Throughout my time in Japan I’m often reminded of how “awesome” I am at using chopsticks at every possible moment by the locals (a phenomenon compounded by my being left-handed).

Yet despite this excessive praise for eating like a human, I still feel I have a lot to learn about manipulating said utensils with more poise and grace. That’s why I’m excited to have found this instructional video that has answered all my questions and more.

Please, join us in learning how to use chopsticks like an expert through this video. And for all our Asian friends who think they have chopsticks mastered, I’m sure there is something for you to learn too!

This video titled The Japanese Tradition: Chopsticks is actually a few years old. It is part of a larger series which teaches about various aspects of deeply traditional Japanese culture such as Dogeza (prostration), Geisha, Golf, and Sushi.

The first part covers the basics of chopstick usage such as how to hold, common materials, and so on.

The next part changed the way I use chopsticks forever, dealing with how to break those cheap disposable chopsticks doled out in convenience stores and used in fast food restaurants. Served as two flimsy pieces of cedar still barely attached to each other, it’s not uncommon to have them break apart unevenly, looking odd and leaving splinters.

However, this video outlines a simple and effective way to ensure a clean break every time.

Simply pull with even strength in both directions simultaneously. Also, be sure to hold the chopsticks at three-fifths the distance from the top.

Recently this video has been making the rounds on websites in every country. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive (considering it’s in Japanese) with comments such as “so much swag” and “This video… A part has a true portion.” No we don’t completely understand that last one either, but by “part” the commenter is probably referring to the last segment which outlines advanced chopstick usage. When one views these styles a feeling of disbelief often takes hold.

Nevertheless, this is Japanese culture at its purest and most elegant. So please enjoy this and other videos about Japanese culture so that we may all gain a deeper appreciation for its complex beauty.

Videos: YouTube – stevehildrew, ikuko2006, ikuko2006, unkobakka, ikuko2006

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[ Read in Japanese ]