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Chopsticks ()

(Hashi or Wari-bashi割り箸 or Otemoto御手元)
or fingers ?
Learn the how-to
Chopsticks - Waribashi


Historically, people eat sushi by hand at small street stalls, with fingers, since Edo period, and today also those who proud of or think of themselves as sushi-fleakes much like to do so. The casuistic reason is very often said that the sushi pieces (nigiri) are formed by hands, it is so natural to eat also by hand/finger. But the truth is simply (presumably) it was really a fast food on the street in that old days, like Mac-hunbergers now (no one eat them with kinfe and fork). In some days, are humbergers eaten with knife and fork?

Except few oddities, it is one of the very important point of charasteristics judged from others that how s/he is eating a piece of sushi perfectly and elegantly with chopsticks at a sushi bar counter. (cf. Sushi Etiquette)

The origin:

It is said that at first it was like tweezers (pincette) made of folded willow branchlet. And the kanji character () is crowned with the symbol of bamboo (). Now the materials vary from ivory or evony to wood, metal or plastic, and coated or uncoated, round or polygon. A pair of chopsticks is counted by the unit of 'zen' ().


There are many usage manner of chopsitcks:
do not thrust/stick into food like a dagger
do not pass food by chopsticks from one to the other's directly (*)
do not leave chopsticks sticked upright into food (*)
do not lick off too much
do not put, draw or move a dish by chopsticks
do not point out somebody by chopsticks
do not bite and hold in the mouth
do not hover over food
do not use like drum sticks
  (*: relating to funeral)


The easiest way to manipulate chopsticks — follow the instructions below.
1. hold the first stick exactly the same way as writing with pen
2. nexst, insert the other one beneath the first in the palm
hold it tightly
(1) with the ring finger, at its nail position,
(2) with the root part of the thumb, and
(3) with the very bottom between the thumb and index fingers
as to hold it at 3 points
3. and move only the first stick, up and down, to pick foods
Pen holding style     Chopsticks holding

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Updated on: 2009.03.22
Created on: 2007.02.12
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