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Etiquette around the world of Japanese chopsticks (hashi 箸)

Several things to avoid:

  1. Tate-bashi: Sticking your chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice/food. This signifies a funerary ritual where the chopsticks represents the incense.
  2. Sashi-bashi: Stabbing food with your chopsticks.
  3. Hashi-watashi: Passing food from one set of chopsticks to another.
  4. Futari-bashi: Two people taking the same food using separate chopsticks.
  5. Watashi-bashi: Resting your chopsticks over your bowl or plate.
  6. Kakikomi-bashi: Shovelling food from your bowl or plate directly into your mouth.
  7. Utsuri-bashi: Picking up food with your chopsticks, then changing your mind and picking up something else.
  8. Mayoi-bashi: Hovering your chopsticks over the choice of dishes in front of you in an indecisive manner.
  9. 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.
  10. Saguri-bashi: Searching out your favourite ingredients in your soup.hashi-graphic
  11. Neburi-bashi: Licking food off your chopsticks.
  12. Kami-bashi: Chewing/biting the ends of your chopsticks.
  13. Kasane-bashi: Picking on the same side dish, ignoring the others.
  14. Sashi-bashi: Pointing at someone with your chopsticks.
  15. Nigiri-bashi: Picking up your dishes to your mouth while still holding your chopsticks.
  16. Namida-bashiDripping liquid/soup from your chopsticks.
  17. Chigai-bashi: Using two different types of chopsticks together.
  18. Kaki-bashi: Scratching your head or similar with your chopsticks.
  19. Yose-bashi: Moving dishes or plates with your chopsticks.
  20. Tataki-bashi: Hitting the table or plates with your chopsticks.
  21. Wari-bashi no warikata: Separating disposable chopsticks vertically. Correct way is horizontally.
  22. Koji-bashiDigging out food from the bottom of a dish, instead of taking from the top.


Other Japanese chopsticks etiquette to be aware of include:

  1. Do not randomly drop your chopsticks onto the dishes or table, especially after finishing the meal.
  2. 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.



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