10 Japanese Chopstick Don’ts



If you’ve read our post, How to Use Chopsticks with Elegance, you can now skillfully use chopsticks with ease. Great! But wait… did you know that there are 10 things you absolutely must not do with chopsticks? They are so bad that you are guaranteed to horrify and upset any Japanese person! Okay, since you probably want to avoid horrifying or upsetting anyone, let’s go through those ten “crimes”!

1. そら箸 sora-bashi searching-chopsticks
To pick up food to eat but put it back after changing one’s mind

2. 迷い箸 mayoi-bashi wandering-chopsticks
To hover chopsticks over several foods with indecision

3. さし箸 sashi-bashi stabbing-chopsticks / pointing-chopsticks
To stab food / To point someone with chopsticks

4. ねぶり箸 neburi-bashi licking-chopsticks
To lick chopsticks

5. 寄せ箸 yose-bashi pulling-chopsticks
To pull plate or bowl around with chopsticks

6. たて箸 tate-bashi standing-chopsticks
To stand chopsticks up in a bowl of rice

7. かきこみ箸 kakikomi-bashi shoveling-chopsticks
To shovel food into one’s mouth attached to plate or bowl

8. にぎり箸 nigiri-bashi grabbing-chopsticks
To hold chopsticks together and make a fist as if attacking someone with a knife

9. 箸渡しhashi-watashi bridging-chopsticks
To pass food to another person, from chopsticks to chopsticks

10. なみだ箸 namida-bashi crying-chopsticks
To drip sauce from the food

Image via Wikimedia Commons