🌸Japanese Customer : Japanese Culture - Chopstick Etiquette #1 Do not tear the food


November 10, 2012

Japanese Culture - Chopstick Etiquette #1 Do not tear the food

Japanese Culture - Chopstick Etiquette

 #1 Do not tear the food

Using chopsticks at meal time is an important skill to acquire

Japanese culture has a number of unwritten rules about how to use chopsticks in a polite way when eating in public

#1 Do not tear the food

This technique is called chigiri-bashi in Japanese and refers to the practice of holding a chopstick in each hand and then trying to pull food apart.

Often when you eat out in Japan the only implements to eat with on the table are chopsticks. It takes time to adapt to using chopsticks to eat a wide variety of foods. For example: eating soft foods like tofu versus solid foods like vegetables.Each food requires a different set of skills. Also when you eat meat with chopsticks you need to ensure the pieces are cut into small bite sized portions.

Difficulty with chopsticks?

You can ask for a knife, fork and spoon but need to do this before the food comes out to the table.Actually best to do this when ordering the meal.

As everyone else at the table will be eating with chopsticks it is common to follow what others do but if you are uncomfortable using them you must say so at the start of the meal so arrangements can be made. Alternatively you should if in Japan a long time carry your own knife, fork and spoon (very handy)and avoid any possible cultural issues with chopsticks.

Learn more about Japanese Chopstick etiquette in this video (Japanese language with English subtitle)

Video: Japanese chopstick etiquette
by Steve Hildrew