The detailed conventions of using chopsticks reflect the ancient Japanese belief. From the ancient times, chopsticks were thought to be a sacred tool which connects humans and Gods.

How To Take Chopsticks

The formal way of using chopsticks is called the "triple measure. "First, using your right hand, grasp the center of the chopsticks and pick them up from above. Now, grasp the slender end of the chopsticks with your left hand and slide your right hand toward the opposite end. Finally, after forming a proper grip with your right hand, remove your left hand from chopsticks. It is possible to adjust the chop sticks without the left hand by resting them against the table. But this technique may cause you to drop the sticks. Thus, the "triple measure" is much more practical.

How To Hold

Regarding to the proper grip, support the lower chop stick with the pinkie and the ring finger and hold the upper chopsticks between the middle finger and forefinger. Use the thumb as a brace across the top of the chopsticks. When lifting food, only the upper chop stick should move with the thumb acting as its axis.

How To Use and Rest Chopsticks

As for the proper way of eating with chopsticks, an Ogasawara family document states: "it is improper to wet chopsticks to a height of more than three centimeters." Food stains of a length between one and a half and three centimeters are judged acceptable.

When you are not using your chopsticks, place them on a chop stick rest. If you don't have a chop stick rest you can lean them against the right edge of your dining tray. Alternatively, you can make a substitute rest using the paper sheath in which you received your chopsticks. Do this by folding the sheath into the shape of the Chinese character for eight(/\).Place the " character" on its side and rest your chopsticks on the fulcrum.

After finishing your meal, return your chopsticks to their paper sheath and leave them on your individual dining tray.

Taboo: Forbidden Behavior with Chopsticks Are You Aware Of It?

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