Chopsticks are standard utensils in some countries of Asia. While to an outsider every chopstick they see may look the same but if you have used them, you would notice the differences. If chopsticks from China, Japan and Korea when placed side to side you can notice few features that are unique. If you want to buy a chopstick or just want to know more about chopsticks in general, this post is just for you. Now let’s dive deep into the part on how they are different and why.



Japanese chopsticks, also known as ‘Hashi’ in Japanese, is the shortest of them all. They are placed horizontally in front of individuals on top of a small stand known as hashioki. Since Japanese people have separate palate for individual, they have smaller chopsticks. The tops of the chopstick are exceptionally pointy as Japanese people tend to consume more fried fishes, it helps in picking the bones. The way an individual uses chopstick is very important in Japan. Children are made to practice with beans by their teachers or parents. When in a Japanese dinner table, you are not supposed to point at or fumble with foods, those are deemed as improper. When there is no communal chopstick present, the other end of the chopstick could be used to move food. One of the most crucial point to be noted is that the chopsticks shouldn’t be crossed on the table, as it symbolizes death in their culture.



Korean chopsticks are mostly metal since it is more durable than a wooden one but its wooden version does exits. During Joseon era, the royalty would use silver chopsticks since its oxidizing properties could often help them detect whether the food made for the royalties had been tampered with or not. They are flatter along its cross section and a tad longer than the Japanese ones. They place their chopsticks on the side of the table over a rest vertically in front of individuals. When a Japanese visits Korean restaurant they might have problem handling the metal ones since they are one the heavier side, they can always ask for a wooden one instead. In earlier days, chopsticks varied with social status. Chopsticks used in court were made up of gold, silver or cloisonne, while commoners would use those made up of brass or wooden.



Onto the last variation, Chinese chopsticks. They are the longest of them all. In a Chinese restaurant people are seated in a round table and the side dishes are scattered all around the table, hence one needs to pick up foods from different parts of the table and that’s the reason why they are so long. They are round, thick and have a blunt top end unlike the other two. And that is because Chinese people tend to eat greasy food and the thick and blunt top ensures that the food doesn’t slip away. When you connect the two pieces, you’ll find that the top (narrow) ends don’t touch. This might be a bit problematic when having ramen for some people. In Chinese culture, it is improper for one to tap chopsticks at the edge of a bowl as this act is used by beggars to attract attention.


On a closing note, its not what kind of chopstick you use matter, yes you can choose any one of them as per your liking, but it important to understand and respect the culture by applying proper etiquette while using them in a restaurant.

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