them, and if you hold them in a strange way as an adult, it may be considered bad manners.
If you hold your chopsticks in a strange way as an adult, it may not be a breach of etiquette, but you may be judged as lacking intelligence and character by adults with common sense.
If it’s an important business meeting, it’s a big loss.

In Japan, there are corrective chopsticks for children to help them learn how to hold things properly.

I myself was often taught by my mother about how to hold chopsticks when I was a child.


In Japan, chopsticks have a lot of etiquette rules. Manners are profound.

For example, in the West, when you drink soup, you don’t make a sound.

Five things you should not do with chopsticks

1. Passing Foods(渡し箸
 Do not pass food between chopsticks. In Japan, this is done at the time of a funeral, so don't do it!

2. Drawing Plates Near You(寄せ箸)
Pulling in the food with chopsticks.

3. Touching Foods Unnecessarily(移り箸)
Once you have put your chopsticks on a dish, do not eat it before putting your chopsticks on another dish (if you are sharing with others).

4. Shoveling Food into Mouth(込み箸)
Putting one's mouth on a bowl and then shoveling it in with chopsticks.

5. Pointing at Someone(指し箸)
It is rude to touch someone with chopsticks.

There are many more, but I have selected five of the most common.


There is an image that manners are rigid, but I believe that foreigners do not need to be as strict as Japanese people.

The most important thing is to have a pleasant meal.

There is nothing sadder than not being able to savor a meal because you are preoccupied with etiquette.

It’s enough to keep in mind that there is such a thing as this.

Enjoy your time in Japan!

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