Etiquette around the world of Japanese chopsticks (hashi 箸)
Several things to avoid:
- Tate-bashi: Sticking your chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice/food. This signifies a funerary ritual where the chopsticks represents the incense.
- Sashi-bashi: Stabbing food with your chopsticks.
- Hashi-watashi: Passing food from one set of chopsticks to another.
- Futari-bashi: Two people taking the same food using separate chopsticks.
- Watashi-bashi: Resting your chopsticks over your bowl or plate.
- Kakikomi-bashi: Shovelling food from your bowl or plate directly into your mouth.
- Utsuri-bashi: Picking up food with your chopsticks, then changing your mind and picking up something else.
- Mayoi-bashi: Hovering your chopsticks over the choice of dishes in front of you in an indecisive manner.
- Sora-bashi: Picking up food and almost putting into your mouth, and then putting it back down into the common place. All because you have changed your mind.
- Saguri-bashi: Searching out your favourite ingredients in your soup.
- Neburi-bashi: Licking food off your chopsticks.
- Kami-bashi: Chewing/biting the ends of your chopsticks.
- Kasane-bashi: Picking on the same side dish, ignoring the others.
- Sashi-bashi: Pointing at someone with your chopsticks.
- Nigiri-bashi: Picking up your dishes to your mouth while still holding your chopsticks.
- Namida-bashi: Dripping liquid/soup from your chopsticks.
- Chigai-bashi: Using two different types of chopsticks together.
- Kaki-bashi: Scratching your head or similar with your chopsticks.
- Yose-bashi: Moving dishes or plates with your chopsticks.
- Tataki-bashi: Hitting the table or plates with your chopsticks.
- Wari-bashi no warikata: Separating disposable chopsticks vertically. Correct way is horizontally.
- Koji-bashi: Digging out food from the bottom of a dish, instead of taking from the top.
Other Japanese chopsticks etiquette to be aware of include:
- Do not randomly drop your chopsticks onto the dishes or table, especially after finishing the meal.
- Return disposable chopsticks back into the paper wrapping after the meal.
More of a visual person?
Take a look at this Japanese video (with subtitles) on what not to do with your Japanese chopsticks.