The DO'S and DON'TS of using chopsticks

The DO'S and DON'TS of using chopsticks

Learn about the DO'S & DON'TS, etiquette, and impress your friends and family with your newfound chopstick skills! 
Please note that the DO'S & DON'TS below are listed from a Japanese perspective and may not necessarily be true in other countries.


  • Always rest your chopsticks on the chopstick rests if they are provided.
  • Pass or dish out the food to others using the reverse non-eating ends of your chopstick (when there is no provided serving utensil).
  • Hold them two-thirds of the way down from the chopstick tip.

  • Spear food with your chopsticks.
  • Hold chopsticks with your fist and not with your fingers.
  • Never point your chopsticks at others.
  • Raise chopsticks above mouth level.
  • Transfer food from chopstick to chopstick. This derives from the practice of passing remains from chopstick to chopstick when picking up remains after cremation.
  • Move chopsticks across dishes to decide what to eat next.
  • Place chopsticks across the dishes. This is considered a sign of "I will not eat anymore".
  • Lick chopsticks.
  • Use chopsticks to pass food or move plates.
  • NEVER stick chopsticks vertically into your rice or any food as this is a ritual done at funerals.
Etiquettes differ from country to country.  In China, it is said to always keep your chopsticks parallel and do not tap or point them at others. Always rest your chopsticks on a chopstick rest or a clean surface. In the Korean peninsula, use the provided serving utensils instead of your chopsticks to take food from communal dishes and place your chopsticks on the table when you are not eating. In Vietnam, it is polite to use your chopsticks with a spoon for soups and broths. Additionally, it's impolite to leave your chopsticks in the rice bowl or across the bowl.


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