Forbidden ways of Using Chopsticks in Japan

This article comprises of some of the weird ways of holding a chopstick that would give an unpleasant feeling on you when having a meal with your Japanese colleagues and friends.

When one works in Japan, he can’t just get closer to his Japanese friends or colleagues, between his fraternity by not just speaking Japanese with them but also has to accustom to their culture and traditions. Japan is a very orthodox country where they still nurture their tradition while other countries have forgotten their identity and tradition due to the influence of western culture. Japanese would be very much surprised if they see you practicing their culture as they do. Today , we are going to look at the improper and forbidden ways of using chopsticks while eating. If one works in Japan, speaking Japanese at work, he has to face a situation of having a meal together with his colleagues. Let’s make that experience fruitful.

1) 握り箸(nigiribashi)

        Holding the chopsticks together in one's palm is the way that is defined by this term. It's said that you may be left with an unpleasant impression if you do so.

2) 寄せ箸(yosebashi)

       It's the way in which one tries to get the dish contained in a bowl towards him by using chopsticks. It’s considered very rude while eating with Japanese. Chopsticks are used only to pick up your food. That’s the thing one has to keep in mind to avoid such cultural crimes.

3) ばってんばし(battenbashi)

      The word batten in Japanese means cross mark. Holding the chopsticks such that it appears as a cross mark is considered a taboo in Japan while eating.

4) あわせばし(awasebashi)

      This is another unacceptable way of handling chopsticks where one tries sharing food with another through chopstick. Exchanging food through chopstick is not acceptable in Japan. This kind of exchange between persons through chopsticks are done only at funerals to collect the remains of the cremation.

5) 立て箸(tatebashi)

      This is considered the most horrible way of handling a chopsticks where the user places the chopsticks to stand vertically on the food. This again is connected to funerals where Japanese sets up food for the departed ones with the chopsticks standing upright on the food.

6) ねぶりばし(neburibashi)

   This is a way in which the user licks the tip of the chopsticks when he eats a soupy dish. This is yet another improper or disrespectful way of using a chopstick.

7) 探り箸(saguribashi)

     This might make the Japanese around you to frowned upon you when you stir up the soup of bowl or any food to adjust on its composition, as it may look like you are playing with it.

8) 踊り箸(odoribashi)

     Pay attention if you are one who got used to making hand gestures while speaking as when you speak while eating you tend to do gestures with the chopsticks in hands which is another taboo of using a chopstick.

       The above are some of the tips that you have to take care of while eating in Japan. There are various other forbidden ways of using chopsticks such as かみばし(kamibashi), なみだばし(namidabashi), わたしば(watashibashi) and so on. I would like you to search for the above terms personally as Homework!!

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