Can I eat rice with chopsticks?

Eating correctly with chopsticks: 8 taboos in Japan

Last time we already explained to you how to properly pick up chopsticks and use them to eat. But even between bites there are some rules that you should follow to maintain respectful handling. Here we introduce you to some taboos that you should absolutely avoid at a meal with chopsticks so that your Japanese counterpart does not feel trodden on.

8 chopsticks taboos

Stick the chopsticks vertically into the rice

This gesture is reminiscent of an offering for the deceased at Buddhist funeral ceremonies. Placing the chopsticks crossed over the bowl also symbolizes death and should be avoided.

Skewer food on chopsticks

It is considered impolite to skewer food with chopsticks or use a chopstick like a knife. Use the pair of chopsticks like a unit, even if it takes some practice.

Gesturing with chopsticks

If you like to gesticulate with your hands while talking, you should put down the chopsticks beforehand and not make them "dance". Pointing with chopsticks at things or even people is not appropriate either.

Move dishes with chopsticks

Do not use your chopsticks to move bowls or plates around the table. Put down the chopsticks and use both hands to bring dishes closer or to pass them on to other people.

Lick the chopsticks clean

After the food has been put into the mouth with the chopsticks, they are no longer there. Do not lick the chopsticks clean with your tongue or even chew on them.

Stir in the food with chopsticks

If you share dishes with others, you should not stir the food with your own chopsticks or search for specific ingredients in it. There are usually designated chopsticks for serving.

Hold chopsticks hovering over dishes

With a wide variety of dishes to choose from, make your decision before moving your chopsticks. Don't let them float indecisively over the plates.