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IS JAPAN COOL? DISCOVER

Chopsticks

1. A pair of small sticks used for dining. They are popular eating tools used throughout Japan and found in almost any restaurant.

2. There are various types of chopsticks (called hashi or bashi in Japanese) for various purposes. Iwai-bashi with thin tips on both ends are used for celebrations. Wari-bashi are one-time-only chopsticks made for disposal after use. My-hashi are individual-use chopsticks for dining outside home, usually kept in a small chopstick case.

3. Chopstick use is governed by exacting rules of etiquette: for example, sticking chopsticks into food and pulling dishes with chopsticks are strictly taboo.

4. You can purchase chopsticks in many places such as supermarkets and department stores. However, if you visit specialty shops, you can see chopstick craftsmanship of great artistry.

Traditional way of holding chopsticks

First, hold the lower stick near the end with your thumb.

Rest the lower part of this stick on the first joint of your slightly bent ring finger and support it between your thumb and ring finger.

Hold the upper stick between the tip of your thumb and the first joint of your middle finger.

Move the upper stick and pick up a piece of food between both sticks.

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